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Required IDs
Driving licenses that can be accepted in Japan

Drivers who hold a foreign driving license must have one of the following in order to drive in Japan: 1) An international driving permit; 2) A valid foreign driver's license AND a Japanese translation of that license (applicable countries and regions only).

International driving permit

This document is issued by signatory countries in a format determined by the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic.

1

Size: 148mm (width) x 105 mm (length)

2

Color: Grey

3

Issuing Countries: Signatories to the Geneva Convention

4

Treaty Name: Convention on Road Traffic of 19 September 1949

5

Period of Validity: One year from date of issue

6

Required Information: surname; given name; place of birth; date of birth; address

7

Photo: Passport-style photo of driver

8

License Classes: Permitted vehicle classes are marked with a stamp

Image:International driving permit

International driver's permit license classes

Class

Permitted vehicles

A

Motorcycles, with or without a side-car, invalid carriages and three-wheeled motor vehicles with an unladen weight not exceeding 400 kg (900 lbs).

B

Motor vehicles used for the transport of passengers and comprising, in addition to the driver's seat, at most eight seats, or those used for the transport of goods and having a permissible maximum weight not exceeding 3,500 kg (7,700 lbs). Vehicles in this category may be coupled with a light trailer.

C

Motor vehicles used for the transport of goods and of which the permissible maximum weight exceeds 3,500kg (7,700lbs). Vehicles in this category may be coupled with a light trailer.

D

Motor vehicles used for the transport of passengers and comprising, in addition to the driver's seat, more than eight seats. Vehicles in this category may be coupled with a light trailer.

E

Motor vehicles of category B, C, or D, as authorized above, with other than light trailer.

Signatory countries to the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva Convention / As of February 2014)

Asia
  • Philippines
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Bangladesh
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Republic of Korea
Middle East
  • Turkey
  • Israel
  • Syria
  • Cyprus
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • United Arab Emirates
Africa
  • South Africa
  • Central African Republic
  • Egypt
  • Ghana
  • Algeria
  • Morocco
  • Botswana
  • Republic of the Congo
  • the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Benin
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Lesotho
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe
  • Namibia
  • Burkina Faso
  • Nigeria
Europe
  • U.K.
  • Greece
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Italy
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Montenegro
  • Spain
  • Finland
  • Portugal
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Poland
  • Ireland
  • Hungary
  • Romania
  • Iceland
  • Bulgaria
  • Malta
  • Albania
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • Vatican
  • Kyrgyz Republic
  • Georgia
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovak Republic
America
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Peru
  • Cuba
  • Ecuador
  • Argentine
  • Chile
  • Paraguay
  • Barbados
  • Commonwealth of Dominica
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Venezuela
  • Jamaica
Pacific
  • New Zealand
  • Fiji
  • Australia
  • Papua New Guinea
Special Administrative Region
  • Hong Kong
  • Macao
Countries that are signatory to the Geneva Convention, but which do not issue international driving permits according to the convention:France and Belgium (Drivers from these countries are permitted to drive in Japan with their domestic driving license and a Japanese translation)
For more information, please see the website of the National Police Agency [https://www.npa.go.jp/english/index.htm]
For more information, please see the website of the All Japan Rent a Car Association [http://www.rentacar.or.jp/en/]

International driving permits issued according to the Paris Convention (1926), Washington Convention (1943) and Vienna Convention (1968) DO NOT permit holders to drive in Japan.

Switzerland

Image:Foreign driving license/front - Switzerland
Image:Foreign driving license/back - Switzerland

Germany

Image:Foreign driving license/front - Germany
Image:Foreign driving license/back - Germany

France

Image:Foreign driving license/front - France
Image:Foreign driving license/back - France

France

Image:Foreign driving license/front - Belgium
Image:Foreign driving license/back - Belgium

Slovenia

Image:Foreign driving license/front - Slovenia
Image:Foreign driving license/back - Slovenia

Taiwan

Image:Foreign driving license/front - Taiwan
Image:Foreign driving license/back - Taiwan

Monaco

Image:Foreign driving license/front - Monaco
Image:Foreign driving license/back - Monaco

Japanese Translation

Image:Japanese Translation

Foreign driving license + Japanese translation

Drivers from the six countries and one region below are permitted to drive in Japan if they hold: a) their passport, and b) their domestic driver's license and a Japanese translation.

  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Slovenia
  • Monaco
  • Taiwan

The Japanese translation is only valid if issued by the relevant embassy or consulate in Japan, or by the Japan Automobile Federation. In Taiwan the translation must be issued by the Japan Automobile Federation or the East Asia Relations Commission .

According to Article 39-5, paragraph (1), item (2)ハof the Order for Enforcement of the Road Traffic Act, the East Asia Relations Commission (including branches and offices) is considered a valid organization by the National Public Safety Commission for the purposes of issuing a Japanese translation.

Please take sufficient care regarding the type of license and the period of validity.

If drivers are unsure of the rules, they should contact their local driving license issuing authority.

International driving permits that cannot be used to drive in Japan

  • International driving permits issued by countries and regions that have not ratified the Geneva Convention.
  • International driving permits issued by countries and regions that have ratified the Geneva Convention, but that issue international driving permits in a format according to the Vienna Convention.
  • International driving permits issued by authorized bodies in countries and regions that have ratified the Geneva Convention, but when the form of the permit is very different.
  • International driving permits issued by bodies that are not authorized to do so.
    In the United States, only the AAA and AATA are authorized to issue international driving permits.

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