Driver's License Requirements
A Valid Driver's License
All drivers are required to present his/her driver's license. The license must be valid in Japan to drive a rented vehicle. (i.e. 1. Japanese driver's license 2. International driving permit under Convention of Road Traffic of 1949 or 3. Japanese translation issued by an authorized organization for licenses issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Taiwan, Slovenia or Monaco as well as original driving license issued in these countries/area).
See below for details.
(4. Only for US service members in Japan) “U.S. FORCES,JAPAN-OPERATOR’S PERMIT FOR CIVILIAN VEHICLE” and ID card “ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES”: if the permit is only for BASE ONLY, please also show your original State’s license as well. )
1. Japanese Driver's License
You are permitted to drive the following car types depending on the classification of your Japanese driver's license.
|Car type||Ordinary License||Medium-sized Motor Vehicle License (Up to 8 tons)||Medium-sized Motor Vehicle License|
|Passenger cars/Mini vans||Permitted||Permitted||Permitted|
|Trucks up to Class T-C
or dry vans up to Class R-D
|Trucks bigger than Class T-D
or dry vans bigger than R-E
|Specially equipped vehicles
(flatbed trucks, refrigerator trucks, etc.)
2. International Driving Permit under the Convention of Road Traffic of Sep. 19, 1949
Please present your passport as well.
- International driver's permits are valid for one (1) year from the date of issue (please confirm the date of issue) and their validity for driving in Japan is one (1) year from the date of entry into Japan (confirmed by the immigration stamp in the passport showing the date of entry into Japan).
However, persons on the basic resident register who leave Japan and subsequently re-enter the country within less than three (3) months, will not have their re-entry date considered as their date of entry (the start date for driving eligibility in Japan).
- International driving permits acquired from signatory countries to the Paris Convention (1926), the Washington Convention (1943) or the Vienna Convention (1968) are not accepted.
- For operating vehicles with more than nine (9) seats, including driver's seat, a stamp in the category D box is required. (Applicable car type: Class W-B or larger minivans and microbuses)
- Issuing country
- Year of Convention, which should be "1949". (No other year is permitted for driving in Japan.)
- Date of Issue. Permit valid for 1 year from this date
- Stamp of authenticated organization
- Refer to the information below for restrictions on vehicle type.Please note that if you wish to drive 10-seater minivans (W-B), you require a stamp in the Category D box, and if you wish to drive large sized trucks/dry vans, you require a stamp in the Category C box.
|Category||Permitted Vehicle type||Permitted License Class|
|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 3,500kg (7,700lb). Vehicles in this category may be coupled with a light trailer.||K, S, E, J, O, X, W (excluding W-B), Y, D, T(T-H/T-S) classes|
|C||Motor vehicles used for the transport of goods and of which the permissible maximum weight exceeds 3,500kg (7,700lb). Vehicles in this category maybe coupled with a light trailer.||Above T-C, R-D classes (large trucks and dry vans)|
|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 maybe coupled with a light trailer.||W-B and M classes (minivans/microbuses for more than 10-seater)|
|E||B, C or D above with attachment|
3. Authorized Japanese Translation
If you have a driver's license issued in Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Taiwan, Slovenia or Monaco, you are required to present your original driver's license, the authorized Japanese translation and your passport.
Translations are valid for one (1) year from the date of entry into Japan. Please present your passport so we can confirm the date of entrance.
- Authorized Japanese translation of the driver's license should be issued by the respective country's embassy or consulate in Japan or by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF).
- For Taiwanese licenses, a Japanese translation of the driver's license should be issued by the JAF or the East Asia Relations Commission.