Transfer your country’s license to a Japanese license

Japanese Translation of Foreign Driver's License

  • One of the documents necessary when applying to have your foreign driver's license transferred to a Japanese driver's license (Gaimen Kirikae application) is a translation of your original foreign driver's license.
    *Click here for more details about the Gaimen Kirikae application.
  • JAF generally issues Japanese translations of driver's license from all countries. However, in the following cases, JAF may require a certificate in English explaining the contents of your original driver's license from the issuing authority in your country or your country's consulate/embassy in Japan.
    • 1.Driver's licenses written only in languages that do not use the Latin alphabet
      (excluding Arabic, Korean, Thai, Lao, Burmese, and Russian).
    • 2. Driver's licenses with unclear descriptions.
      *Please contact the JAF branch office in advance if you have any questions.
  • You can apply for a Japanese translation on the Japanese Translation of Foreign License site.
    • 1.Applications are accepted 24 hours a day*1 by cashless transaction*2 from anywhere in Japan.
    • 2.Translations can be picked up through an online printing service at convenience stores.

      *1 Payment only accepted by credit card, in advance.
      *2 Excluding system maintenance days.

  • Please note that the Japanese Translation does not assure that the license will be switched. For the details of Gaimen Kirikae, please contact the Driver’s License Center that has jurisdiction over the region in which you reside.)
  • Please note that JAF is not able to issue the translation of a foreign driver’s license in certain cases. In addition to JAF, some foreign embassies and consular offices in Japan may issue the Japanese Translation of driver’s licenses.

Please refer to the "Driver's License Procedures" section of the National Police Agency's website for information on the procedures for switching to a foreign driver's license and links to the websites of prefectural police departments.

What you need to prepare when applying for a translation

  • [Required documents]
    • 1.Image data of the front and back sides of a current valid foreign driver's license.
      *For licenses issued in countries listed in 1) and 2) below, documents that supplement the information on the license are required.
      • 1)People's Republic of China: images of the front and back of the subpage.
      • 2)Republic of the Philippines: image of the official receipt.
    • 2.Image data of documents required for the country of issuance.
      *Required only for licenses written in Arabic or Russian, or licenses issued in the Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Thailand, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Please refer to 1) - 3) below, as the required documents differ for each country.
      • 1)Syrian Arab Republic: passport
      • 2)Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Thailand, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Republic of the Union of Myanmar: residence card or copy of certificate of residence in Japan.
      • 3)Countries other than those in 1) and 2) above with driver's licenses written in Arabic or Russian: residence card or copy of certificate of residence in Japan.
  • [Translation fee/Other]
    Please see Online Application for Japanese Translation.

Sample translation issued by JAF

1) Japanese translation before December 2017.

A Japanese Translation

2) Japanese translation from December 2017 or later
(copy proof paper).

3) Japanese translation from November 2022 or later
(security print).

*As of October 2022, translations for security printing 3) will be issued for pick-up at convenience stores or sent by post on copy proof paper 2) in unavoidable circumstances.

Sample of the translation accompanied by an "Appendix"

The translations of some countries are accompanied by an "Appendix" that explains details such as the type of vehicle allowed to drive. Please be careful not to forget to take it when you print your translation out at a convenience store, as you will need it when you apply for a "Gaimen Kirikae". In addition, if a "Appendix" is attached to the translation, there is a description in Japanese to that effect at the bottom left of the translation, so please check it.

If "Appendix" is attached to the translation, text will be added to the red frame

Image of "Appendix"

Application for Japanese Translation

  • In general, applications for Japanese translations of foreign driver's licenses can be submitted online through Application for Japanese Translation.
  • If you have any questions regarding the issuance of translations, please check the FAQ first, before contacting us.

Handling of Personal Information

JAF uses personal information obtained through translation and issuance services only for the purpose of properly carrying out such services and will not disclose the information to a third party without the consent of the individual concerned. However, if there is a request for disclosure of such information from a court of law, police, or other public agency in accordance with laws and regulations, the information may be provided to the authority. Please see JAF's Handling of Personal Information (Privacy) for details.