Transfer your country’s license to a Japanese license
Switching a foreign driver’s license to a Japanese license
- A driver’s license issued by a foreign administrative office can be switched to a Japanese license (hereinafter referred to as “Gaimen Kirikae) by applying to the Driver’s License Center.
- To apply for Gaimen Kirikae, applicants must fulfill the following two conditions:
- 1.The applicant’s foreign driver’s license must be valid (expired licenses cannot be transferred).
- 2.The applicant must be able to prove that he or she stayed in the issuing country for at least three months in total after obtaining the license.
- General Gaimen Kirikae procedure at the Driver’s License Center
- 1.Submission of application documents
- 2.Aptitude test
- 3.Traffic rule knowledge check
- 4.Driving skill check (The applicant is asked to actually drive a vehicle at a course in the Driver’s License Center.)
- 5.Issuance of the Japanese driver’s license
*For information on the documents to be submitted, application fee and tests, please contact the Driver’s License Center that has jurisdiction over the region in which the applicant resides.
About the Japanese Translation of Foreign Driver’s License
- One of the documents required when applying for Gaimen Kirikae is a “Japanese Translation of Foreign Driver’s License”issued by JAF
- 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.
For embassies and other representative offices in the country, please refer to the List of Embassies and Consulates on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website.
Application for Japanese Translation
Japanese translation of a foreign driver’s license can be obtained at JAF Branch Offices
issuing Japanese translation of driver's license located across the country.
Applications via mail are also accepted when the applicant cannot visit the office.
*We strongly recommend the application by mail to protect yourself from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Bring the required documents to your nearest JAF Translation Office. (Application by proxy is accepted if the applicant is unable to visit the office.)
1. Application form for Japanese Translation of foreign driver’s license:
The form can be downloaded from this page, and the application form is also available at the JAF counter If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact your nearest JAF office by telephone to obtain the form via fax or other method.
Download Application Form
※ The application forms are written in the respective language and Japanese.
- 2. A driver’s license (original, in principle):
Your license will be returned as soon as we copy it. Photocopies are accepted if you are not able to bring the original license. In that case, please prepare clear photocopies of the front and back of the license, preferably in color, that allow the inscriptions on the license to be read clearly.
*A Fukuye is only required for license issued by People's Republic of China. A Official Receipt is only required for license issued by Republic of the Philippines.
- 3. A photocopy of a residence card or a resident record etc:
This is only required for licenses written in Arabic or Russian and licenses issued in certain countries, including the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Union of Myanmar.
3,000 yen per license
*Please note that JAF will not refund the translation issuance fee even if the application for Gaimen Kirikae is rejected by the Driver’s License Center. A fee of 3,000 yen is also charged for re-issuance when the license is lost or for other reason.
Days required for issuance
The Japanese Translation will be issued on the same day up to two weeks. The processing time varies depending on the issuing country, condition, content of the driver’s license, and JAF Branch Office. For details, please contact your nearest Branch Office in advance.
Application by mail
Applications via mail are also accepted when the applicant cannot visit the office
- Send the application form and a photocopy of your license (preferably clear photocopies of the front and
back of the license in color) with the issuance fee 3,000 yen plus return postage(including charge for
service) 500 yen by registered postal cash envelope.
* The return postage (including charge for service) will be 500 yen for two translations and 600 yen for three or more translations in the case of sending to the same address if requesting translation of more than one license.
- Applications are only accepted from Japanese addresses, and the return address must be within Japan and match the address submitted on the application.
- It takes approximately one to two weeks from application to delivery (about two to three weeks to obtain
translations for the driver’s licenses listed in 3. of "Documents required?".
* Please note that JAF does not accept the application (including the transmission of issuance fee) from overseas and that JAF does not send the Japanese Translation to overseas.
Other important notice
Please note that JAF does not offer translation services for International Driving Permits. The effective period of the Japanese Translation is the same as that of the original driver’s license. When the license is renewed or its inscriptions are changed, such as an address change, a new Japanese Translation must be obtained.
JAF uses the personal information obtained through its translation issuance operation only for the purposes of performing the operation explained above properly, and it never discloses such information to third parties unless the person in question has given his/her explicit consent. Please note, however, that there are cases where JAF entrusts the required personal information to an organization to which JAF consigns issuance of the translation. Moreover, if an official body such as a court or the police requests JAF to disclose or provide such personal information by law or regulation, we may provide the information to the relevant body.Please check Personal Information Handling for other personal information handling.
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