How to Exchange Your Foreign Driver's Licence for a Japanese Driver's Licence
Upon fulfilling certain requirements and passing certain tests (physical or otherwise), individuals who hold a foreign driver's licence may be able to exchange for a Japanese driver's licence. (Traffic Bylaw No. 97-2-2)
l Your foreign driver's licence must be valid.
l You must have at least 3 months of driving experience in your home country.
2. When and Where to Apply
Applications are on an appointment basis. You must call in advance to arrange an appointment date of your choosing, which must fall on a weekday for the centre (see below) is open from 9 a.m.to5:00p.m.on Monday to Friday but closed on weekends. Application will be accepted from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on your desired appointment date. If you don't speak Japanese, please ask someone who do to accompany you.
Ishikawa Driver's Licence Centre
2nd floor, 2-1, Higashi-Kagatsume-machi, Kanazawa
〒920-0209 (TEL: 076-238-5901)
3. Documents to be Submitted
1 Your valid foreign driver's licence.
2 The translation copy of your valid foreign driver's licence, which may be obtained from either one of the following:
u The consulate or administrative office of your home country.
u The Japan Automobile Federation, Ishikawa Branch.
4-8, Shinbohon, Kanazawa TEL: 076-249-1252
3 Your citizen card (for individuals who have Japanese citizenship), or alien registration card .
4 Your passport (if you have more than one, submit all).
5 Any expired Japanese driver's licence or a copy of your driving history in Japan (for those who had a Japanese driver's licence before).
6 A picture of yourself for use on the driver's licence:
u Must be taken within the last 6 months of application.
u Size 3 cm x 2.4 cm.
u No hat or background allowed in the picture.
u The picture should show roughly 1/3 of your height.
7 Your personal seal (for Japanese nationals only).
u A proof of issuance of your foreign driver's licence from the Ministry of Transportation of your home country (if you don't know the date of its issuance).
u In some cases, you may be asked to submit one more picture I.D. from your home country as an additional proof of identity. Please contact the driver's licence centre should you have any inquiries regarding this.
4. Tests to be Passed
You may exchange for a first type (ordinary) driver's licence.
l Necessary tests include:
u Some basic tests to confirm your fitness to drive:
O Aptitude tests (eye exam, etc.)
O Written test about driving and traffic regulations
2 True and false type questions
2 Available in some languages .For further details,please contact us.
u Road test
l If you are from one of the whose driver's licence system is deemed to be equivalent to that of Japan's, and if you are deemed to possess reasonable level of knowledge regarding driving skills and traffic regulations, you may be exempt from having to take the written test and the road test.
5. General Application Steps
1 Verification of the documents submitted.
2 Inquiries about your driving history.
3 Aptitude tests (eye exam, etc.).
4 Written test.
5 Road test.
6 Issuance of driver's licence.
When submitting your application, please also notify the official if you have any illness that may affect your ability to drive.