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A Japanese Drivers License- your questions answered

 
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David W



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 457
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 6:15 am    Post subject: A Japanese Drivers License- your questions answered Reply with quote

Go here for everything you need to know
http://www.japandriverslicense.com
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of information in that site is bogus. I would beware of them.

From the site:
"There is no way to get around the recent change in the Japan Traffic Act. The bottom line is, anyone staying in Japan for more than 12 months who wants to drive legally must obtain a Japanese Driverís License."
According to AAA, who issue the international drivers permit, this is not true. I just got an email directly from them saying so.

"In most cities the road test must be scheduled on a different day usually 2 to 4 weeks after you apply..."
Gee, first city I checked (Sapporo, where I live, says otherwise. My co-worker got his written and driving test 5 minutes apart, same day obviously.)

"Q. Who actually needs to get a Japanese Driver`s License and who should contract this service ?

A. Anybody who currently has a valid driver`s license issued in their home country, who wants to legally drive in Japan, who currently does not have a Japanese Driverís Licence; who is planning to live in Japan for a period of greater than 12 months..."

Not necessarily. You CAN apply to get your international drivers permit again and again. There is no guarantee you'll get it after the first year, but AAA told me you can reapply. This is as opposed to "renew", which sounds like an easy process of just asking to extend the permit.

"Q. I am a Canadain and I first heard that there actually is a reciprocal agreement between Canada and Japan. I then heard that Japan was not following this agreement and then I heard that as of February 1st 2003 the agreement is now being followed and now Canadains do not need to take a written or road test. Whats going on eh ? Can you provide me with a staight answer on this please ?

A. You are right, there was a reciprocal agreement between Japan and four provinces of Canada. You are also correct that Japan was not following this agreement, however as of February 1st, 2003 Canadains, from all provinces no longer need to take a written or road test to convert their license. Another reason to say "I AM CANADAIN !"

Look at the misspellings on this, from a site that blatantly touts itself to have a "team of employees from U.S., Canada..." and there are many more obvious spelling errors. Not a sign that the place isn't legit, but it does raise eyebrows.

And, at the prices they charge, I wouldn't touch them. All you need is 1000 yen for the Rules of the Road from your Japan Auto Federation.
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David W



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 457
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found most of the info to be pretty accurate. The Japanese give resident foreigners 12 months, California gives resident foreigners 10 days to change their licenses over. The key word here is resident. It would appear to be fairly standard practice the world over to have resident foreigners get local licenses so why would Japan be any different. I'm inclined, in this case, to believe that the AAA don't know what they're talking about. As far as I know you can only renew an IDL personally in the country of issue. All I've seen and heard both first hand and on the 'net points to the 12 month rule being the case. You're the first person I've heard from that claims continued driving with an IDL is OK.
As for your other point, well they did say most cities and you only checked 1 city. Where I live they are definitely scheduled on different days.
I will agree with you on one point though, anyone who pays them the exorbitant fees they charge needs their head read.
It's a truly rare ocassion where you are wrong Glenski but I think I have to call you here Smile
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Scott



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski,

Thank you very much for the critique of our site.

Allow me to respond to each of your comments. Please see in red below.

"According to AAA, who issue the international drivers permit, this is not true. I just got an email directly from them saying so."

You can renew an IDP as often as you like but you cannot drive legally in Japan using an IDP if you have lived here greater than 12 months without leaving the country for at least 3 months. This law became effective June 1st, 2002. There is an English translation of this Traffic Law article on our site if you are interested in reading it.


"In most cities the road test must be scheduled on a different day usually 2 to 4 weeks after you apply..."
Gee, first city I checked (Sapporo, where I live, says otherwise. My co-worker got his written and driving test 5 minutes apart, same day obviously.)"


Glenski, we operate in Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama and Tokyo. All of these cities have a 2 to 4 week waiting period for road tests.



"Q. Who actually needs to get a Japanese Driver`s License and who should contract this service ?

A. Anybody who currently has a valid driver`s license issued in their home country, who wants to legally drive in Japan, who currently does not have a Japanese Driverís License; who is planning to live in Japan for a period of greater than 12 months..."

"Not necessarily. You CAN apply to get your international drivers permit again and again. There is no guarantee you'll get it after the first year, but AAA told me you can reapply. This is as opposed to "renew", which sounds like an easy process of just asking to extend the permit."


Yes you can apply to get your IDP again and again. But is illegal to drive using it if you have lived here longer than 12 months without leaving for a period of 3 months.

"Q. I am a Canadian and I first heard that there actually is a reciprocal agreement between Canada and Japan. I then heard that Japan was not following this agreement and then I heard that as of February 1st 2003 the agreement is now being followed and now Canadains do not need to take a written or road test. Whats going on eh ? Can you provide me with a staight answer on this please ?

A. You are right, there was a reciprocal agreement between Japan and four provinces of Canada. You are also correct that Japan was not following this agreement, however as of February 1st, 2003 Canadains, from all provinces no longer need to take a written or road test to convert their license. Another reason to say "I AM CANADAIN !"

"Look at the misspellings on this, from a site that blatantly touts itself to have a "team of employees from U.S., Canada..." and there are many more obvious spelling errors. Not a sign that the place isn't legit, but it does raise eyebrows. "



Thanks for pointing out the spelling mistakes. They have now been corrected. My fault, I am a Canadian. I must be affected by a slight case of dyslexia!


I noticed in your profile that you are proofreader. I have four more sites that need checking. Let me know what you charge.

Regarding pricing, just out of interest what would you be willing to pay to save 2 to 3 days of missed work?


Glenski, thanks again for the critique. Hope you have a good weekend and please let me know if you have any more feedback to offer.


Regards, Scott Reid, President ReloJapan K.K.
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