International Driving Permits (IDP)  - Driving in Japan using IDP

International Driving Permits (IDP) - Driving in Japan using IDP

An International Driving Permit, or IDP for short, is a document that allows holders to drive in any country that is a signatory of the Geneva Convention of 1949. IDPs must be issued in the same country that issued your original driver’s license.

Persons found driving in Japan without a legal license are subject to fines, arrest and possible deportation.
"International Driving Permits" are not a medium-to-long term substitute for a Japanese driver’s license. You cannot obtain an International Driving Permit at the Embassy.

International Driving Permits (IDP)

“Residents” are expected to convert or obtain a Japanese drivers license. Persons using an international drivers license who are resident in Japan can be subject to fines or arrest. The exact boundary between “resident” and “not resident” is unclear. In practice it seems to involve more than simply visa status or length of stay in Japan and is determined by the police.

Frequenty Asked Questions related to IDP

Can I drive in Japan with an international driving permit which I obtained overseas?
How do I know which country is a signatory to the 1949 Geneva Convention, which may issue a valid international driving permit in Japan?
I’m a resident in Japan and I’ve registered myself on the Basic Resident Register (Jumin Kihon Daicho). If I leave Japan and obtain an international driving permit overseas, can I drive with that permit after returning to Japan?
I have a valid international driving permit with a stamp/check for the Category B. Can I drive a moped in Japan?
I have lost my valid international driving permit. Can I continue to drive in Japan because it is still valid?
Can I drive in Japan with a driving license which I obtained overseas?
Can I convert my driving license issued by the foreign authorities to a Japanese one?

Useful Links

Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Driver's License Headquarters License Management Section
Phone: 03-6717-3137 (Representative)

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