Driving a car in Japan

  • Driving a car in Japan

As a tourist for a short-term stay

If you want to drive a car during your visit to Japan, you need to check before your departure if your driver’s license is accepted in Japan.

Always contact the Japanese Consular Service  of the country where your license has been issued to verify whether or not you can use it or if you need to take extra steps.

Belgian driver’s license holders must be aware of the fact that an International driver’s license issued by the Belgian Authorities is NOT accepted in Japan.

Yet, since September 19, 2007, the Japanese Traffic Law has been modified and since that day it is possible to drive a car for up to one year counting from the day of entry in Japan, using a Belgian driving license on the condition that a Japanese translation (issued by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF)  ) is attached to the license.

When applying for a translation, it is necessary to provide proof that one has resided in Belgium for at least three months after acquiring a Belgian driving license.

For further information, please refer to the JAF homepage (http://www.jaf.or.jp/e/switch.htm ).

As a resident

If you officially reside in Japan for a longer period of time, you can apply for a Japanese driver’s license with the Driver’s License Center that has jurisdiction in your area of residence. Carefully read the explanation of this procedure on the JAF homepage. (http://www.jaf.or.jp/e/switch.htm )