How to get driving license in japan

Sometime it’s difficult to enjoy the place outside Tokyo, or prefecture where public transport has less frequency and you still want to visit the place with family. I consider rental cars are the best option.Now question goes to how to rent a car? Here you go: you must have Japanese driving license or Indian international license. If you come with Indian international license it will expire within one year of your stay so what next? Now you have option you can make driving license by converting Indian driving license to Japanese driving license with certain additional workout.To make driving license from your existing Indian driving license you should fulfill following condition.

1- You should have 4 wheeler driving license valid till date.

2- You must have at least 3 consecutive months stay(anytime) in India after making license and before applying in japan.

Special Note: if you don’t qualify for the above process, then you’ll need to go through the same steps that a Japanese person must take to get a driver’s license.  It’s a very long, tedious and expensive process.

Now next step how to apply in driving license center

I was living in Matsuyama Ehime prefecture the time i changed my license.

First Day you have to translate your indian license to Japanese using the translation service of Japan Automobile Federation (JAF). Go with license and residence card to JAF office they will take some fee on that time it was 3000¥  and return next day.

Second Day you have to call driving license center and make appointment for face to face meeting. Go with residence card , JAF translated licence , Indian license and passport. Once you got appointment date they will take first oral interview with you.

They will ask mainly from how many years you are driving and what kind of driving in India like right hand or left hand. They might ask about pedestrian rules and some other normal questions.

Once they are satisfied with oral interview they will ask you to take written test and here you have to do it alone and it’s in english. They will give you a question sheet with 10 question and you have to finish all with 10 -15 minutes, they  will ask you at the end that if you want additional 5-10 minutes. Question are normal question not so tough.

Here you have to wait for 15 -30 minutes for result, If they say you are qualified then you will be asked, that when you want to come for driving test. Because you don’t know driving rules and course points. So you can say that you will book driving test date later.

Here your hard work start, you can go driving license center for practice regularly to remember checkpoint and full path for test. In starting you have to start with a teacher who will tell you rules and checkpoints that are necessary to pass the driving test.In driving checkpoint list english conversation is ok.

Fee for practice is 700¥ self and 400¥ teacher total 1100¥ per 20 minutes.teacher will provide you checkpoint list printout of the route.once you remember all checkpoint and teacher is satisfied with your progress you can practice alone with just 700¥. I used to practice continue 40 Minutes 2-3 days in a week and was able to take driving test after practicing 1 and ½ Month and cleared in first attempt.Total cost for getting license for me was 4,0000¥ – 6,0000¥ from first to last day. (vary person to person)

Third day Once you give the driving test you have to wait for 30 minutes for result. If result is ok they will click your photo and start process for giving licence to you. You will get blue color licence with automatic car and they will take a 20-30 minutes class to teach transport system in japan and point deduction system if you got in accident and breaking traffic rules.

Special Note:

  1. Special note for oral interview- if you are not comfortable in japanese please go with some  friend who can understand a bit japanese
  2. Drink and drive, Over-speeding and accident in railway crossing are very serious issues and cause jail with big fine in japan above your expectation.


“Good luck to get license and have a safe drive”

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