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●Driver’s License

When you wish to drive a car or ride a motorbike in Japan, you must carry either a Japanese driver’s license or an international license with you. It is possible to convert a license issued in your country to a Japanese driver’s license, but, in that case, you must be checked your knowledge and skill of driving and take the qualifying examination at the Driver’s License Test Center.

If you drive without a license, you are severely penalized. And if you should cause an accident, the punishment will be much heavier.

○Procedure for License Conversion

Place: Fukuoka Driver’s License Test Center
7-1 Hanahata 4-chome, Minami-ku, Fukuoka

Reception: 13:00-13:30 on weekdays (except the year-end and New Year’s day)

1. Your license must be valid.
2. You should have stayed in the country where the license was issued for
at least 3 months since you were licensed.
* You must take a check on your driving knowledge and technique.

Necessary Documents:
1. Valid foreign driver’s license
2. Certified Japanese translation of the license:
Notarized translation signed by an embassy or other diplomatic offices
Correct translation of both sides of the license
Translation service of Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) is available.
(JAF tel. 841-7731 9:00 – 17:30 *Please call in advance.)
3. Passport
4. Alien Registration Certificate
5. 2 Photos (3cm × 2.4cm)
6. Fee : varies according to license type

○For those who wish to drive in Japan

In Japan cars must keep to the left side of the road. If you are used to driving on the right side, pay careful attention, especially at intersections.
Japanese traffic laws and regulations are very strict and the violation of them certainly imposes a penalty on you. Before beginning to drive, you should fix the traffic rules and regulations firmly in your mind.

The compensation that must be paid when one causes an accident in Japan is absolutely high, and in the case of a fatal accident (even a motorbike accident), compensation exceeding ¥80,000,000 is not uncommon But there is a limit to the amount of compensation provided by the Automobile Liability Insurance (Mandatory Insurance) [Jibaiseki (Kyosei) Hoken], and it will not cover the entire expenses. Moreover, it does not cover your own medical expenses or the material damages of the other party. Consequently, if you are going to drive, you had better join not only the Mandatory Liability Insurance but also the Voluntary Insurance [Nin’i Hoken] that provides adequate compensation payment.

If you should be at fault in causing an accident, report to the police immediately and contact your
academic advisor and the Student Section in your department or the Intl Student Exchange
Div. If someone are injured, call an ambulance and take other appropriate actions.