Licenses from certain countries require both a written and a driving test in order to get a Japanese driver’s license. If your license is from one of these countries you will be able to obtain your license only after filing paperwork, taking a short written test, and passing a driving test on an enclosed course at a testing center.
The written test for Japanese driver’s license conversion is much simpler than the full test given to individuals getting their first license. The test itself is available in English, however, most likely the instruction session just prior to the test will be in Japanese. The main point of the Japanese explanation to understand is that in Japan X means false and O means true, and that when you have completed the test you may leave the room.
The written test consists of 10 True or False questions. To pass, a minimum score of 7 out of 10 is required. The method of testing differs by location, for example if you take your test in Yokohama, it will be a written, paper based exam given in a classroom. If you take your test in Tokyo or Nagoya it will be computer-based. Both styles offer the same ten question format, but the Yokohama exam is reportedly the most difficult.
Receiving the results of your exam may take between 1 to 2 hours. You will only be told your generic result, not which answers were incorrect. If you pass you will be scheduled for your driving test. If you fail you will need to return on another day to take the test again.
Our free web-based services are designed to help you pass the written test, and include our Written Exam Practice Tests, which utilize actual questions from previous exams given throughout Japan, and a useful guide to Japanese traffic signs and their meanings. The best preparation for the written exam is to read a copy of the Rules of the Road (available in English from the Japan Automobile Federation); however, taking and passing our Written Exam Practice Tests are a good way to review the basics.