GROUP 1: NO TESTS REQUIRED


If you meet certain requirements you may be eligible to obtain a Japanese driver’s license with simplified testing procedures involving submitting certain documents (listed below) to determine your eligibility. Once they are approved there will be a vision and color recognition check.

Eligibility Requirements for Group 1


  • Have a valid overseas driver’s license from any of the following countries/places:

    Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, or USA (only Maryland [from Jan 2016] or Washington [from Jan 2017] )

  • Have lived in the country that issued the license for at least three months after the license was issued
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Hold a valid visa to stay in Japan
  • Be registered as a foreign resident at your local city, town, or ward office

Examination Process


  • Inspection of documents
  • Eye test

After your documents are approved, and you have passed the eye test your license will be issued to you.

The process for converting a foreign drivers license to a Japanese drivers license.
 


Which Group am I in?

For Group 1 conversion is a shorter bureaucratic paperwork process that takes a couple of weeks and one to two visits to the License Center.

You are a member of "Group 1" if you meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Your license was issued in one of these countries: 

    Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, or USA (only Maryland [from Jan 2016] or Washington [from Jan 2017] )

  2. The license is valid (not expired, etc.)
  3. You can prove residency in that country for a minimum of 3 months after license issuance
  4. Hold a valid visa to stay in Japan
  5. Be registered as a foreign resident at your local city, town, or ward office

If you are a member of Group 1, you are not required to take either the written test or road test to convert your license.

If you are in group 1, you can find out whats next by clicking here.

Group 2 includes license holders who require both a written and a driving test in order to get a Japanese driver’s license.

Valid foreign license holders from countries not listed in Group 1 who can prove a minimum of 3 months residency in the country that issued the license, after it was issued, may be allowed to convert their license only after filing paperwork, taking a short written test, and passing a driving test on an enclosed course at the Testing Center in your prefecture.

If you are a member of Group 2, you are required to take the written and road test to convert your license.

If you are in group 2, you can find out whats next by clicking here.