Must check before visiting Japan! Driving in Japan

Must check before visiting Japan. Driving in Japan

Important Notice

If you are holding a local driver’s licence and International Driving Permit that are issued in Philippines but your nationality is not Filipino, we shall require you to present your Philippines Exit Permit upon car collection. Should your local driver’s licence or International Driving Permit is obtained via illegal means on the website or other sources, we reserve the right not to rent the vehicle to you.

philippines

To drive in Japan, you must possess any of the following documents:

Without the required documents, you will not be able to drive in Japan as you will be treated as “driving without license” and will be penalized accordingly if you are caught driving w⁄o valid documents.
Should you wish to rent a vehicle with OTS Rent-a-car, your documents must be all VALID and ORIGINAL (Photocopy and expired documents will not be recognized).

1.Driving with International Driving Permit

The following three documents must be presented:

① International Driving Permit

Only international driving permit based on the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic of September 19, 1949 is accepted.
※Your international driving permit is valid 1 year from the date of issue. Make sure that your car rental date is within your permit’s validity period.

Check on how to verify if your permit is based on the Geneva Convention>>

② Local Driver’s License

①Must be issued in a country signatory to Geneva Convention.
※Not applicable for license issued in selected countries such as France, Belgium etc.,
see 「Driving With Foreign Driver’s License & Official Japanese Translation」

③ Passport

Regardless of your nationality.

International Driving Permit

Points to check to ensure that your permit is based on the Geneva Convention

[ Front Cover ]
①  Issuing country is described on the front cover.
Please check the below chart if your country is listed as one of the country signatory to the Geneva Convention.
② The text “Convention on Road Traffic of September 19,1949” is stated.
※Permits based on other conventions are not valid in Japan. Likewise, permits based on the Geneva convention together with other conventions. treaties are not valid.
③ Permit’s validity period is one year from the date of issue.
Car rental date must be within the permit’s validity period.
International Driving Permit Front Cover
[ Photo Page ]
  • ① Personal information such as name, address, place and date of birth are written on the photo page.
  • ② There are 5 license classes under the 1949 convention classified as A,B,C,D and E. A stamp is placed on the category you are allowed to drive.
  • ③ I.D. picture of the driver is pasted.
Photo Page
[ List of countries signatory to Geneva Convention of 1949 ]
Asia Philippines Africa Rwanda Europe Albania
India Senegal Luxembourg
Thailand Sierra Leone Monaco
Bangladesh Togo San Marino
Malaysia Tunisia Vatican
Singapore Uganda Kyrgyz Republic
Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Georgia
Cambodia Namibia Czech Republic
Laos Burkina Faso Slovak Republic
Republic of Korea Nigeria Slovenia
America United States
Middle East Turkey Europe U.K. Canada
Israel Greece Peru
Syria Norway Cuba
Cyprus Denmark Ecuador
Jordan Sweden Argentine
Lebanon Netherlands Chile
United Arab Emirates France Paraguay
Africa South Africa Italy Barbados
Central African Republic Russia Commonwealth of Dominica
Egypt Serbia Guatemala
Ghana Montenegro Haiti
Algeria Spain Trinidad and Tobago
Morocco Finland Venezuela
Botswana Portugal Jamaica
Republic of the Congo Austria Pacific New Zealand
The Democratic Republic of the Congo Belgium Fiji
Benin Poland Australia
Cote d’Ivoire Ireland Papua New Guinea
Lesotho Hungary Special Administrative Region Hong Kong
Madagascar Romania Macao
Malawi Iceland
Mali Bulgaria
Niger Malta
Asia
Philippines
India
Thailand
Bangladesh
Malaysia
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Cambodia
Laos
Republic of Korea
Middle East
Turkey
Israel
Syria
Cyprus
Jordan
Lebanon
United Arab Emirates
Africa
South Africa
Central African Republic
Egypt
Ghana
Algeria
Morocco
Botswana
Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Benin
Cote d’Ivoire
Lesotho
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Niger
Rwanda
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Zimbabwe
Namibia
Burkina Faso
Nigeria
Europe
U.K.
Greece
Norway
Denmark
Sweden
Netherlands
France
Italy
Russia
Serbia
Montenegro
Spain
Finland
Portugal
Austria
Belgium
Poland
Ireland
Hungary
Romania
Iceland
Bulgaria
Malta
Albania
Luxembourg
Monaco
San Marino
Vatican
Kyrgyz Republic
Georgia
Czech Republic
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
America
United States
Canada
Peru
Cuba
Ecuador
Argentine
Chile
Paraguay
Barbados
Commonwealth of Dominica
Guatemala
Haiti
Trinidad and Tobago
Venezuela
Jamaica
Pacific
New Zealand
Fiji
Australia
Papua New Guinea
Special Administrative Region
Hong Kong
Macao
  • [ ! ] International driving permits that are NOT valid in Japan.
  • ・International driving permits based on Vienna Convention (1968), Paris Convention (1926), Washington Convention (1943) and others that come with different format (regardless if it’s issued in a country signatory to the Geneva Convention) are NOT valid.
  • ・International driving permits issued by unauthorized agencies or private entities (ex. IDL, IAA, KIDA, IDD, IADA, ITDL, etc.)
  • ・International driving permits issued in a country NOT party to the Geneva Convention (even those permits that resembles/ have the same format with permit based on the Geneva convention).
  • ・Issuing country of local driver’s license and international driving permit are different regardless if it was issued in a country signatory to the Geneva convention (ex. local driver’s license issued in America and international driving permit issued in Canada).

Vehicles you are permitted to drive

Types of vehicle you are allowed to drive differs depending on your license.

  • B : Normal cars: Up to 8-seater cars
  • C : Large goods vehicle: weight of 3.5 tons and above
  • D : Large passenger cars: 10-seater or more (WD class)
Driving with your international driving permit

On the photo page shown in the image, there are 5 license classes classified as A, B, C, D and E. For passengers renting a 10-seater car (WD class), make sure that a stamp is placed on the class D otherwise, you will be treated as “driving without license” if you are caught driving a 10-seater car despite of not having a D stamp on your permit.
※With license as shown in the sample image, 10-seater car cannot be driven as there is a stamp only on the class B.

License classes

2.Driving With Foreign Driver’s License & Official Japanese Translation

The following three documents must be presented:

① Foreign Driver’s License of Respective Countries

Driver’s license issued in Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Monaco, Estonia.

Foreign Driver's License

② Official Japanese Translation

①Only translations obtained from the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) or from the respective countries’ embassies/consulates in Japan are acknowledged as official. Official translation`s expiry date is the same with your local driver’s license, make sure that your car rental date is within the validity period of your license. Please note that regardless of your license validity period, you are only allowed to drive 1 year starting from the date you landed in Japan.

※If there are any changes on the driver’s license. (e.g. address, etc.), please reapply for a new Japanese translation document.

※For Taiwan driver’s license, only Japanese translation issued by East Asia Relations Commission or Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) are acknowledged.

East Asia Relations Commission
Japan Automobile Federation

※Click image to enlarge.

③ Passport

Regardless of your nationality.

Local Driver`s License
  • [ ! ] Attention to customers who possess a Taiwan local driver’s license
  • If your license has expiry date, make sure that your car rental date is within its validity period.
  • Taiwan local driver’s licenses do not have expiration however, if your license indicates an expiry date and already due, make sure to renew your license (into one with no expiration) first before having it translated.
  • Having it translated. Expired license is invalid and will not be accepted.

Japanese Translation of Driver’s License

You can have your driver’s license translated at Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) or your country’s embassy or consulates in Japan.
※For Taiwan driver’s license, Japanese translation either from East Asia Relations Commission or Japan Automobile Federation is required.
Click JAF Global Support page for JAF translation service.

Vehicles you are permitted to drive

Driving with your foreign driver’s license with official Japanese translation.

If you intend to drive a 10-seater car (WD class), make sure that the following applies to your driver’s license.
※If your driver`s license doesn’t apply with license class for large passenger car, you are not allowed to drive a 10-seater car as it is treated as “driving without license”.

  Up to 8-seater (WB class, etc) 10-seater (WD class)
Respective countries other than Taiwan B  C D  D1
Taiwan 普通小型車  小客車  小客貨兩用車 大客車  大客貨兩用車

3.Driving With License Issued in Japan (Japanese Driver’s License)

Only your Japanese driver’s license is required.

Driver's license

Vehicles you are permitted to drive.

Using your Japanese Driver’s License

You are allowed to drive a 10-seater vehicle (WD class)

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