Q: I want to change a Chinese driver's license into a Japanese driver's license. What should I do?

There is a requirement stating that you have to have had the driver’s license at least three (3) months before coming to Japan.

First of all, go to JAF (Japan Automobile Federation) and translate your home country’s driver’s license (for a fee), then book an application date for the document at the Shimane Driver’s License Center by phone.

The documents which are necessary for application:

  1. Application form for driver’s license (You can get this at the driver’s license center)
  2. Foreign driver’s license
  3. Japanese translation of foreign driver’s license
  4. Passport
  5. Foreign resident card

Hand them in and take an interview (you will be asked how you got your driver’s license in your home country, etc)
* An interpreter is available if you need one.

The results of the examination will be announced at a later date by the License Center. If you pass the interview, you take a written test (10 questions in available in Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, English, and Korean). Be aware you cannot have an interpreter during the test.

When you make a reservation, please confirm the details, such as the necessary documents or required fees.
(Shimane Driving License Center TEL: 0852-36-7400, Western Driving License Center TEL: 0855-23-7900)
(JAF: Shimane branch TEL: 0852-25-1123, JAF General Information Service Center TEL: 0570-00-2811)

Q: I do not have a driving license from my country. How can I get one in Japan?

If you do not have a license from your home country, like a Japanese person, you must attend a Driving School and then take a practical exam at the Driver’s License Center (Shimane Driving License Center TEL: 0852-36-7400, Western Driving License Center TEL: 0855-23-7900). You can choose the language to take the exam among Japanese, English, Chinese and Portuguese.

Q: I want to buy a used kei car. What kind of procedure is necessary?

Required documents:

  1. Application form
  2. Statement of payment
  3. Certification of transfer
  4. Certificate of a seal (inkan)
  5. Certification of parking space
  6. Automobile inspection certificate
  7. Declaration card of car tax
  8. Declaration of acquired car tax
  9. Compulsory automobile liability insurance

* You do not have to produce proof of a garage for a kei car before registering.