Driving in Japan

About International Driving Permits

To drive a car in Japan, you must either have a Japanese driving license or an international driving permit with your home country driving license.

An international driving permit is a special license for tourists, authorized by the U.N. based on the Geneva Convention of 1949, which allows drivers who already have a driving license issued in his or her home country, to drive vehicles abroad without further tests or applications. This international driving permit must be obtained in your home country before you come to Japan. For more informations on how to obtain an international driving permit, contact the authorized distributors of international driving permits in your home country ( your local Automobile Association office ).

As for drivers with driving licenses issued in France, Germany and Switzerland, an official Japanese translation of your home country driving license is necessary instead, for the international driving permits issued in these countries are based on different convention, and are not valid in Japan. To know more about how to obtain an official translation, contact the respective embassies or consulates in Japan.

Incidentally, the minimum age for driving in Japan is 18.