Group 2: Tests Required

Most overseas license holders can obtain a Japanese driver’s license with simplified testing procedures, involving submitting certain documents to determine your eligibility.  Once the application is approved there will be a vision and color-recognition check, followed by exams to test your knowledge of the driving rules and driving techniques.

You are a member of “Group 2” if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have a valid overseas driver’s license
  • Have lived in the country that issued the license for at least three months after the license was issued
  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Are registered as a foreign resident at your local city, town, or ward office

Required Documents

  • Valid foreign driver’s license – and previous licenses, if you have them; if the license does not show the date of issue, or if the license was recently renewed, it may be necessary to submit additional documentation.
  • Japanese translation of foreign license – available from the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) or (sometimes) at the embassy or consulate of the issuing country in Japan.
  • Residence (Zairyu) Card – must have an up-to-date address.
  • Resident Certificate (Juminhyo) – issued within the past six months – must show Nationality.
  • Passport – and any expired passports; the passport is required to prove that you were in the country that issued your license for at least 90 days (can be non-consecutive) after you obtained your license.
  • Photo – one photo, 3 x 2.4 cm; must be taken within the last six months.
  • Previous Japanese license (if you have one).

Examination Process

After passing the driving test your license will be issued on the same day; first, your picture will be taken, then you will pay the fee and receive your license.

Testing Resources

Written Test Guide and Practice

Guide to Japanese Road signs

Driving Test Guide