Japan Automobile federation

Global Support

  • For foreign nationals who wish to switch 
their foreign driverís license to a Japanese license
  • For foreign nationals with a driverís license issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium or Taiwan
Switching your foreign driverís license to a Japanese license

Information on the Japanese Translation attached to Driverís Licenses issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Slovenia, Monaco and Taiwan

For foreign nationals with a driverís license issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium or Taiwan

Driverís license issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Slovenia, Monaco and Taiwan + a Japanese Translation = Driving is allowed in Japan
  • The Road Traffic Law stipulates that individuals with driverís licenses issued in the above countries/regions are allowed to drive vehicles complying with Japanese laws and regulations only when they carry both the original license issued in the above countries/regions and a Japanese Translation of such issued by JAF, or foreign embassies or consular offices in Japan.
  • Those who drive vehicles in Japan must carry the Japanese Translation of the license with them at all times, together with the original driverís license issued in the countries/region above.
  • The effective period of the Japanese Translation is one year from the date of entry into Japan. (For re-entry after leaving Japan, the effective period is one year from the date of re-entry.) However, conditions vary for those who registers as a resident or as a foreign national in Japan, leaves and reenters this country within three months. For details, please contact the Driverís License Center that has jurisdiction over the region where you reside.
  • When you are driving, police may request that you present your passport to check the days elapsed from your entry into Japan.
  • You are not allowed to drive vehicles in Japan beyond one year from your entry into Japan, even if the Japanese Translation is attached to your license.
  • Those who intend to stay in Japan for a long period and drive are recommended to obtain a Japanese driverís license. You can apply to switch your current license to a Japanese driverís license if you have the aforementioned Japanese Translation. For details, please contact the Driverís License Center that has jurisdiction over the region where you reside.

Japanese Translation of Foreign Driverís Licenses

  • JAF and all its branch offices around the country are designated by the National Public Safety Commission to provide the Japanese translation attached to driverís licenses issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium , Slovenia, Monaco and Taiwan. The processing time varies depending on the JAF Branch Office. For details, please contact your nearest Branch Office in advance.
  • The term of validity of the translation is the same as that of the driverís license, which means the translation can be used until the expiration date of your driverís license. However, you need to obtain the translation again upon renewal of your driverís license or when an item indicated on the license is changed, for instance by change of address.
  • Please note that JAF is not able to issue the translation of a foreign driverís license in certain cases. Some embassies and consulates in Japan provide the translation, so please inquire the respective institution.

Application for Japanese Translation

Japanese translation of a foreign driverís license can be obtained at JAF Branch Offices issuing Japanese translation of driver's license located across the country.

Documents required
  1. Application form for Japanese Translation of foreign driverís license:
    The form can be downloaded from this page, and the application form is also available at the JAF counter If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact your nearest JAF office by telephone to obtain the form via fax or other method.
  2. A driverís license (original license, in principle):
    Your license will be returned as soon as we copy it. Photocopies are accepted if you are not able to bring the original license. In that case, please prepare clear photocopies of the front and back of the license, preferably in color, that allow the inscriptions on the license to be read clearly.
Issuance fee
3,000 yen per license
*A fee of 3,000 yen is also charged for re-issuance when the license is lost or for other reason.
Days required for issuance
The Japanese Translation will be issued on the same day up to two weeks. The processing time varies depending on the issuing country, condition, content of the driverís license, and JAF Branch Office. For details, please contact your nearest Branch Office in advance.
Applications via mail are also accepted when the applicant cannot visit the office
  • Send the application form and a photocopy of your license (preferably clear photocopies of the front and back of the license in color) with the issuance fee (3,000 yen) plus return postage (392 yen) by registered postal cash envelope.
    *Inquire with a branch office in advance about the return postage if requesting translation of more than one license.
  • Applications are only accepted from Japanese addresses, and the return address must be within Japan and match the address submitted on the application.
  • It takes approximately one to two weeks from application to delivery.
* Please note that JAF does not accept the application (including the transmission of issuance fee) from overseas and that JAF does not send the Japanese Translation to overseas.

Other important notice
Please note that JAF does not offer translation services for International Driving Permits. The effective period of the Japanese Translation is the same as that of the original driverís license. When the license is renewed or its inscriptions are changed, such as an address change, a new Japanese Translation must be obtained.

Privacy Policy

JAF uses the personal information obtained through its translation issuance operation only for the purposes of performing the operation explained above properly, and it never discloses such information to third parties unless the person in question has given his/her explicit consent. Please note, however, that there are cases where JAF entrusts the required personal information to an organization to which JAF consigns issuance of the translation. Moreover, if an official body such as a court or the police requests JAF to disclose or provide such personal information by law or regulation, we may provide the information to the relevant body.

Japanese /English /French /Chinese(Taiwanese)
* The application forms are written in the respective language and Japanese.
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