Avoiding Troubles Driving license and Insurance | JPSS, the information site of studying in Japan

Avoiding Troubles Driving license and Insurance | JPSS, the information site ...

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Living Guide for International Students in Japan

Avoiding Troubles

Driving license and Insurance

You can drive in Japan if convert your driver's license from your home country to a license that can be used in Japan. You must have lived in the country where the license was received for at least 3 months after receiving the license, and the license must be valid at the time of converting to a Japan license. You must prepare your foreign driver's license, a Japanese translation of that license, your passport, your residence card, a photograph suitable for IDs, and the processing fee (4,450 yen for automobiles, 3,750 to 6,650 yen for motorbikes and motorcycles). License translations can be prepared by your country's embassy or at JAF (Japan Automobile Federation) offices throughout Japan. Bring these documents to your prefecture's Driver's License Center to complete the procedures.
Once you are licensed to drive in Japan, be sure to confirm if you are enrolled in optional insurance ("nin-i hoken") in addition to the compulsory insurance ("jibai-seki hoken"). You must not drive in Japan unless you are enrolled in both types of insurance. The insurance of cars borrowed from friends will often only cover accidents when that friend or their family members are driving. This means the insurance will not cover your expenses if you get in an accident while driving the borrowed car. Furthermore, when purchasing a car, you must enroll in optional insurance in addition to the compulsory insurance, which must both be renewed every year. Be sure to include cost of insurance into the total price when considering purchasing a vehicle.

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