Driving in Japan – License Requirements for visitors

Driving License Australia Japan Passport
Japanese Driving License,  Australian Driving License and  Passport.

As at the date of this post, requirements for visitors (tourists) for driving in Japan (who do not have a Japanese issued driving license).

1. – Valid driving license

2.1 – If the driving license is issued by nation that has signed the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, an International Driving Permit (IDP) from the issuing nation (list of nations recognizing the IDP can be found here).
2.2 – Driving license issued by Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany, France, Belgium, Monaco or Taiwan, a translation of the driving license.
This translation is an official translation made consular institutions in the issuing country or by institutions certified by the National Public Safety Commission (Japan) .


  • Despite IDPs being valid for three years from the date of issue, Japan only allows driving with IDP for one year from the date of entering Japan. Driving with IDP after one year is only allowed after an absence from Japan of greater than 3 months.
  • IDP must be carried with original driving license while driving in Japan.

Information booklet (PDF file) for foreign nationals for driving in Japan issued by the Japanese National Police (NPA).

Official information from Japan NPA (Japanese):


By J

Australian born. Japan based. Dealing in international trade, motorsports management, athletic performance coaching and consulting.

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