Getting garage certificate

In the vast majority of Japan, a garage certificate (shakoshoumei) is a mandatory requirement when buying a car. The garage certificate is proof that you have a space to park your car somewhere. Whether you are renting a parking spot or have a space yourself at your house, it is likely that you need to submit this parking spot evidence to the place you are buying the car at or at the local transport office when you are transferring the car ownership. On this page there will be explained on how to obtain the garage certificate.

Step 0: Confirm necessity of garage certificate

In less populated area’s in Japan there might be no need for a garage certificate. Especially for kei cars this exemption is quite common. Confirm with your local police station whether it is required or not. You can normally also find these details on the internet (in Japanese).

Step 1: Obtain details of your car

For the application of garage certificate, you need to have some details of your future car. Necessary data is vehicle maker name, vehicle model code, vehicle VIN number and vehicle dimensions (length, width, height, all in centimeter). The most simple is to obtain a copy of the vehicle’s inspection certificate (自動車車検証) as some police station might request to see it and you can also use to ensure you fill in the garage certificate application form correctly.

Step 2: Obtain confirmation for usage of (rental) parking spot

If you have a parking spot on your personal property, you can skip this step. But in case you are renting a parking spot, you need to go to the agency that manages the parking spot. Request a 保管場所使用承諾証明書 which shows the address of the parking spot and there is also a stamp from the agency to prove authenticity. Normally it comes together with a map in which the location of the parking spot is drawn. This document can cost somewhere between to 3000 to 10000 Yen. The leadtime for this might be a few days as the agency needs to prepare this.

Step 3: Make application at your local police station

Now we can go to the local police station for the actual application at your local police station. Arriving there, the application form for a garage certificate is usually readily available. Two versions exist, one for a kei car and one for a normal car. Select the type that is applicable for you. On this application form you need to fill the car, parking spot, user and applicant details as per image below.

Attached to these forms are the forms for confirmation for usage of parking spot (for rental parking spot) and the self declaration for parking spot (for owned parking spot). If you are renting your parking spot, you can use the completed document explained in Step 2 so no need to refill it. For a personally owned parking spot, you need to fill the below document.

Then the last document is the map of the parking spot. For renters, your agency should provide you a drawn map as explained in Step 2. For privately owned parking spot, you need to draw it yourself. See below example.

The right bottom corner is only needed if you currently are using the parking spot with a different car. From top bottom, vehicle number plate details, vehicle VIN number, vehicle maker and color. Upon completion of the application, the new car will replace the old car as registered car for the parking spot so take care for this.

Once you have the application form, confirmation for usage of parking spot (or self declaration) and the parking spot map completed, go to the window to which the application should be submitted and ask them whether you filled it correctly. If so, you should buy some stamps, stick them to the paper and then submit the forms to the window. The amount of stamps for a kei car might be less than for a normal car.

Step 4: Receiving the garage certificate

For kei car applications, you might receive the garage certificate a few minutes later. But for a normal car, the police needs to go and check your actual parking spot condition whether it matches as submitted in the application. Therefore you will receive a ticket which you can use a few days later to pick the garage certificate, in case no troubles were found.