For a trip to Japan or short stay in Japan, it is possible to use your international driving license issued in your home-country for driving in Japan. However, when you live in Japan for long-term and you want to drive, it is needed to get a Japanese driving license.
If you already have a driving license from your home-country and you would like to convert it, there are two possibilities depending on the country you are from:
- Either you can convert your home-country’s driving license to a Japanese one. No need for written test or practical exam. Just a vision test is required. This is only for people from a limited amount of countries.
- Or you need to do a written test and practical exam in addition to the vision test. This is usually not so easy as the test requirements are more strict than your homecountry.
See the more details for converting your driving license at the following website of the relocation support company Morethanrelo.com.
As most cars in Japan are automatic, the standard driving license means you can only drive automatic cars.
The Japanese driving license has a color system. Once you obtain the driving license for the first time, it is a green color (beginner). It will become blue color after 2-3 years. Then, if you do not make another violation until renewal, it will become a gold color. In case you would have made a violation, it will stay blue.
There are several marks that Japanese people use when driving: