Here in this blog, I am going to share the procedures for getting a driver’s license in Japan These are all based on what I had experienced. I graduated from a driving school, so these procedures may be different from those who are taking the actual driving exam directly.
To get a driving license you must be 18 years of age during the examination day.
Those who have their license denied, on hold, or revoked won’t be able to proceed if they are still on probation. Also, those who have a temporarily suspended license due to violations can’ proceed.
First Step. Go to the license center in your prefecture and bring all the requirements. Check the page of your licensing center for the list of the requirements and testing hours.
My license center was in Makuhari and I went there before 7 am. The gates are still closed at that time and I was the first there. But when the gates are open, people started to come and suddenly became crowded. I was glad I came early.
The requirements I brought are; juuminhyo or residence certificate with my honseki(domicile) stated and my “my number” is not shown, picture (30mm x 24mm) taken within 6 months, my gentsuki(moped) driving license, and karimen(student’s driving license). If you are a foreigner, a residence card is needed.
Second Step. When you go inside, go to the window where you are going to receive your form. I skipped that window since the school where I graduated already provided the forms.
Third Step. Go to the ticket counter to buy the tickets for the exam. You can also buy the tickets for the processing of the license in advance, so you won’t have to go back to the ticket counter in case you pass. And then, fill up your form. Attach the tickets for the exam and your picture.
Fourth Step. Go to the examinees’ line and prepare your requirements. The staff will look at your requirements while you are all in line. They will give you a stub that you must keep for a while. Take care not to lose it.
Fifth Step. Proceed to the test room. You will still have time to review, so use your time wisely. The staff will announce when the test will begin. They will also tell how to fill up your test sheets. Listen carefully. Relax and double-check your answers if you still have time.
The total points of the examination are 100 points, and you need to have at least 90 points to pass.
Sixth Step. Go to the lobby and wait for the results. In the lobby there are monitors. If your number is there, you passed. If you failed, follow the procedures that the staff will tell.
After Passing the Exam
Seventh Step. Your number will be called and you have to return the stub that was given to you before the exams. Fall in line for the aptitude test.
Eight Step. Aptitude Test. They will test your eyesight. There is also a color test. Wear your glasses or contact lenses when needed.
Ninth Step. Paste the tickets for processing and pass the forms. They will give you a ticket where your pin is stated and a stub that you will give later on.
Tenth Step. Go back to the second floor and go to the receiving room. Wait until the licenses are ready.
Eleventh Step. Keep the ticket with your pin and take care of it. Give the stub to the person in charge in exchange for your driving license. Also, surrender your karimen and other driving licenses if you have any.
Twelfth Step. Check your license in the machine with your pin.
These are all the procedures for getting a driver’s license in Japan based on what I had experienced.
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