International Driving Permits
Foreign visitors can rent a vehicle and drive in Japan with an International Driving Permit (IDP) for a maximum of one year from the date of entry into Japan even if the IDP is valid for a longer period.
It is not possible to extend this period (1 year) unless you return to your home country for at least three consecutive months in between.
International Driving Permits for foreign visitors are not issued in Japan and must be obtained in your home country in advance. They are usually issued through your country's national automobile association for a small fee.
Japan recognizes International Driving Permits based on the 1949 Geneva Road Convention only, which are issued by a large number of countries. See table below.
Please Note !
Unfortunately some countries have signed the 1968 Vienna Road Convention also, and they have stopped issuing IDPs based on the Geneva Road Convention. Drivers from these countries cannot legally drive in Japan. Please check in your country if you can obtain an IDP based on the 1949 Geneva Convention.
Belgium, France, Germany, Monaco, Slovenia, Switzerland and Taiwan do not issue permits based on the 1949 Geneva Convention, but instead have a separate agreement that allows drivers from these countries to drive in Japan for up to one year with an official Japanese translation of their driver's license. We provide a driving licence translation service (please see details below).
A translation can be obtained from your country embassy or consulate in Japan or from the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF).
People from other countries whose International Driving Permits are not recognized by Japan and people who stay in Japan for more than one year, must obtain a Japanese driver's license.
Parties to the 1949 Geneva Convention
|ASIA||Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore,
Sri Lanka, South Korea, Thailand, The Philippines
|AFRICA||Algeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire,
Congo, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Lesotho, Morocco, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe
|AMERICAS||Argentina, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela,
The Dominican Republic, The United States of America,
|EUROPE||Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyz Republic, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia and the former Republics, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, The Republic of Georgia, United Kingdom, Vatican|
|MIDDLE EAST||Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates|
|OCEANIA||Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea|
|OTHERS||Hong Kong, Macau|