License Requirement to Ride in Japan
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If your driving license was issued in a country not listed above, you cannot drive in Japan. Also please check notes regarding foreign driving licenses at the end. 1. Monaco, France and Belgium: Please see especial note at the bottom of this page.
2. Italy, Poland and Russia: Please see especial note at the bottom of this page.
3. United States: Please see especial note at the bottom of this page.
The documentation needed depends on the country:
GROUP 1
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Home Country Driving License + International Driving Permit
(based on the Geneva International Road Traffic Convention of 19th September 1949)
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※If in the International Driving Permit has
"1968" written in the front cover, it is NOT valid in Japan:

CANNOT Drive in Japan

It also has to be stamped on "A" for motorcycles, and the 1 year validity has to be in force:
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If your country signed several International Road Traffic conventions (Paris, Geneva, Vienna), please make sure that you ask the traffic authorities to issue the International Driving Permit based on the 19th September 1949 Geneva Convention because this is the only one valid in Japan.

Full list of countries Listed at the top of this page.
Important notes regarding the International Driving Permit (IDP):If your driving license was issued in a country not listed above, you cannot drive in Japan. Also please check notes regarding foreign driving licenses at the end.

1. It has to be issued in the same country than the driver license.
2. It has to be based on the 1949 Geneva Convention. Only these are recognized by Japan. It has to say "1949 Geneva Convention" on the front cover.
3. Check that the IDP is not expired.
4. Check that the IDP is correctly stamped for motorcycle use.
5. Check that the IDP is issued by the correct licensing authority.
6. The IDP has no validity on its own. It has to be accompanied at all times by a valid driving license.
GROUP 2
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Home Country Driving License + Official Japanese translation of the Driving license
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If your license is issued in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Slovenia or Taiwan you will need to obtain an official Japanese translation of your home country driving license. This can be obtained at the Japanese Automobile Federation or official authorities like Embassies and consulates.
GROUP 3
Japanese Driving License
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If your license is issued in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Slovenia or Taiwan you will need to obtain an official Japanese translation of your home country driving license. This can be obtained at the Japanese Automobile Federation or official authorities like Embassies and consulates.
If you have a Japanese driving license, you will not need any additional document.

Notes regarding foreign driving licenses:
1. Please check the expiration date, make sure it is still valid.
2. Does your motorcycle license have any restrictions like engine displacement, transmission type, etc.? If so, the same restrictions will apply in Japan.
3. You must have spent 3 months in the country where your motorcycle license was issued after obtaining the license. This is a requirement by Japanese law.

Special notes:

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License holders from Belgium, France and Monaco have two options:
Obtain a 1949 Geneva Convention based IDP, as the "Group 1" countries mentioned above.
Obtain an official Japanese translation of their driving license, as the "Group 2" countries mentioned above.

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Italy, Poland and Russia signed both the:
– 1949 Geneva Convention on road traffic.
– 1968 Vienna Convention on road traffic.

Therefore authorities of these countries have rights to issue IDPs based on both conventions, but they usually issue IDPs based on the 1968 Vienna Convention. However Japan only recognizes IDPs issued based on the 1949 Convention. If you can obtain an IDP based on the 1949 Geneva Convention ("1949 Convention" is written on the front cover) then you can drive in Japan. But with an IDP based on the 1968 Vienna Convention you cannot drive in Japan.

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In the USA, only two organizations are allowed to sell real, legal IDPs: the American Automobile Association, and the American Automobile Touring Alliance, which offers IDPs through the National Automobile Club.

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