Renewing your Japanese License is a simple yet time consuming process. Approaching your birthday, a postcard will be sent to your home to remind you of the renewal. The license holder has a window of one month before and after their birthdate to renew. Expect to spend at least 2.5 hours at one of the three drivers license offices; Fuchu, Samezu or Kouto.
Renewing your Japanese Drivers License:
– Renewing from Green (beginner license) to Blue (regular license) status – 2 hour safety lesson
– Renewing from Blue to Gold status (no traffic violations) – 1 hour safety lesson
– Renewing from Gold to Gold status – 30 minute safety lesson
– Traffic rules violation – 2 hour safety lesson
Materials to take with you (*if address has not changed):
1) Drivers License
2) Renewal Notice Card (you can still renew without the renewal notice card)
3) Alien registration card
4) Renewal Fee
*If your address has changed take a photo (must have been taken within 6 months) and the above materials.
– 1st time Renewal and Violation (Fee: 3850 yen):
Monday – Friday 8:30 – 14:00; Sunday 8:30 – 11:00 and 13:00 – 14:00
– General Drivers Course / Blue Status (Fee: 3300 yen):
Monday – Friday 8:30 – 15:00; Sunday 8:30 – 11:00 and 13:00 – 15:00
– Excellent Driver course / Gold Status (Fee: 3000 yen):
Monday – Friday 8:30 – 16:00; Sunday 8:30 – 11:30 and 13:00 – 16:00
*Offices are Closed on Saturdays, Public Holidays and New Year`s holiday.
Renewing your Japanese Drivers License at the Samezu Office:
Begin at counter #1 and hand in your mailed postcard and ID to start the renewal process. The staff will print out a form to fill out and sign. Continue to counter #2 to pay the renewal fee. You will then be directed to a machine to select your PIN # then to counter #3 to take your eye exam. These are google images of what an eye examination chart looks like in Japan. Once passed you are directed to counter to #4 to submit your materials and to have your information checked. Wait for your name to be called and receive a slip of paper. Take the paper and PIN # slip then line up for your new drivers license photo.
After your photo is taken go to the 2nd floor to receive a packet and room assignment for the 2 hour video and lecture. The packet contains 2 booklets and a self exam to be taken home. The instructor will lecture the group about accidents that caused deaths and refer to info pages in the book. Keep your slip on the table as the lecturer will walk around near the end of the class placing a stamp on the slip. The stamp certifies you were present during the entire presentation thus granting you your new license. The group is allowed to take a 15 minute break after the first hour where you can grab a drink in their cafeteria or use the restroom. A “mother`s rooms” is also located in each room so parents can watch the video with their babies without disturbing the rest of the group. Nursing room also located on the 2nd floor.
After the lecture the group waited on the main floor waiting for the number on their slip to be called. One must have a basic knowledge of Japanese numbers as it will get you from one station to the next, you can follow the lecture as he references different pages in the rules books, and your number will be called to retrieve your license. When your number is called hand in the slip, receive your new license, walk to a terminal and place your license on the machine. Confirm the information is correct and you`re done!
Samezu Drivers License Center Details:
Address: 1-12-5 Higashioi, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo (〒140-0011 品川区東大井1丁目12番5号)
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 – 16:00; Sunday 8:30 – 11:30 and 13:00 – 16:00.
Phone: 03-3450 / 042-365-5000
English Guide Phone #: 03-5463-6000 / 042-334-6000
Access: 8 minutes from Samezu Station on the Keihin Kyuko Line.
Renewing your Japanese Drivers License – Samezu Center
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