Guide of International Driving Permit ( for driving in Japan )
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International Driving Permit – Japan

Guide to obtaining an International Driving Permit for your trip to Japan

What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit, or IDP for short, is a document that allows holders to drive in any country that is a signatory of the Geneva Convention of 1949.
IDPs must be issued in the same country that issued your original driver’s license.

Who needs an IDP?

The requirements for having an IDP or a Driver’s License translated to Japanese depends on your country of domicile. See the tables below to see if you need an IDP or a Japanese translation. If your country is not shown in the tables below, you will not be able to drive in Japan.

Countries requiring an International Driving Permit:

 Asia Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong(China), India, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand 
 Europe  Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of San Marino, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Vatican City (Holy See)
 North America  Canada, United States of America
 South America  Argentina, Barbados,  Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago,  Venezuela
 Africa/Middle East  Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Israel, Jordan, Kingdom of Lesotho, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Republic of South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe

Countries requiring Driver’s License from country of domicile + Legal Translation:

 Asia  Taiwan
 Europe  Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Estonia, Monaco

How do I obtain an IDP?

You must obtain your IDP within your country of origin. Applications from overseas are generally not accepted.
Every country designates its own companies or government offices to officially issue IDPs. See list below for official issuers.
There is usually a permit fee that must be payed to receive an IDP. This will go for around $20.00 (USD)
A photocopy of both sides of your original Driver’s License is usually required with the application
Two passport photos (signed on the back) may also be required
Applications can be handled in person at the designated offices. Some countries may offer mail-in applications as well
IDPs may not be issued over 6 months in advance of planned use

Designated Issuers:

USA: ($20.00 USD + Postage)
American Automobile Association (AAA)
American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

Australia: ($39.00 AUD + Postage, Issuer depends on state)
New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory: NRMA Motoring and Services
Queensland: RACQ Ltd.(Royal Automobile Club of Queensland Limited)
Victoria: RACV (Royal Automobile Club of Victoria)
South Australia: RAA (Royal Automobile Association of South Australia, Inc)
Western Australia: RAC (Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia Incorporated)
Tasmania: RACT (Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania Limited)
Northern Territory: AANT (Automobile Association of Northern Territory Inc)

Canada: ($25.00 CDN + Postage)
Canada Automobile Association

Hong Kong: ($80.00 HKD)
Complete a TD51 form and bring 2 recent photos + the license fee to any driver’s licensing center.

Singapore: ($20.00 SGD)
Automobile Association of Singapore

S. Korea: (8500 KRW)
All regional driver’s license examination offices

For other countries, please check with your local Government office, or Automobile Association for more information on how you can obtain an IDP

Countries that only require translation and original license:

The countries listed below only require a legal Japanese translation, provided by JAF, your valid passport, and your original driver’s license.

  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Estonia
  • Monaco
  • Taiwan

More Posts/Tips for Drive in Japan

1.【The complete guide for tourists and foreigners】

2.【Renting a Car in Japan】

3.【What to when driving during an earthquake】

4. 【Insurance Plans Introduction】

5.【Tips for Driving in Tokyo】

6. 【Tips for Driving in Kanagawa】

32 thoughts on “International Driving Permit – Japan

  1. I was attempting to sign up on your site, and saw this message: 国際運転免許証でのお貸出は出来ません
    This seems to say that I’m unable to use the international driving permit. Am I misunderstanding something?
    Thank you!

    1. Hello Anton,

      I apologize about the confusion.

      We have seven shops that accept the IDP.
      New Chitose Airport
      Narita Airport
      Haneda Airport
      Shin Yokohama Station
      Fukuoka Airport
      Kagoshima Airport
      Nagasaki Airport

      You can book through our International reservation page at is the Japanese franchise website, which currently does not yet have IDP support.

      Thank you for your understanding, and please let me know if you have any more questions!

    1. Hello Stephanie,

      Thank you for the comment.

      Unfortunately due to legalities, we are unable to accept copies of licenses. We can only accept the official International Driving Permit.

      Thank you very much for your understanding.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions.

  2. Dear Ladies and gentlemen,

    I am planning a ski trip with my clients in January to Chitose, Hokkaido. We will be probably 6 or 7 people. I have the B Driver Stamp. Which car can you offer us with all our luggages plus the ski bags? Thank you so much in advance. Thomas

    1. Dear Tom,

      Thank you for the comment.

      With 6-7 people I would recommend the V Class, which is our largest vehicle we offer (8 Passengers).

      If all passengers will be carrying large luggage, you may want to consider renting two separate vehicles to ensure you have enough space.

      Please let us know if you have any more questions 🙂

  3. I’m from United States and have a U.S. Forces Japan Driver License otherwise known as SOFA license.
    This license permits me to drive vehicle in Japan without International Driving Permit
    Can I use this license to rent with NicoNico?

    1. Hello Berry,

      Thank you for your comment and thank you for your service.

      U.S. Forces Japanese Drivers licenses are permitted and can be used to rent a vehicle with NICONICO.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions.

  4. Hello! Im planning with my friend a ski trip to Niseko next January and we are thinking to rent a car. We are from Spain so I would like to know if it possible to rent a car for us in NicoNico? I suppose we need the International Driver permit but how I dont see Spain country at the information list in this site, Im not sure 🙁

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hello Nate,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes IDP’s from Thailand are accepted in Japan.

      Hope this helps!
      Please let me know if you have other questions.

  5. Hello,
    We have a valid International Driving Permit acquired in Spain, translate to English, French, German and an other lenguages, but not Japanese.
    A translation to Japanese will be required?

    1. Hello Eva,

      Thank you for your comment.
      If your IDP is not expired, contains your photo, and has a stamp on the license type (Motorcycle, 8 Passenger, etc.) it will be fine to use in Japan.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  6. Hello,

    My mother is coming to visit me next month (I live in Chiba, Japan).
    She has an international drivers license.
    I just wanted to make sure that will be accepted at Nico Nico?

    1. Hello Vince,

      Yes an IDP issued from Malaysia is valid in Japan.
      Please be sure to bring your valid passport with you as well when you rent the vehicle.

      Hope this helps!

      Please let me know if you have any more questions.

    1. Hello Danny,

      Unfortunately IDPs issued in Indonesia are not valid for driving in Japan. Only countries that are signatories of the 1949 Geneva Convention are valid to drive in Japan.

      Hope this helps!

  7. Hi,

    I and my family are visiting Saporo for vacation and I would like to know whether IDP issued in Indonesia is Valid in japan to rent and drive the car by myself ? I want to cross check since some info in internet says that IDP from Indonesia is not Valid in Japan. Thankyou

    1. Hello Teguh,

      Unfortunately IDPs issued in Indonesia are not valid in Japan. Only countries that are signatories of the 1949 Geneva Convention are valid to drive in Japan.

      Hope this helps!

  8. Hi,

    I have a Singapore driving license(in english), and was told that it is sufficient for renting cars in Japan (No IDP needed). Can I confirm?

    1. Hello John,

      You will need an IDP for a Singapore Driver’s license.

      Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any more questions.

  9. Sir I want to know I have international license from Pakistan and even I have local license can I drive in Japan

    1. Hello Ahmed,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately the Pakistan International License is not accepted in Japan.

      Thank you very much for your understanding!

  10. Hello, I am from Russia, I have my national driver’s license and international Russian driver’s license, can I rent a car? Will there be problems with the police?

    1. Hello Georgii,

      Apologies for the delayed reply.
      Unfortunately the Russian International Driving Permit is not usable in Japan.

      Thank you for your understanding!

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