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How to get a driver license in Sendai

January 05, 2015

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If you want to drive in Japan, you must have either a valid International Driver’s License or a Japanese Driver’s License.

There are two ways to obtain a Japanese Driver’s License.

• Transfer your driver’s license in another country to a Japanese one.
• Passing a written test (In Japanese, English, or Chinese), a driving test, and an aptitude test

Also you can ride a motor scooter of 50cc displacement or less with your Japanese driver’s license. Otherwise you are required to obtain a valid motorcycle license for each class of more than 50cc capacity.
Driver’s license application and car registration are a little complicated. If you don’t have confidence in your Japanese, please take someone who can speak Japanese with, or a volunteer interpreter.

(1) Application for a Japanese Driver’s License

If you possess a driver’s license in another country, but you don’t have an International Driver’s License or your International Driver’s License has expired, you may apply for a Japanese Driver’s License. Necessary preconditions are that you lived in the country where you got your driver’s license for more than 3 months and that your driver’s license is still valid.

As part of the application procedure, there are tests for aptitude (eye-examination and related examination) for people from certain countries, a written test (available in different languages) and a simple driving test. If you pass all the tests, it is typical to wait until four thirty in the afternoon, before you receive your driver’s license. If you don’t pass the driving test, your test fee (¥2,400 for an ordinary licese) will not be returned. It is advisable to attend approved driving schools to practice driving. The Driver’s Licensing Center regularly opens the driving practice ground to the public. Please contact the Driver’s Licensing Center for details.

Driver’s Licensing Center/ TEL : 022-373-3601
65 Ichinazaka Aza Takakura, Izumi-ku, 981-3117
(Mon. to Fri. 13:00-13:30)
Total application fee: ¥4,050 (¥2,400 (test fee) + ¥1,650 (skill test fee))

Necessary Documents

a) License Application Forms (Available at the Driver Licensing Center)
b) One photo (3×2.4cm, either a black-and-white print or a color print is acceptable, but your head should be uncovered and the background of the photo should be plain)
c) Certified copies of your Resident Record (including your nationality)
d) Foreign Driver’s License
e) Passport (which certifies you lived in the country which issued the license for more than 3 months)
f) International Driver’s License (if you have one)
g) Translation of your driver’s license (※)

※This is a Japanese translation of your valid, foreign driver’s license. Some countries’ embassies translate this into Japanese, but some countries translate into English. So if you get it in English or your driver’s license is written in English, French, German, Spanish or Chinese, you may use the translation service offered by the JAF (Japanese Automobile Federation). It costs ¥3,000. It is wise to call them beforehand, to make sure you have all the documents, to send documents for translation, or to find out how long will it take.

JAF / TEL : 022-783-2820
3-8-105 Oroshimachi, Wakabayashi-ku, 984-0015
(Mon. to Fri. 9:00-17:30)

(2) Renewal

You should renew your driver’s license before it expires. Renewal should be completed between one month prior to the expiration date and one month after. The period of validity of your driver’s license is written on the driver’s license.
When you apply for your renewal, you should take your driver’s license, renewal notice, and ¥3,250~¥4,250 for the renewal fee. (Sun. to Fri. 8:30- 9:30, 13:00-14:00, Sun. 10:30~11:30, 14:30~15:30)
Please contact the Driver’s Licensing Center for details.

(3) Change of Details

If there are changes to your name or address as written on your driver’s license, you must apply for alteration at a police station in Miyagi prefecture or the Driver’s Licensing Center. When you apply, you will need your driver’s license and a certified copy of your Resident Record (including your nationality). (Mon. to Fri. 8:30-11:30 a.m. & 1:00-4:30 p.m.; Sun. 10:30-11:30 a.m. & 2:30-3:30 p.m.) Please contact the Driver’s Licensing Center for details.

Basic Traffic Rules

By Japanese traffic rules you should drive your car on the left side of the road and pedestrians should walk on the right. Please remember that right of way is always given to pedestrians, especially at crosswalks without traffic signals. Take special care when turning until you are used to driving in Japan.

The law requires that the driver and the frontseat passenger use seat belts at all times. Children under 6 years old must use child safety seats. It also requires that motorcycle riders wear helmets.

Driving after drinking any alcohol, even a small amount, is strictly prohibited. Severe penalties such as imprisonment with hard labor or a fine, as well as suspension or cancellation of your driver’s license will be enforced. If you commit a minor violation, you will be issued a blue “Violation Ticket” and a fine, which you will be required to pay within seven days after its issue at a bank or other financial institution as designated on the ticket.

You can buy a rule guide explaining Japanese traffic laws in English, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese from the JAF. It costs ¥1,000 for each rule guide.

(4) Insurance

It is mandatory for the owner of a car or a motorcycle to have “Automobile Liability Insurance” (jibaiseki hoken). When you buy or receive a car from a friend, please make sure it has jibaiseki insurance. However, in the event of an accident, this insurance will only pay for the other party. This compensation payment is not sufficient, as it will not cover expenses for the death or injuries of passengers riding in your car, the car itself, or things that you damage during the accident.

There are non-governmental insurance plans which compensate for such cases. You can apply at the car dealer where you buy your car or at insurance companies.

IN CASE OF A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT…

No matter how small the accident is, you must give first aid to people who are injured, take appropriate measures to prevent other traffic accidents, and immediately report the accident to the police and follow their instructions. Some people may try to take advantage of an accident. If you try to reach a private settlement without reporting the accident, you might invite more trouble, such as being exposed to an unreasonable demand for settlement.

<Monday>Aoba Ward Office, Miyagi General Branch Office 1-5-1 Kamisugi
Aoba Ward, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture 980-001 https://goo.gl/maps/gKdh1 38.269147, 140.870441

<Wednesday>Wakabayashi Ward Office 3-1 Hoshunin Maecho
Wakabayashi Ward, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture 984-08 11https://goo.gl/maps/F0nII 38.244255, 140.900750

<Thursday>Taihaku Ward Office, Akiu General Branch Office
3 Chome-1-15 Nagamachiminami
Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture 982-0012 https://goo.gl/maps/7w3TX 38.224421, 140.877197

<Friday>Miyagino Ward Office, Izumi Ward Office
2 Chome-12-35 Gorin
Miyagino Ward, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture 983-0842 https://goo.gl/maps/B77IO 38.266181, 140.909889

Sendai Izumi-ku Ichinazaka

Handling business
renewal of driver’s license reissue proceedings of driver’s license operation Matters change procedure of license operation revocation of license re-acquisition procedures international license of issuance procedures specified driving school graduates of the driver’s license acquisition procedures ○ proficiency testing driver’s license acquisition procedures involving re-test procedures Point system ○ suspension’s training of driver’s license ○ revoked’s training

Miyagi Prefecture driver’s license center guide map

Place standing ground
Sendai Izumi-ku Ichinazaka character Takakura 65

Phone number
Representative telephone 022 ( 373 ) 3601

Public transport links
from subway Izumi Chuo Station to Miyagi Prefecture driver’s license center, in Miyagi Transportation bus about 15 minutes Izumi Chuo Station 5-2 Stop No. driver’s license center via Songling New Town flights

subway Yaotome Miyagi Prefecture driver’s license center to from Station , Miyagi in a traffic bus about 20 minutes Yaotome Station 3 Stop No. driver’s license center via Tsurugaoka New Town bound driver’s license center via Songling New Town flights

from JR Sendai Station to Miyagi Prefecture driver’s license center, in Miyagi Transportation bus about 5 0 minutes Sendai Station No. 21 stop driver’s license center via Tsurugaoka New Town bound driver’s license center via Songling New Town flights

Ishinomaki driver’s license center

Handling business
operation renewal of license
operation reissue proceedings of license
operation Matters change procedure of license
of driver’s license revoked re-acquisition procedures
international license of issuance procedures
specified driving school graduates of the licensing procedure

Ishinomaki driver’s license center guide map

Location
Higashimatsushima Akai shaped south one 134

Phone number
0225-83-6211

Transport links
JR from Senseki Rikuzen-Akai Station
– on foot about 30 minutes
, taxi about 10 minutes from JR Ishinomaki Station
– About 20 minutes in Miyagi Transportation bus Ishinomaki Station No. 3 rank   Ishinomaki License Center bound   Ishinomaki west school bound

Furukawa driver’s license center

Handling business
operation renewal of license
operation reissue proceedings of license
operation Matters change procedure of license
of driver’s license revoked re-acquisition procedures
international license of issuance procedures
specified driving school graduates of the licensing procedure

Furukawa driver’s license center guide map

Place standing ground
Osaki Furukawa Omiya 3-chome 4-30

Phone number
0229-22-8011

Transport links
Miyagi Transportation bus about 20 minutes (※ Saturday, Sunday, public holidays Unkyu)
Furukawa Station departure Kamikogawa 10 minutes bus stop walk
-Misato residents bus Furukawa license center line has been operating.
– Walk about 1 hour

Sennan driver’s license center of guidance

Handling business
operation renewal of license
operation reissue proceedings of license
operation Matters change procedure of license
of driver’s license revoked re-acquisition procedures
international license of issuance procedures
specified driving school graduates of the licensing procedure

Sennan driver’s license center guide map

Place standing ground
Shibata County Ogawara character Nanping 3-1

Phone number
0224-53-0111

Transportation of flights
from JR Ogawara Station
Miyagi Transportation bus about 10 minutes Okawara Station No. 3 rank   Zao, Toogatta, Shiraishi bound , walk about 40 minutes

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