Can I drive in Japan with International Driving Permit or driver’s license?

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There is an international permit that allows Brazilians to drive in more than 100 different countries. Other countries such as the USA and Latin America allow you to drive with the driver’s license and an identification document. What about Japan? Is it possible to drive in Japan with the International driver’s license?

Unfortunately Brazilians cannot drive in Japan using the International Permit, let alone the Brazilian driver’s license. Unfortunately, Japan is not a signatory to the Vienna Convention, which is responsible for the PID. Now that you know that Japan doesn't allow it, keep reading the article because I have a lot of things to talk about.

It is also not possible to translate your qualification into Japanese. You will need to undergo practical and theoretical tests to have your own license in Japan. Remembering that if you have a Brazilian driver’s license, you can avoid the long process of attending classes and having your japanese wallet within 3 days.

Can i drive in japan with International Driving Permit or driver’s license?

Unfortunately tourists cannot just take their wallet without living in Japan, because they ask for several documents such as proof of residence, Detran's medical record and translation of the wallet into Japanese.

Japan does not accept the International Driving Permit?

In addition to the fact that Japan is not part of the PID organization, the english hand and Japanese signs can discourage Japan from accepting such a treaty. I thought that, until I discovered that the Japan does accept IDP (in English) of more than 95 countries for up to one year.  

See below for a list of countries that can drive freely in Japan using the IDP (International Driving Permit):

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
Asia: Philippines, India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Republic of Korea;


Africa: South Africa, Central African Republic, Egypt, Ghana, Algeria, Morocco, Botswana, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Niger;

Africa: Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ir, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria;

Europe: United Kingdom, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands. France, Italy, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Spain, Finland, Portugal, Austria, Belgium, Poland. Ireland, Hungary, Romania, Iceland, Bulgaria, Malta, Albania, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino. Vatican, Kyrgyz Republic, Georgia, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic

Americas: United States, Canada, Peru, Cuba, Ecuador, Argentine, Chile. Paraguay, Barbados, Community of Dominica, Guatemala, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Jamaica;

Others: New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Macau;

Calm down, it’s not over yet… There are other countries off that list that can drive in Japan without having to make another license.

Can i drive in japan with International Driving Permit or driver’s license?

Why does Japan accept the PID from countries other than Brazil?

It must be disappointing to know that even other countries from Latin America can drive in Japan using an International Permit. Unfortunately Japan only recognizes the International Driving Permit based on the 1949 Geneva Convention.

Belgium, France, Germany, Monaco, Slovenia, Switzerland and Taiwan do not issue licenses based on the 1949 Geneva Convention. Fortunately, they have a separate agreement that allows drivers to drive in Japan for up to one year with an official Japanese translation. Unfortunately, Brazil is not included in this list.

A translation can be obtained from Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) or some of the embassies or consulates in those countries. Make sure that the car rental date is within the validity period of your license.

Can I drive in Japan with International Driving Permit or driver’s license?

Be careful when applying for your Geneva Permit

If you are from another country, or have a driver's license from another country, you can try to request your geneva international permission. Be careful because there are countries that issue other international permits, even though they are part of Geneva.

France, for example, appears on the Geneva Permission list, but is not accepted in Japan through this permission. I can't say if it's because she stopped broadcasting using the Geneva Convention or something.

In addition to the Geneva Convention and the Vienna Convention (1968) used in Brazil, there are international permits for the Paris Convention (1926) and Washington Convention (1943). Make sure you are issuing the 1949 Geneva permit.

Can i drive in japan with International Driving Permit or driver’s license?

Japan also does not accept international permits issued by unauthorized agencies or private entities such as: IDL, IDD, KIDA, IAA, IADA, ITDL and others.

Japan also does not accept wallets where they were originally made in one country but international permission done in another. If you obtain your driver's license in the USA, do not attempt to issue an international permit in Canada.

To drive in Japan, you need to have a passport, local wallet and international permission.

Like hotel reservations, some car rental companies will not deliver the car if they do not have valid international permission. Some will not even refund your money if you have not canceled your reservation before the deadline.

Can i drive in japan with International Driving Permit or driver’s license?

I hope this article has answered all your questions on the subject! We appreciate comments and shares. We also recommend reading:

Transferring your driver's license to Japan

The only option, if you are living in Japan, is to retake all the tests and get a new license. This process is simplified if you already have a Brazilian driver's license. You just need to retake the theoretical and practical tests.

To facilitate this process, Kirizawa took an online course to obtain his driver’s license in Japan. A course at a much more affordable price than paying for classes or interpreters. If you want to know details, just access the link on the button below:

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