Page 1 of 13 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 254

Thread: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

  1. #1

    Default How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    This guide may be posted on other sites, but you must include the original name and URL under the title.


    How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    By Tyler Roy
    http://www.ithinkimlost.com


    Introduction

    Firstly, if you are British, Australian, Canadian, or any of the other countries who have a special agreement with Japan, you do not have to take the test. If you are an American, you MUST take the test.

    I am aware that there are many sites out there explaining the process of getting a Japanese Driver’s License, but I really would have appreciated a little more guidance in the preparation of the test, and more detailed turn-by-turn instructions inside the test itself. Before getting my license, I had heard many horror stories of people forgetting to look over their shoulder and failing the test, or forgetting a key piece of paper. That’s why I have decided to write this guide.

    Like many other Americans, I was forced to upgrade my international license to a full Japanese license. Not only will this allow you to drive, but it gives you a lot of street cred when you’re asked to show your ID and you don’t have to pull out your gaijin card or passport. If you are an American that is re-contracting who wishes to continue driving in Japan, you MUST get a Japanese driver’s license before August. Be aware that July-August is an exceptionally busy time for the driving centers because A) it’s summer break, and B) every other foreigner is trying to get their license at the same time, so you may have to make your appointment now in order to get a date to test before August (and the earlier the better, too, since Tokyo has a 35% first-time pass rate for foreigners.)

    I took the driving test at the Samezu Licensing Center in Samezu, the largest and busiest licensing center in Japan. If you live in Tokyo, you will take your test there as well. If you do not live in Tokyo, your tests and procedure may be different. For your benefit, I’m going to explain in detail how to prepare for the test, the exact procedure that you need to follow to get to Samezu, what you will be doing inside of the facility, how to pass the written test, and what you need to do in order to pass the road test.
    The very first thing that you need to do is make your reservation at the driving center. Have your supervisor call the center (or do it yourself, if you’re feeling confident) and ask them to make an appointment for your written test. Be aware that the Samezu is only open on weekdays, discounting national holidays, from 8:00-16:00. If you live exceptionally far away from the center (i.e. on an island), you may be able to convince the person on the phone to allow you to schedule your written test and driving test for the same day. I did that, but it took a second phone call to get another person on the line. Just know that it’s not rigidly inflexible, and that it can be done.

    Preparation

    Before your appointment date comes, go to one of those little passport photo booths and get your picture taken. This picture will not appear on your license, so don’t worry about it being exceptionally good. If you forget to have your picture taken, there are about six gazillion places on the way to the center to have it done that were set up for other procrastinators like yourself (shame on you.)

    You will also need your passport, gaijin card, your VALID (non-expired) driver’s license from home, about 10,000 yen (to be on the safe side), something to entertain you (you’ll be waiting there all day), and a translated copy of your driver’s license done by the JAF (Japan Automobile Federation). If you had your license renewed or replaced within 90 days of leaving for Japan (or if you spent less than 90 days in your home country after being licensed — they’ll check your visas), then you must have a valid (non-expired — be careful, usually they put a month-long expiration date on them) letter from your Department of Transportation stating that you have, in fact, had your license for more than three months in the past.

    If you can’t find a JAF near you, I went to the one in Minato-ku. In order to get there, go to Hamamatsucho Station on the Yamanote Line, take the Takeshiba Pier exit, take a left once you get onto the main street, take another left onto the first big main street, keep walking until you cross under the bridge, and it should be the first building on your right. Allow approximately one hour to get your license translation finished (I believe it’s about 1,500 yen).

    Getting There

    With your asston of materials in hand (gaijin card, passport, money, license, license translation, pictures, book/Nintendo DS/PSP, balls of steel), go to Shinagawa Station via the Yamanote, trade your ticket in at the Keihin-Tohyoku Line ticket window (they haven’t automated this part yet), and get on a Local train heading toward Haneda (that’s the one right in front of you, don’t cross the tracks.)

    If my memory serves me correctly, Samezu is three stops away. It will not be announced on the train’s loudspeaker, so keep your wits about you. Exit the station by taking a RIGHT when you leave the turnstiles, and then take another right when you get out of the station. There should be other people walking the route to the station, and the route is well-marked (granted that it’s in kanji). Walk to the end of the street and take a left. Walk until you get to the next street and take another left there. Go one block and take a right. Keep walking until you get to a main road, and then take another right. A couple of blocks ahead on the left you’ll see the driving center (it’s not easy to miss). Cross the road and you’re there. Do not drive there; there’s no parking.

    Inside the Belly of the Beast

    Once you enter you’ll be inside a maze of bureaucracy that will make you want to give whomever designed the American Departments of Transportation a sexual favor. There are three floors and more than forty different counters, all serving a different purpose. You’ll be visiting several of these on your licensing day.

    Start by going up to the information desk and telling them that you need to change your international license to a real license. If you’re Canadian, British, or one of those other lucky nations that has a license exchange going with Japan, you’ll simply be able to hand them all of your documents, about 4,000 yen, wait about two hours, and walk out with your new license. This is the end of the guide for people from countries that have that option. If you’re American, welcome to Hell.

    Or at least the closest earthly equivalent. You’ll be asked to head to the back left window, where you’ll hand over your passport, gaijin card, and driver’s license. You’ll wait anywhere from ten minutes to two hours at this point, depending on how many other foreigners there are present. What they are doing is checking your license’s “issued on” date against your passport’s visa stamps. This is where they check to make sure you got your driver’s license at least 90 days before entering Japan.

    If you pass the 90 day test, they then subtract all the time that you’ve spent out of your home country during the issued period of your license from the time that you’ve spent out of the country (are you following this?) and if the total is less than one year, you get a license with a green stripe on it. What this means is that any car that you drive for the next two years has to have these ugly-ass newbie stickers on the front and back, and if you have any traffic violations, you’re likely to lose your license permanently. Keep in mind that the “start date” is from the issue date of that particular driver’s license — not how long you’ve been licensed to drive. At the time, I’d had my license for six years, but because I had lost my wallet and gotten a new license about 13 months earlier, and I had spent a little more than a month out of the country during that time, I ended up having driven for 359 days — six short of getting my regular license — and earned an extra two years of driving noobage.

    The Written "Test"

    After getting your license, passport, and translation back, you will be made to wait again. After a while, you’ll be called into the “testing room”, which is really just the back part of the international license reception desk, and made to take your True/False “written test.” I think you have to get something like 7 out of 10 to pass, but I’ve never heard of anyone actually failing this, and I think the questions are always the same. The only difficult parts of this are that the questions are A) so easy, your brain might trick you into thinking that you’re choosing the wrong one, and B) the questions were written by a Japanese person using an online translator. Here are some example questions:

    “Is it okay to drive if you’ve only had a little bit to drink?”
    “Do you have to come to a full stop at stop signs?”
    “Is it okay to pass if you can’t see ahead of the car in front of you?”

    There are, however, a few questions that might trip you up if you don’t know your Japanese road signs, so STUDY AND MEMORIZE THEM! It would be embarrassing as hell to be the first and only foreigner to have ever failed this thing.

    Now What?

    If you were unlucky enough to have your driving test delayed for another day (99% of you), then you must go to the desk, schedule your appointment for another day (possibly weeks from your written test date), and then go home.

    Getting Ready for the Road Test


    If you’re that lucky 1% that got to schedule your test for that day ― congratulations! You’ll be made to fill out another form, and then asked to pay about 3,600 yen at the desk for your testing fee. You’ll then be moved through an eye test, where you have to provide another form with a picture. You should know the words for “up, down, left, and right,” because that's how Japanese eye tests work (it's a little circle with a chunk taken out of one side). You’ll then go back to your licensing desk and be given your testing time for that day, along with a packet that includes a course map with two possible routes. MEMORIZE THIS MAP! It’s going to be your savior once you get out on the course.

    You’ll probably be eating lunch in the cafeteria if it’s the same day. If you do, try and find someone that looks like a test administrator (they’re dressed in uniform), and buddy up with him. Who knows? It might mean the difference between you passing and failing.

    Be in the testing room at least 15 minutes before test time. If you’re late, you automatically fail, and you don’t get your money back. The instructor will say a lot of stuff in Japanese that you probably won’t understand. Don’t worry ― Uncle Trivial’s here to help you. Basically, he’s explaining the course, and what you’ll need to do in order to pass the test.

    The "Practical" Test

    You’ll be guided into a room outside the building where the instructor will walk your group through the course map, explaining what you need to do at each place. If you don’t understand Japanese, just study the map with your eyes, and try to make friends with someone there that does (more than likely they’ll speak English because everyone in your class will have just finished living abroad). I’ll be covering most everything that he’ll be saying though, so don’t worry too much about it.

    He will assign numbers to each person ― this is your testing order. Pray that your number does not come up first, because you won’t be able to watch the course from the backseat of the car. If it does, don’t panic. Just follow these instructions to the letter and you WILL pass. He let me go last because I was the only non-Japanese person there. After each person finishes, ask them if they passed or failed, and if they failed, ask what feedback he gave them. It’ll give you an idea of what your particular instructor is looking for.

    You’ll get into the backseat before it’s your turn, and you’ll be allowed to watch the driver ahead of you drive the course, and you can get a feel for the different parts of it. Pay attention to everything here, and you’ll have a much better idea of what’s expected of you.

    When it’s your turn, go to the LEFT side of the car (not the side that would be in traffic, and overexagguratedly check under the front of the car, and then the back of the car (if he doesn’t see you do it, it didn’t happen, and you’ll probably fail). Walk to the right side of the car and look both ways (for any mythical cars that may be coming your way) before stepping out into the road and getting into the driver’s seat. Be aware that you will be driving a full-size car (these things are decommissioned taxis), so if you’re used to driving kei cars, you’re going to feel like you’re driving a tank.

    Once you’re in the driver’s seat, get ready to dance. Give your instructor a big smile and a “Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu!” Then, touch your emergency brake as if checking to make sure it’s on and say “yosh,” buckle your seatbelt, adjust your seat and mirrors (even if they don’t need it), and then ask the instructor for permission to start the car. Fire it up, and do the six-point head spin: look over your right shoulder, into your right mirror, into your rear view mirror, into your left mirror, over your left shoulder, and then back over your right shoulder (you will repeat this about twenty times during your drive. You must do this literally every time you turn). If everything is clear (and it should be), put the car into drive while holding down the brake, THEN release the handbrake (order is important here), and then do another quick look over your shoulder and in your mirror. Turn on your right blinker, pull out, and drive up to the stop sign. When you stop, stop with the nose of your car a few feet behind the line. If your nose crosses the line, you very well may fail. Make sure to PUMP YOUR BRAKES when stopping or slowing down. At no point in this course should you do anything resembling smooth braking. If your head isn’t whipping back and forth while braking, you’re not doing it right. Don’t be really jerky of course, but definitely make sure you feel the pumping, and that the instructor can feel the pumping too (giggity). Do your six-point head-turn, turn on your right blinker, and then pull out onto the course.

    The key to successfully navigating the course is to take the whole thing much more slowly than you think you need to. If the instructor tells you to speed up, do it, but no-one’s ever failed for going too slowly (EXCEPT during the part where he asks you to accelerate to 40 km/h). You must also stay within ONE METER of the left side of the course at all times. This is very counter-intuitive and doesn’t feel very safe, but you must do it in order to pass. You have really good mirrors on the car, so use them (you did adjust them, right?!) The whole time I was driving I felt like I was going to run off of the left side of the road. Also, the course is so small that you will almost ALWAYS have your blinkers on.

    The first part is easy enough ― just try to get used to the car’s dimensions, don’t go much faster than an idle, and keep to the left side of the road. The course is designed like a big rectangle with smooth corners and a few roads intersecting in the middle of the course. There’s everything from traffic lights to “construction”. You’ll be starting at the bottom left corner of the rectangle, and driving counter-clockwise (assuming your course layout is the same). When you approach the curve to turn around the bottom-right corner of the rectangle, turn on your blinker (even though you wouldn’t do this in the real world), PUMP YOUR BRAKES, and go very slowly around the curve. The girl before me was disqualified because she took the turn too quickly, and she wasn’t going much more than 10 km/h! Remember: slow and steady!

    Follow the instructor’s orders and continue driving around the perimeter of the course. Every time you approach another road intersecting into your road, crane your neck around to make sure no-one’s coming (you should be the only person on the course, but do it anyway, and exaggerate it! Keep your head on the six-point swivel every time you take a curve or turn. You want to look extremely paranoid.

    When you reach the top of the rectangle, you will probably have an obstacle, such as some traffic cones set out in a car’s dimensions. This is where it gets tricky ― you need to first turn on your right blinker, then perform your six-point turn while still moving, steer into the other lane, and then turn on your left blinker and do your six point turn AGAIN when switching back into your lane. Make sure that you end your six-point turn in the direction that you’re going (so when changing into the right lane, look left first and end over your right shoulder, and when moving back into the left lane, end over your left shoulder). It’s going to feel extremely unsafe taking your eyes off the road for that long, but do it anyway. It’s what they want to see. Once you are back into your lane, continue driving, remembering to stay close to the left side of the road and to take it very slowly. PUMP THOSE BRAKES!

    When you reach the bottom-left corner of the course again, the instructor is going to ask you to speed up. You have a very limited space to make it to 40 km/h, and if you don’t make it to 40, you will fail, so jam on that accelerator and get up to 40. The second you hit 40, though, start pumping those brakes and slowing down, because you’re going to hit the bottom-right curve really fast if you don’t (thus failing). It’s tricky, but if you think about it, you can do it.

    Next you’ll be asked to take a left into the middle of the course on the right side of the rectangle. When you’re turning, don’t forget your blinker, and start your six-point turn on the right side, ending on the left. Make sure your turn doesn’t start until you complete the six-pointer (looking over your left shoulder may seem a little redundant, but they want to make sure that you’re not going to hit any bikes that may have pulled up next to you). Once you’re there, make the turn AS TIGHT AND SLOW AS POSSIBLE while staying in your lane. Do NOT pull right first like you normally would to give yourself more room to turn. If you cross into the other lane while turning, you will fail.

    Continue until you have almost reached the middle of the course, where there will be a traffic light. You will be asked to turn right here, so pull as far as you can to the RIGHT side of your lane without crossing the line with your mirror. If the light is even barely yellow, make sure you stop at it, and stop well behind (~3 feet) the line. When the light turns green, do your six point turn, and then look both ways again for good measure. Don’t just go! When you pull out into the intersection, pull far out into the middle (but don’t turn your steering wheel to the left at all), and make as close to a 90-degree turn as possible. Make sure that you don’t cross into the right lane!

    Now, turn on your left blinker, and get ready to turn onto the top half of the rectangle. Remember to keep it tight, and to pump those brakes! Keep going around the outside of the course until you get to the middle of the left side, where you will have to do turn left into the middle of the course. You now have to face the S-CURVE.

    The S-CURVE

    The S-CURVE is a narrow, winding S-shaped curve that is only barely wider than your car. You must pay attention to where your tires are at all times, or else you may hit a curb. If you hit a curb, DON’T PULL OVER IT! If you pull over the curb, you automatically fail the test. If you only pull up onto it, however, you can shift the car into reverse and try again (up to three times). The most difficult part of the S-CURVE is simply entering the curve itself. You have to make a really tight U-Turn to the left, with barely enough room for your tires to avoid hitting the curb. Pull as close as possible to the left side, of the course, and cut the wheel to the left in order to make it ― you should do it just barely. KEEP YOUR BLINKERS ON THE WHOLE TIME IN THE S-CURVE. Your blinkers will probably keep turning off on you, so keep turning them back on! You will go SLOWER THAN IDLE through this part, so keep riding those brakes, and keep watching your mirrors!

    The CRANK

    Immediately after the S-CURVE is the dreaded CRANK, which is the hardest part of the test. The crank consists of two 90-degree turns that are just barely wide enough to accommodate your behemoth of a vehicle. There are also “poles” suspended around different parts of the crank in order to simulate walls. If you hit any of these poles, you will automatically fail the test. The key to making it through the crank is to wait until the very last possible second to start turning, and then cut the steering wheel in the direction of the turn. If you mess it up the first time and run up on a curb, don’t worry. As long as you didn’t go over it, you can back up and try again up to three times. Remember: WATCH YOUR MIRRORS!

    Once you’re out of the crank, pat yourself on the back and, sticking as close as possible to the left, do your six-point turn and then turn left. Drive up to the light, do another six-pointer, and go straight. Stop at the stop sign ahead, and turn right onto the right side of the rectangle, which will put you in a clockwise movement. Your instructor will ask you to turn left off of the course, and to stop at a certain numbered line. One of the girls in our group failed because she pulled just past the line. Once you stop, put the car into park, PUT ON THE EMERGENCY BRAKE, and then turn off the engine. Your instructor will then give you an evaluation. If you’ve passed, congratulations, you get to wait for another few hours for your license! If you failed, you will be sent back up to the top to reschedule a new testing time.

    I Have to Wait AGAIN!?

    For those of you that passed, you will have to wait for what seems like a very long time inside of the briefing room outside of the main building while they get everyone set up. You will then be led back to the licensing window, where you will give them your gaijin card and stuff again, and then you will wait until they call your name. You’ll be given your stuff back and a bill as well, so go and pay that. Take your paid bill along with the rest of your things, and head over to the PIN machines that look like miniature ATMs. Put in a PIN number (but not your bank card number) and it will print it out on a piece of paper. Take the paper given to you by the cashier, your pin number, and all your other stuff, and walk down to the photographer room, where they will take a picture of you. The photographer will hand you a piece of paper with a six-digit number.
    Take your stuff and head upstairs to the third floor where you will wait in a big room with a lot of people for a long time for your six-digit number to come up on the displays. Once it does, go up to the desk, give them your claim ticket, and get your license. Congratulations! Now do a little dance, and e-mail all of your friends to brag to them about how you passed the Japanese driving test on your first try! If you tested at Samezu, consider going outside and giving blood at the blood donor van they have perpetually parked out front.

    The whole process took me about seven hours to complete, so make sure you bring that entertainment. Good luck!

    Vocabulary (thanks UPGRAYEDD)

    左 hidari Left
    右 migi Right
    後方 kōhō Rear
    左右 sayū Left & Right
    よし yoshi OK
    音 oto Sound
    なし nashi None
    ドア doa Door
    シート shīto Seat
    ベルト beruto Seatbelt
    ミラー mirā Mirror
    ルームミラー rūmu mirā Rearview mirror
    ギア gia Gear
    ブレーキ burēki Brake
    エンジン enjin Engine
    Last edited by Trivial; June 4th, 2009 at 22:38.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,968

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trivial View Post
    Do NOT pull right first like you normally would to give yourself more room to turn.
    People who do this should be shot anyway. BAD DRIVING HABIT.

    Omg I am going to run straight off the road trying to do that six point looking thing.

  3. #3
    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    I now have a two car garage
    Posts
    6,819

    Default Re: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    yeah, what i did to pass my first time is go to a driving school, not to take the 300,000y class, but just to take a 6000y 2 hour practice lesson. I told the instructor that i had been driving for almost 10 years and that all i wanted to learn was how to pass the test not how to drive. he showed me everything. went to the license center the next week and passed.

    (the three other people there with me all failed and one of the brazillian chicks said it was her 8th fail)
    ☆★REAL EYES REALIZE REAL LIES★☆

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    WTF is this pumping brakes crap. Do they really want you to brake that way on the test? Apparently vehicle control is not required for this test.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    Here's a question.

    I have the one year license that you get for being a licensed driver at home, though it'll expire in the next few weeks.

    If I use that to drive to Tokushima in a month's time and get pulled over on it, how fucked am I?

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    Jail time.

  7. #7
    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    I now have a two car garage
    Posts
    6,819

    Default Re: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    even if its not jail time there is a minimun of 300000y fine (know a guy that was caught driving on no-license) and it could be more if you are required to pay for court costs and stuff.
    ☆★REAL EYES REALIZE REAL LIES★☆

  8. #8
    Negi-sensei Oneiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Saitama, Japan
    Posts
    2,397

    Default Re: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    Stickeying this. The JET/Japan forum needs exactly more comprehensive threads like this.
    My Hastily Taken Photos are Better Than Your Hastily Taken Photos (My Flickr)

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelity View Post
    I think the urge to become a cyborg is instinctual.

  9. #9
    ITIL's Favorite Beaner! Gusuke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    The Japanese version of the Central Valley
    Posts
    8,362

    Default Re: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    Shit, I need to get on this; I'm waiting on my Mom to get a copy of my driving record and fedex it to me.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Kiwis View Post
    Here's a question.

    I have the one year license that you get for being a licensed driver at home, though it'll expire in the next few weeks.

    If I use that to drive to Tokushima in a month's time and get pulled over on it, how fucked am I?
    Really, super, ultra-fucked. It's a really bad punishment. My friend got pulled over the day that his license expired, and he had to go to court and everything (though since it was on the day he wasn't convicted.) But if you do get caught driving without a license, there's a minimum penalty of 300,000 yen, some serious jail time, and deportation after time served. You'll also be barred from ever driving in Japan again (though that seems minor compared to the other penalties).

  11. #11

    Default Re: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    Fuck-ing hell.

    Haha, that changed my plans pretty damned quickly right there!

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jboze84 View Post
    WTF is this pumping brakes crap. Do they really want you to brake that way on the test? Apparently vehicle control is not required for this test.
    The Japanese driving test does NOT test how well you can drive, but rather how well you can take the test.

  13. #13
    &%$#@!!! Timoshi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Noto Peninsula! Ishikawa
    Posts
    3,032

    Default Re: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    If you need more info the Ishikawa forum has a good guide too.

    http://j-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=211&t=1950
    Me Rikey Very Much!!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member saritajuanita's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chicago ---> NW Kyushu
    Posts
    647

    Default

    nice guide! things were a little different in my prefecture (the driving center was completely deserted), but the test is pretty much the same.

    i took one driving lesson at the driving school next door. 5000 yen for an hour and a half lesson that was specifically about passing the practical exam. i passed on the first try, but i know a number of others who took more lessons that me and passed on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th tries.




    Quote Originally Posted by jboze84 View Post
    WTF is this pumping brakes crap. Do they really want you to brake that way on the test? Apparently vehicle control is not required for this test.
    yes, they do want you to pump the brakes like that. it's ridiculous.

  15. #15
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    4,158

    Default

    hidari Left
    migi Right
    後方 kōhō Rear
    左右 sayū Left & Right
    よし yoshi OK
    oto Sound
    なし nashi None
    ドア doa Door
    シート shīto Seat
    ベルト beruto Seatbelt
    ミラー mirā Mirror
    ルームミラー rūmu mirā Rearview mirror
    ギア gia Gear
    ブレーキ burēki Brake
    エンジン enjin Engine
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  16. #16
    This is what happens... houk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    ...when you find a stranger in the alps.
    Posts
    2,778

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    ミラー mirā Mirror
    not to be confused with ミーラ, which means mummy

    imagine my embarrassment when i accidentally checked my MUMMY before making a turn!!!

  17. #17
    Burasuto from the pasuto. Wanderlust King's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,134

    Default Re: How to Kick the Japanese Driver's License Test in the Face on Your First Try

    HAHA, god, I love Japan. How absurd!

    Thanks for writing this guide.

  18. #18
    Member Natron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ibaraki
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Absolute worst experience in Japan, hands down. I'm just lucky I live in the prefectural capital and can get to the DMV rather quickly. I couldn't imagine having to take an early morning train and a bus or taxi or burning nenkyu just to get turned away.

    When I went my US license (TX) didn't have an "issued date", only an expiration date which caused all sorts of problems (Varies per state).

    Turned away time #1.

    I spent $25 US getting a stupid paper from my DMV that said when they issued my license. Any 'official' looking paper would do as long as it has a date written on it. I should've just made something quick in word and printed it out.


    Time #2. They asked me random questions about how many questions were on my driving test in Drivers Ed from over 10 years ago. Uuuh. In return I asked them how many questions were on their English test in High School which got a blank stare back.

    I was then asked how the driving test was. In my driver's ed class it was just drive around on the roads every weekend for a month and the last time counts as your 'test'. Here is where I messed up. I have decent Japanese (2kyuu) and told them that since it was the same thing I always did it didn't really feel like a test. BIG MISTAKE. As I was then questioned if I actually went to a driver's ed school and if I can give them a website to confirm that it was a real driving school as I had obviously NOT taken a driving test over 10yrs ago in the states.

    Turned away time #2

    I would REALLY recommend not using Japanese AT ALL at the windows or during the interview even if you have a good ability. It only caused more problems for me and looking back if I had just smiled and nodded to their questions or actuing like I didn't understand they probably would have just let me take the test.



    I wonder if there are any loopholes for Americans if you had an Australian, UK, Canadian, etc license that you could get that license exchanged for an instant Japanese one.

  19. #19

    Default

    Thanks for writing this. I know you have a lot of free time, but this still took a lot of time and effort.
    Quote Originally Posted by wry bread View Post
    Oh God, I wouldn't want a dude on an internet forum to think I'm fat.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Natron View Post
    I wonder if there are any loopholes for Americans if you had an Australian, UK, Canadian, etc license that you could get that license exchanged for an instant Japanese one.
    Absolutely, as long as you're in that country for more than 90 days. Therein lies the problem.

    Honestly, I didn't think the test was that bad. I passed it on the first try because I did everything exactly right. If you follow the guide, you'll pass it on the first try too.

    In regards to what Natron said about them questioning about what your license testing was like back in the states -- the best answer there is "nihongo ga sukoshi desu." Those questions aren't relevant -- it doesn't matter if you had NO driving school experience where you're from -- if you pass the test, they still have to give you your license.

    Quote Originally Posted by kbecker4 View Post
    Thanks for writing this. I know you have a lot of free time, but this still took a lot of time and effort.
    And thank you for noticing!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •