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Thread: Japanese driving test

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Japanese driving test

    Thanks.

    I'll just have to see what the situation is when I get there.

  2. #22
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese driving test

    Quote Originally Posted by Vitamins View Post
    I take it the 3 month stipulation is absolutely not flexible? I passed my UK test late may this year, so will have about 2 and a half months of driving under my belt before arriving. Although I'd been insured on my parents car for about 6 months, which is in some way proof of driving, I'm guessing that its post-test driving only right?
    Unfortunately, no. It's based on the date of issue printed on the license--if it's at least 90 days before you left the country, you're in the clear. If not...

    I always recommend that people try, anyway. There's always the slim possibility that somewhere in the ridiculous amount of bureaucracy involved in doing all this, someone will slip up and allow you to get your license converted even though you don't meet the three-month requirement. Unlikely, maybe, but the money savings would make the attempt worthwhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vitamins View Post
    Is it the test itself that is expensive or the lessons that accumulate? I guess what I'm saying is could you pass the Japanese test with just a few lessons, as a reasonably competent driver?
    The test is only 4sen (40USD; no idea in quid or whatever).

    Driving school is ridiculously expensive and pointless. It very clearly does not result in better drivers, but it is mandatory nevertheless (Edit: Maybe? I sure think it is in my prefecture). I'm fairly certain that the school requirement exists mainly to discourage young Japanese people from getting cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vitamins View Post
    Really wishing I hadn't waited so long until I learnt to drive now...
    I usually try to post an "OMG Get your drivers' licenses!" post in Applying every year, about a month (ideally) before the three-month cutoff, but I totally forgot this year. Sorry.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vitamins View Post
    Thanks for any advice.
    How close are you to the 90-day deadline actually?
    Last edited by word; May 30th, 2014 at 16:13.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member jacqui's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese driving test

    Thanks Page. Was going to say that there are a few other cursed countries, including South Africa.
    Apparently the difficulty level differs by prefecture as well. I've only heard of maybe 2 people passing on the first go in Okinawa.
    And they are *really* finicky about paperwork, and if you go at the wrong time or the specific guy just isn't there you have to go back later. (As I said, that in Okinawa - maybe they're more jacked on the mainland?)
    I used up about 10 days of leave to get my licence.

    Which brings me to my question - My Japanese licence expired about a year & a half ago. Does anyone know if it's a simple procedure to get it renewed if it's expired, or if I have to go through everything again?
    Especially since I'll be doing it in different prefectures...

    I'll get an international licence to bring over anyway, just in case they feel like being assholes about it. >_<
    fucking genki

  4. #24
    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese driving test

    As a follow-up, I can't see anything saying you have to have a full license for 3 months for Japan to consider your IDP valid.

    I have, however, found many horror stories of the Japanese police not having any idea about the license laws for gaijin...
    ...because Japan.

  5. #25
    Senior Member jacqui's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese driving test

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Driving school is ridiculously expensive and pointless. It very clearly does not result in better drivers, but it is mandatory nevertheless (Edit: Maybe? I sure think it is in my prefecture). I'm fairly certain that the school requirement exists mainly to discourage young Japanese people from getting cars.
    Not mandatory in Okinawa, but I think the centre has some kind of agreement with the schools.
    They always ask if you've been for lessons. Apparently they fail you if you say no, and pass you if you say yes (and don't screw up too badly in the test).
    Worked that way for me - I said no the first time, then fibbed and said yes the second time and I passed. This could be because I did better the second time as well.
    fucking genki

  6. #26
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese driving test

    Quote Originally Posted by jacqui View Post
    Which brings me to my question - My Japanese licence expired about a year & a half ago. Does anyone know if it's a simple procedure to get it renewed if it's expired, or if I have to go through everything again?
    Especially since I'll be doing it in different prefectures...

    I'll get an international licence to bring over anyway, just in case they feel like being assholes about it. >_<
    Prospects aren't good, I'm afraid. I had a friend whose Japanese license lapsed for more than six months and not only did she not get it renewed, she couldn't transfer her American license again. She ended up having to go to driving school and was treated as a new driver.

  7. #27
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese driving test

    Wait, actually, I'm looking at the websites and you might be able to renew it depending on whether the person processing your app considers being out of the country to be 「やむを得ない事情」

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Japanese driving test

    How close are you to the 90-day deadline actually?
    Well I passed 20th May, so what's that, approx. 75 days before the 2nd August. Reasonably close, but not like 89 days, which would actually be more frustrating.
    Like you said, I'll at least try to get it converted, but my hopes aren't high for the chances of weaving through the Japanese bureaucracy like that.

    As a follow-up, I can't see anything saying you have to have a full license for 3 months for Japan to consider your IDP valid.
    I thought this would be the case, as its issued in your home country, and simply requires a full license. I've read through the UK app for it, seems hassle free. As for the horror stories... The possibility of driving is seemingly becoming more of a headache. Shall just have to try my luck.

    Appreciate the responses, very useful.

  9. #29
    Senior Member jacqui's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese driving test

    Quote Originally Posted by therealwindycity View Post
    Wait, actually, I'm looking at the websites and you might be able to renew it depending on whether the person processing your app considers being out of the country to be 「やむを得ない事情」
    Oh Jesus. Please let this be the case and not the former!
    Not much I could do considering I wasn't living in Japan for 3 years, and I haven't had any tickets while I've been in SA, not that I could show them that... >_<
    fucking genki

  10. #30
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese driving test

    Quote Originally Posted by therealwindycity View Post
    I feel like I remember coop saying that depending on the prefecture, you actually aren't required to go to driving school? I'm sure it's still a pain, but you definitely won't be able to convert your license if the date on it is less than three months before coming to Japan.
    According to the Tottori DMV site, you need to have a provisional license and either a 路上申告書 (I'm guessing this is some kind of form saying you've practiced driving) or a certificate of graduation from a driving school. It didn't say the number of hours you need to practice on the site, so consult your own prefecture's DMV. The thing is that you need to have a licensed driver in the car with you when you practice as well as big white plates on the front and back of your car. Driving schools provide both the licensed driver and a car you can drive, which is probably the reason why most Japanese people go through driving school rather than attempt to do it themselves.

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