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Is your International Driving Permit valid in Japan?

1949 Geneva Convention - Sample IDP

Sample International Driving Permit (Courtesy of Nippon Rent-A-Car)

Only International Driving Permits (IDPs) issued by a signatory to the 1949 Geneva Convention in conformity with the Convention’s provisions are recognized as valid for driving in Japan.

An IDP on the other conventions or treaties, including the 1969 Vienna Convention, is invalid even if it is issued by a signatory to the 1949 Geneva Convention.

In addition, the following conditions must be satisfied:

1. The IDP shall be valid for one year from the date of issue. You shall be allowed to drive with it for one (1) year from the date of your entry into Japan.

2. If you are a registered resident in Japan, you shall spend more than three (3) consecutive months overseas prior to the re-entry (The Road Traffic Act, Article 107-2).

◇ In case you re-enter Japan in less than three (3) months after leaving the country:

"You shall NOT drive with your IDP even if it is a new one you obtain during such a stay outside of Japan."

◇ In case you re-enter Japan after you stay abroad for three (3) months or more.

"You may drive with your IDP."

Source from Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department

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