greenleaf44 wrote:Just my two cents' worth....I asked about driving in Japan at my interview, and one of the panel members said the IDP is not a good idea if you're in more rural areas, because if you get pulled over, the cop probably won't know how to handle it which can cause major misunderstandings/fines. He also said that he'd tested for his motorcycle license in Japan, which made the whole licensing thing easier, which makes me wonder...if you have a motorcycle endorsement in the states, can that part transfer overseas? Or are we USians just out of luck as far as license transference?
Kain of the Wired wrote:I've read in quite a few places now that IDPs are going out of favor here.
From US Embassy site (http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-drive.html)
International Driving Permits (IDP)
"Residents" are expected to convert or obtain a Japanese drivers license. Persons using an international drivers license who are resident in Japan can be subject to fines or arrest. The exact boundary between "resident" and "not resident" is unclear. In practice it seems to involve more than simply visa status or length of stay in Japan and is determined by the police.
We have heard from several Americans who were told by the police that using an International Driver's License for more than a year, or using one after exiting and then returning to Japan, or using one when you are residing in Japan, or after you have obtained an Alien Registration Card, or after 90 days in Japan, or using a license obtained by mail while you are in Japan, is illegal. In two instances, following accidents, Americans were charged with driving without a license, a serious offense. Driving without a license may also void your insurance coverage.
Jadeity wrote:This is good information to ponder. I have vision problems in one eye that made it a hassle to get my license renewed here in the US. I'm worried what I'll need to do to account for that in Japan. I'll check out all the information everyone has linked... even though I am still fairly skeptical about my interview performance. XD;
I don't suppose anyone knows what your vision needs to be to drive easily in Japan? As long as I have both eyes open, I'm very nearly blind in my right eye ._.; The other eye is 20/20, but here in the US they still hassle me about it even with optometrists giving me the a-okay for driving safely.
Kirari wrote:I'm from the US. My Florida license shows the issue date, which was in 2007 (it will expire November 2013). Given this, it seems that I must go to AAA to get an IDP; then if I recontract for the next year, I need to get a Japanese license. Since my license shows the issue date as being 2007, is that enough to prove that I was in the US three months before I left for JET? And because my license expires in 2013, will I need to go back home in order to renew? And I suppose I will have to take a driving test - will there be a written test, and would there be English-language resources available to help me do this (assuming my Japanese is not good enough by that time)? Sorry for all the questions - just want to be clear and plan ahead.
William MacDonald wrote:Not only am I braver, wiser and generally a better human than [word] (and humbler to boot), but I'm also more knowledgeable than [him]...
omnom wrote:Wow... I'm also in the one-eye-sucks club. I got away with it for years, somehow, but then one day I had to take a routine physical for university and I couldn't read the second row from the top with my one eye covered. The other eye is 20/20!
@Merky- I'm submitting my application on Monday. I recall reading somewhere that it takes 6-8 weeks and I know you can specify the activation date... so I don't see any reason to wait.
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