How to convert a 50cc motorcycle driver's license for international students in Japan - Waku Waku

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How to convert a 50cc motorcycle driver's license for international students in Japan


How to convert a 50cc motorcycle driver's license for international students in Japan

In this article, I want to share with you the "Steps to convert a motorcycle license in Japan" - a problem I had struggled with when I didn't know where to start!?

Chau Anh

Chau Anh

Published on 14 Aug 2021, 12:00

Besides a mini bike, a 50cc motorcycle is the best idea to help you 'secure' more:

  • Save quite a lot of time commuting for school and work outside
  • Thoroughly enjoy the sightseeing attractions within a day
  • The cost is not too high
  • The conversion procedure is not too complicated and cumbersome
How to convert a 50cc motorcycle driver's license for international students in Japan

A few things to note:

  • A Vietnamese driver's license will not be accepted in this case, so you need to convert it to a Japanese motorbike driver's license.
  • After your license is converted, you must be staying in Japan for no less than 3 months. For those residing longer than this period, if you do not want to renew, you can change your driver's license (every 3 or 5 years), but it also depends on whether you have broken the traffic laws during that time or not. And if you do not change it or the license loses its validity, you will have to take a new driver's license exam.
  • Before the expiration date, a change notice will be mailed to your address. So if you change your residence address, you will need to go through the address change procedure for the address listed on your driver's license at your local police station.

How to convert the 50cc motorcycle driver's license?

According to the guidance of JAF, you will be instructed and registered for a license at traffic management centers in your place via this LINK when the following conditions are met:

  • Age > 16 years old
  • Vietnamese driver's licenses can only be converted to 50cc and 125cc types in Japan. However, the license must be valid at least 3 months before coming to Japan.
  • Each myopic eye > 0.5 diopters (still acceptable if wearing glasses). But the 2-eye vision must ensure 5/10
How to convert a 50cc motorcycle driver's license for international students in Japan

Remember to bring the following documents:

  • Residence registration certificate + Alien registration card (a copy)
  • ID Photo (3×2 or 3×4) within the last 6 months: you can take the photos at ID photo booths or at any application center which will have photo machines
  • Passport (a copy): to verify that you have been in Japan for at least 3 months
  • Visa (a copy): you need to go to the licensing center first to ask beforehand which page(s) are necessary to make photocopies (if you have never exited the country, you will only need to photocopy the first sheet)
  • Driver's License translation into Japanese: you can also follow this LINK to register then send by postal mail.
  • Original driver's license (a copy)

Some areas may require additional documents such as a Japanese notarized translation + original, health certificate, application for re-issuance of a driver's license,...


How to convert a 50cc motorcycle driver's license for international students in Japan

After finishing the paperwork, registration, you will take the test:

  • Step 1: After completing all the registration procedures, you will be interviewed about the process of obtaining a driver's license in Vietnam
  • Step 2: They will test your eyesight, see whether you can distinguish between the colors or your limb movements are adequate. Note that there may also be psychological checks
  • Step 3: For the theory exam part: I remember there will be about 10 multiple-choice questions about traffic safety law, generally the questions include both sections with illustrations and predictions of danger while driving in traffic. Scoring 7/10 or higher is a pass!
  • Step 4: You will receive instructions on how to drive through a practical skills class, which takes about 3 hours. In this part. Generally, you can learn to better understand the traffic laws in Japan, better handle situations such as cornering, what to do before switching to another lane, etc.

If you are converting a 50cc motorbike driver's license, you will NOT need to take the practical test, and if you pass all other exams, you can get the driver's license within the same day.

To avoid wasting time and money... my advice to you is that you SHOULD go to the licensing center for more information or ask directly to give yourself some peace of mind!
How to convert a 50cc motorcycle driver's license for international students in Japan

Tips from my personal experience

  • You should arrive about 30-45 minutes early because it is very crowded with many participants
  • The interview is simple. You just need to tell them honestly about how you practiced driving by yourself in Vietnam, at what age and how you obtained the driver's license, what you know about traffic laws in Vietnam, etc.
  • The multiple-choice theory exam will vary from region to region, so be sure to review everything from A to Z. It is available in both Japanese and English, so don't worry too much.
  • During the application process, if you are not fluent in Japanese, you should go with someone who knows the language well. In case that is not possible, you can ask a Vietnamese person (usually there are pretty many Vietnamese around) to help with translation
  • Before taking the test, you can talk to others in your area first to get a better overview of the process
  • The vehicle used for the exam may be pretty difficult to drive, but I have to admit that the motorbikes in Japan hardly ever have any problems, even if it's an old motorbike ^^

I hope that sharing some of this information will be useful to you (if you need it)!

Wish you success!

Chau Anh

Chau Anh


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