How to Register Your Out Of State Car in Japan

Many people who move to Japan choose to register their imported car there. On the other hand, locals in Japan buy cars out of state as well. The registration process might seem overly complicated, but it is easier than it seems. You should follow our guide and learn how to register your out of state car in Japan. This will make the process much simpler and you will have it done in no time.

Before registering your out of state car in Japan you need to import it

Due to the fact that Japan is an island, having a car imported requires some additional steps. First, you need to hire an import agent to make sure that everything goes smoothly. These agents are well-versed in the laws and regulations of Japan and know how to import a vehicle properly. Next, the car goes through customs. Here you need to submit a declaration form for the customs agents. One of the good things when importing a car to Japan is that there is no import duty tax. However, you will have to pay the acquisition tax, which is 5% of the value of the car. If your vehicle successfully passes through customs, you will be given a customs clearance certificate.

An import agent can help you register your out of state car in Japan.
Always hire a reliable and reputable import agent.

After customs, your car will be subject to an emissions test and an inspection. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism will inspect your car. If there are any parts that are not in keeping with Japanese laws and regulations, you will have to change them. They won’t allow you to drive the car before you make these alterations. Usually, this process takes from 5 to 7 business days.

Those who successfully import vehicles to Japan might not want to use them right away. This is the time when warehouse Japan is very useful. You can store your car in a safe place before you are ready to drive it. Moreover, you will know that they will protect your vehicle from burglars but also from outside factors. Choose this type of storage for your car if you want to have peace of mind.

The process of registration

If you want to import your car to Japan via sea freight forwarders, you should know how to register it the right way. When you pass the inspection, you will have three months to register your out of state car in Japan. If you don’t plan on having the car in Japan for more than a year, you can apply for the Carnet de Passage en Douane, which will save you from paying taxes necessary when registering. On the other hand, if you plan on keeping it for longer, there are certain taxes and fees that you have to pay. Aside from these payments, you will also need to have the following documentation:

  • Registration form
  • Registration fee
  • Customs clearance certificate
  • Emissions test certificate
  • Inspection certificate
  • Insurance certificate
  • Certification of parking space

If you have decided to hire an import agent at the beginning of this process, it will be much easier on you. This person will handle all of these steps and bring the car to you once it is ready. The Carnet the Passage en Douane is also very convenient if you are not sure how long you will use the car in Japan for. Just make sure that you check what you need to do after the year is up.

A temporary license plate can only last 5 days.
Try to file for a permanent license as soon as you can.

Getting the plates when you register your out of state car in Japan

There are different ways to ship your car to Japan, but all of them require the same steps after the shipping is done. All vehicles in Japan require a national number plate. You can only obtain this plate when you register your imported car. So for the purposes of driving it from to the testing center you need to have a temporary license plate. You will need these documents to file for a temporary number plate:

  • Family seal (or signature for foreigners)
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Fiscal stamp
  • Driving license showing current address
  • Inspection certificate
  • Customs clearance

While this temporary license is convenient, you can only use it for five days. After that, you will have to pay a penalty for its use. When you have completed all the steps in your registration, you can buy a permanent national number plate at the District Land Transport Bureau, or even online.

Getting your car insured in Japan

You have probably noticed that in order to register your car in Japan you will need to have insurance. The insurance required by the state is one that only covers your vehicle in case of an accident. This means that you will be reimbursed for any damage done to your vehicle. On the other hand, there is one more type of insurance. This one is optional and covers you or other persons riding in your car. In case of an injury, your medical bills will be covered and you will also receive reimbursement. While it is optional, it is a good idea to pay the extra money for this insurance. You never know what might happen to you on the road and it is better to have a safety net.

There are some difficulties for foreigners in Japan, and one of them is not knowing the language. When you want to obtain car insurance, try to find someone who can help you translate. On the other hand, you can ask around for an insurance agent that is fluent in English or your native language.

Obtaining a parking space certificate

All vehicles in Japan are required to have a parking space certificate. You will need to have this document when you apply to register your out of state car in Japan. For this certificate, you will have to submit certain documentation to the local police department. Here are the documents you will need:

  • Application form for parking space certificate
  • Statement of ownership of the parking space or the certificate of permission for parking space use
  • Map of the parking space
  • Proof of address (such as a drivers license or a utility bill)
It can be hard to find parking in Japan.
The parking certificate will ensure that you always have a place to leave your car.

After you have submitted all of these documents, it can take up to a week for the certificate to be processed. While these steps may seem complicated, know that it will be worth it in the end once you register your out of state car in Japan. You can drive without worrying about insurance or even parking. These steps are designed for your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.

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