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Thread: Can I purchase + register a bike with an IDP? (Does registering even require a license?)

  1. #1

    Default Can I purchase + register a bike with an IDP? (Does registering even require a license?)

    Quick question, all right there in the title. I'm a recent transplant to Japan, and I have a valid IDP that will probably stay valid for my entire stay here, so all things being equal I have no real incentive to go through the process of getting a Japanese license. I've read conflicting anecdotes about whether a license of any sort is even needed for registration, so I figured I'd just ask the fine folks here to see if I could get a straight answer before waltzing into a dealership.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Kyoto
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    Default Can I purchase + register a bike with an IDP? (Does registering even require a license?)

    Registered my first 2 bikes with an idp as long as you have your residence card you'll be ok
    Getting to the Summit is Optional, Returning home is mandatory
    Life begins at 155mph

  3. #3
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    Jan 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer162 View Post
    as long as you have your residence card you'll be ok
    Residence card (ZaiRyuu Kaado) --> Local residence certificate (JuuMinHyou) --> OK

  4. #4
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    Default Can I purchase + register a bike with an IDP? (Does registering even require ...

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthbyNW View Post
    Residence card (ZaiRyuu Kaado) --> Local residence certificate (JuuMinHyou) --> OK
    Indeed I did forget to mention the Jumihyou
    However depending how long your staying and where your from you might want to just get your Japanese license.
    Getting to the Summit is Optional, Returning home is mandatory
    Life begins at 155mph

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by klange View Post
    I have a valid IDP that will probably stay valid for my entire stay here
    You are staying for less than one year? If so, buying a vehicle seems like a waste of time and money. You can easily rent for weekend trips.

    ( If you live in the country and are getting a used 50cc scooter that does change the math )

  6. #6
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    A driver's license is not required to register a vehicle. They've never asked when registering mine, although it is helpful supporting ID.
    IBA33490

    Touge Express

  7. #7

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    Rental fees for anyone who likes to ride, would most likely cost more than buying a bike in the first 3 months.
    A week long rental to go touring would be about 70,000, add in a few weekends a month and it adds up fast.

    Most people forget you are not comparing the purchase price of a bike, as you will sell it. You are comparing the
    difference between buying/owning and selling. In most cases, longer than 4 months makes it well worth while to buy.
    For the record i rent and sell bikes, so deal with this quite often. We have had multiple customers who bough and sold in
    a year or less and most ended up way ahead, compared with renting ( granted most wanted to ride every day or at lease
    every week ).
    Apexmoto Inc - Dyno tuning, engine/chassis/suspension upgrades, repairs, shaken, tires & changing with balancing, graphics printing, stickers, media blasting, painting & powder coating.

  8. #8

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    Don't waltz into a dealership. Email john ( at ) apexmoto.jp and i can get you a better deal
    ( in most cases ) than the dealerships. License is not required, though some shops seem to enforce
    their own "law."
    Apexmoto Inc - Dyno tuning, engine/chassis/suspension upgrades, repairs, shaken, tires & changing with balancing, graphics printing, stickers, media blasting, painting & powder coating.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jav View Post
    We have had multiple customers who bough and sold in
    a year or less and most ended up way ahead, compared with renting ( granted most wanted to ride every day or at least
    every week ).
    Yes, that will have a major impact in the total cost. Future readers (this guy seems to have disappeared) need to add up the intended usage and estimated resale value (assuming you don't drop it and scratch the mirrors). Don't forget the time taken to source insurance - if you just arrived, don't speak Japanese and don't have a local license this could be very difficult.

    @Jav: got a friendly insurance agent on file?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    San Francisco
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    Thanks for posting this information!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Sendai. FJR1300 (2014)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jav View Post
    We have had multiple customers who bough and sold in
    a year or less and most ended up way ahead, compared with renting ( granted most wanted to ride every day or at lease
    every week ).
    I concur with this. Buy a reasonable used bike, operate it for a year and sell it. If you don't damage it, it isn't going to go down much in value, and your net costs (including insurance, etc.) don't add up to near what renting will cost. I think of buying a "new" used bike as an extremely low-cost rental.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rtfm View Post
    Yes, that will have a major impact in the total cost. Future readers (this guy seems to have disappeared) need to add up the intended usage and estimated resale value (assuming you don't drop it and scratch the mirrors). Don't forget the time taken to source insurance - if you just arrived, don't speak Japanese and don't have a local license this could be very difficult.

    @Jav: got a friendly insurance agent on file?
    Apexmoto has a license insurance agent. Most, if not all of our insurance customers are very happy.
    We sell Mitsui insurance. We can deal with the claim for you ( for an extra fee ) and we give advise for free
    if things get difficult. Also we do pickup and crash/insurance repairs.
    Apexmoto Inc - Dyno tuning, engine/chassis/suspension upgrades, repairs, shaken, tires & changing with balancing, graphics printing, stickers, media blasting, painting & powder coating.

  13. #13

    Default

    Residence card is not necessary. Certified signature from embassy will work.
    However most shops and probably 70% of motor registries do not know the law
    so say, no. Apexmoto has done it for about 10 customers. One is currently touring
    Japan on his own bike for 8 months. Then will sell and leave.
    Apexmoto Inc - Dyno tuning, engine/chassis/suspension upgrades, repairs, shaken, tires & changing with balancing, graphics printing, stickers, media blasting, painting & powder coating.

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