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Thread: IDP/Swiss Driving Licence/Purchasing 2nd Hand/Insurance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    6

    Default IDP/Swiss Driving Licence/Purchasing 2nd Hand/Insurance

    Hello Everyone!

    Have multiple questions for the forum here, hope I can get some answers!

    Just relocated from Zurich to Tokyo. Used to drive a Suzuki Intruder M800, nice nice bike. Sold it before coming.

    I have come to Japan, in theory, for a short assignment with work until +- end of this year, 2017. So, in theory, I have still 11 months left here. I say in theory because it could well be that my time in Tokyo gets extended, you never know! :)

    With that in mind, and holding a Swiss Driver licence,I have the following questions:
    • I have an IDP from Switzerland issued in June 2016 and valid until 2020. CAn I use it to drive in JApan then only until June 2017 (just 1 year)as I read somewhere, or can I use it for all the official period in Japan?
    • As I have a Swiss Driving licence, I went to the JAF and got the official translation. Now I have my Swiss licence and translation, which I understand could work again fr me for just 1 year. Is that right?
    • I asked and apparently, I could also try to get a Japanese driving licence just having to do my eye check, nothing more. Is this correct? If I got the Japanese driving licence, will they give me back the Swiss one? Or would they send the Swiss one back to Switzerland? I ask because this is what they do in Switzerland when you get a Swiss licence, they send back your original licence to the country authorities


    I am thinking of purchasing a 2nd hand bike and sell it when I leave. Aside from whether it makes sense or not from a financial perspective, questions:
    • Can I buy this 2nd bike with just my IDP? or my Swiss driving licence + translation? or do I need something else?
    • For a 2nd hand bike, 1200 cc, what kind of yearly insurance cost should I be facing?
    • Anything else I should watch out when buying a 2nd hand bike from a private seller based on your experience?


    Thank you all for any answers you may give me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Kyoto
    Posts
    2,957

    Default IDP/Swiss Driving Licence/Purchasing 2nd Hand/Insurance

    On the license. They will NOT take your home country license and you will still have it.
    +
    On buying a bike with just your IDP again not an issue many have done it, so no problem there.
    +
    Insurance part of it will depend on bike age and of course engine size, and what coverage you decide on.
    Getting to the Summit is Optional, Returning home is mandatory
    Life begins at 155mph

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by looptruy View Post
    [*]I have an IDP from Switzerland issued in June 2016 and valid until 2020. CAn I use it to drive in JApan then only until June 2017 (just 1 year)as I read somewhere, or can I use it for all the official period in Japan?
    You may use it for one year from your date of arrival in Japan (not date of issue). This is the date in the lower left corner of your resident card (the old ones had numbered fields, much easier).
    After that one year, it makes a nice addition to the photo album.

    Quote Originally Posted by looptruy View Post
    [*]As I have a Swiss Driving licence, I went to the JAF and got the official translation. Now I have my Swiss licence and translation, which I understand could work again fr me for just 1 year. Is that right?
    Correct. You need an IDP, --OR-- a translation of a French, German or Swiss license. Both doesn't do much for you, except I would expect the average policeman here will accept the IDP more readily than just the translation. Keep the translation for the next point:

    Quote Originally Posted by looptruy View Post
    [*]I asked and apparently, I could also try to get a Japanese driving licence just having to do my eye check, nothing more. Is this correct? If I got the Japanese driving licence, will they give me back the Swiss one? Or would they send the Swiss one back to Switzerland? I ask because this is what they do in Switzerland when you get a Swiss licence, they send back your original licence to the country authorities
    Take your Swiss license, the JAF translation, your passport and resident card to the "Foreign License" window of your regional license center. If your address is actually "Tokyo" and not Saitama, Chiba or Kanagawa this will be either the Fuchu or Samezu centers. Get there at either 9am or 1pm and expect to spend half the day there. You will not need to do a driving test, just the rather quirky vision test and a 10-question poorly phrased knowledge test.

    Important question: Look at the arrival date on your Japan resident card. Now look at the issue date on your Swiss license. Is the issue date more than 3 months before the arrival date?
    Last edited by rtfm; 29-01-17 at 10:58 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kyoto
    Posts
    4,183

    Default

    I wouldnt convert to a J license in your case and use the IDP or Swiss license assuming you meet all the requirements to be legal doing that because it will be much more likely that you won't be ticketed in an encounter with the police since they may see it as too much hassle.


  5. #5

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    IDP is invalid with Swiss license in Japan. JAF translation and Swiss license ok.
    1yr is ok with above ( not qualified to provide legal advice, just what i have been
    told by local police ).

    You will need a Juminhyo OR certified signature with address from your embassy ( not some embassies
    will not issue an address with the certified signature and in such cases, it is a crap fight with the
    motor registry staff as to what/if they accept it or not ).

    Apexmoto can find a bike for you and sell it for you when you leave. We picked up a bike from a customer
    in Tokyo today, he is flying on Wednesday, so we will sell while he is setting into his new job/country. Allows
    people to use their bike, up until the last week or few days before departing.

    Sales@aperxmoto.jp ( John ).
    Apexmoto Inc - Dyno tuning, engine/chassis/suspension upgrades, repairs, shaken, tires & changing with balancing, graphics printing, stickers, media blasting, painting & powder coating.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    6

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    Thanks all!

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