Using Malaysian Driving License In Japan

Can Malaysians Use Their Driving License In Japan?

If you are an avid student of history, you would have learnt that the world has seen 2 major wars, the 1st World War (1919) and the 2nd World War (1939 – 1945).

The League of Nations ended the first one. While the Geneva Conference 1949, the second one. A revamp of the Geneva Conference was made in 1968.

Under the Geneva Conference, countries signatory to this agreement have agreed to allow drivers of each other country to use their domestic licenses when they visit the countries concerned.

Malaysian’s domestic licenses for instance, could be used in Singapore without any problem at all. Likewise, when a Malaysian should visit neighboring Thailand, he is allowed to drive his Malaysian registered vehicle into Thailand fairly easily. Malaysian licenses for your information are acceptable for use by the Thai authorities.

The only reminder to Malaysian citizens who wish to drive down there is to remember that their licenses are valid, meaning it is not expired and secondly, have the license you own ideally translated into the local language to facilitate the authorities’ work there.

When my son-in-law, Kin, visited Australia with his wife for a holiday, he rented a car and traveled around the entire continent extensively. With his domestic Malaysian license, he had no trouble especially with the road transport authorities and police people there.

The same also applied to my brother-in-law, Mr. Ooi, and my sister when they visited the United Kingdom a few years ago. The above couple, I was told rented a car also and traveled extensively around England rather cheaply.

Readers of this blog have time and again inquired of me, can Malaysian domestic licenses be used to drive in foreign countries?

As I have explained earlier, the answer to the above question frequently asked is certainly “Yes”!

In providing such an answer, I base my answer on my vast experience in the driving industry, which has spanned over 40 years or so. Besides that, I also base my answer on text books and resources that I possess. It sould also be reminded that I have been involved in lecturing defensive driving courses at a fairly large institute for many years now.

Pertaining to questions which I am unable to answer, I will normally approach the assistant manager of the institute to which I am currently attached to seek an answer from him.

But at times, the answer given to blog readers, I have to admit are not 100 percent correct all the time. One should remember that answers given to blog readers may at times be incorrect. In fact, the question of opinion should always be taken into consideration.

Recently, some readers of this blog posed a query to me, can Malaysian license be used in Japan?

Straight away, as per the Geneva Conference 1949, I have my opinion as yes. The above conference provides for the usage of domestic licenses.

To further question as to whether a Malaysian driving in Japan should change his license in to International Driving License (I.D.L) or otherwise, I have normally advised that such licenses can be used in most countries, including Japan.

My recent reading regarding driving conditions which Japan imposes on foreign nationals should in fact be an I.D.L. is required by the Japanese authorities there.

With this in mind, I am from now onwards, will advise readers to ideally procure an I.D.L. prior to visiting Japan is they should intent to drive there. Because that’s what the Japanese authorities insist upon.

Japan, it is said, has concluded some 20 or more agreements with many nations pertaining to use of licenses. I believe, in order to streamline driving rules and regulations, this requirement is indeed a good move.

With the conclusion of this article, the question of using Malaysian driving license in Japan has therefore been put to rest. By reading this article carefully, readers will find that it would be unnecessary for them to inquire me for an answer.

By | 2012-09-21T22:16:14+08:00 September 3rd, 2010|Driving License|2 Comments

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  1. Siti March 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Cikgu Yap,
    Good Morning,
    I am in the process of translating my Malaysia (international Driving License) to Japan’s Driving LIcense in which I have to attend an interview regarding on the procedure that I have to go before obtaining my license. As I obtained my licensed few years back, now I don’t remember the procedure clearly. Can you help me on this.

    1. 6 hours course
    2. Computer test
    3. 4 hours theory course
    4. Driving lesson
    5. Pre- test
    6. JPJ test

    Is all that I can remember, but even that I am not very sure of the details.

    I really hope that Cikgu Yap can help me on this matter. I really need to finish this process as sson as possible as my IDL is almost expired.

    Thank you

    • Cikgu Yap March 29, 2012 at 9:08 am - Reply

      You have remembered rather well. You only missed out the first course – the 5 hour defensive driving course in your itinerary. The rest are in order.

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