A reader recently provided a web site on driving in Japan.

I looked through the web site as it contained many new and interesting information regarding driving in Japan.

I felt it was best that I wrote an article on it for the benefit of all readers concerned.

First of all, to answer the question that many readers have asked this blog, “Can Malaysian driving license be used in Japan?”.

Japan is a signatory of the Geneva Conference 1949 and likewise its revamp of 1968.

But Japan does not accept Malaysian driving license as it is unlike Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom, Thailand and many other countries.

The Japanese authorities will only accept the use of Malaysian licenses in the form of International Driving License (I.D.L.) or International Driving Permit (I.D.P.).

So, what should Malaysians going over to Japan do if they should wish to drive there?

Malaysians going to Japan should therefore be prepared to convert their domestic license into I.D.L. or I.D.P. before their trip to the Land of The Rising Sun.

The international driving license can only be issued back home.

The I.D.L. are issued on a year to year basis.

It costs RM150 per year.

Renewals however can only be made back home, here in Malaysia.

To renew it, it is necessary to fill a form called JPJ L1.

Many readers have inquired can I.D.L. be renewed overseas?

Can’t it be renewed at Malaysian Consulate or Embassy in other countries?

Unfortunately, the answer is “No”.

So it looks as if one has to come back to Malaysia if he or she wishes to renew the license.

But alas, all is not lost.

A former J.P.J. officer, a friend of mine, who is currently working as the Assistant Manager of my institutes, advises, you can sent it back to Malaysia.

Friends and family member can assist you to renew your license and then send it back to your overseas.

A little of a hassle maybe, but still, it can be done.

Finally, before going over to Japan with your International Driving License, have the license ideally translated into the English language.

This is for the benefit of the Japanese authorities, whom as you know, are not fluent in Bahasa Malaysia anyway.