Shipment - Privately Owned Vehicles (POV)
Shipment at government expense of privately owned vehicles is authorized for personnel assigned to Japan. However, the Government of Japan has established stringent emission control standards for automobiles and trucks manufactured in recent years. An embargo is in existence for shipment of privately owned vehicles manufactured after 31 March 1976. For this reason, prior approval for shipment of POV must be obtained from the Commander, USARJ (APAJ-GD-TSD). In applying for approval, you must supply the make and model of the POV and the date (year and month) it was manufactured.
Large American cars are discouraged for use in Japan. Although roads are improving, there are still many roads and most streets in urban areas which are narrow and almost impossible to negotiate with a large car. There are usually a great many used, older model Japanese cars available at very reasonable prices ($700 -$1000). They are suited to road conditions and repair parts are readily available. Registration, licensing fees and insurance rates are cheaper for Japanese made cars than for the larger American cars.
Persons who obtain approval to ship an American car can expect to spend approximately $1,000.00 minimum to properly register the vehicle and obtain compulsory Japanese and US Insurance. In addition, there will likely be other costs to modify the car to meet Japanese inspection requirements. Proof of the date of manufacture (month and year) is required by the Japanese government in order to register an American vehicle. Procuring replacement parts for US manufactured vehicles is time-consuming and expensive, as the Army and Air Force Exchange System do not stock such parts.
Shipment - Motorcycles
The embargo on vehicles does not prohibit shipment of motorcycles manufactured after 31 March 1976. In order to ship a motorcycle, you must obtain written authorization prior to shipment. Some minor emission control modifications may be required after entry into Japan depending upon the make and model of the motorcycle.
VRO is located in bldg. J-196 on the 1st floor. Hours of operation are 0800 - 1600 Monday through Friday, with the exception of Wednesdays from 0800-1200. You can receive more information by dialing 243-5011.
Services provided by VRO include:
- Vehicle/Bicycle Registration/De-Registration
- Contractor/MLC/JMSDF Vehicle Registration/De-Registration
- Land Transportation Office Information
- Title Transfer
- Road Tax Decal
- Remember to update the VRO office when you update your insurance and license!
Also, you must sell or "junk" your vehicle or motorcycle prior to leaving Japan or you will be held responsible for your abandoned vehicle! Click here for more information and policies & instructions on driving in Japan.
Driving Privileges and License
To drive any vehicle (private or government owned) in Japan, you as a SOFA sponsored member, must be properly licensed with a U.S. Forces, Japan operator's permit (USFJ Form 4EJ). Specific qualification and testing requirements must be satisfied before installation commanders may issue these licenses. One of the requirements is that applicants must present one of below driving credentials and remain them valid:
- A valid (current) driver's license issued by any state or territory of the US or by the District of Columbia
- An international driver's permit (IDP)
- A valid Government of Japan driver's license
- A written proof that they have successfully completed a certified formal driving course
- A valid (current) driver's license issued by the country specified in USFJ Instruction 31-205
A pre-requisite to obtaining a Drivers License at CFAY is proof of attendance at the Area Orientation Brief and Inter-cultural Relations Class (AOB/ICR). This class is offered from Monday through Friday on every week that does not contain a federal holiday. The Local Hazard Course immediately follows the Friday morning AOB/ICR wrap-up. This class facilitated by the CFAY Safety Department will familiarize new arrivals with Japanese driving laws, signs and customs followed by a written examination.
- Pre-registration is required for AOB/ICR.
After completion of Local Hazard Course and successfully passed a written examination, you may schedule your a road test appointment. For appointment, call DSN 243-5647.
Study materials are available on-line. If you prefer to have a booklet version of driving manual, please visit CFAY Driver's License Office at Bldg. #J-196 1st floor.
Fleet Activities Yokosuka Safety department offers both Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic, Experienced and Military Sport Rider Courses. These courses are mandatory in order to become properly licensed while riding in Japan. Rider Coaches are volunteers for the community and offer their knowledge of riding and the special conditions that are encountered while in Japan.Call 243-2370 for more information on motorcycle training.