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This guide is NOT directive in nature; rather it attempts to provide easy to locate answers to FAQs. Please contact NAFM Safety Office at 226-3446 for more info.
Motor Vehicle and Licensing:
Q. What type of insurance do I need for my vehicle:
A: Every vehicle owner with the US Forces must carry two types of insurance that provide coverage both on and off military installations.
Liability Insurance. The minimum amount required by U.S. Military Law is ¥30,000,000 for bodily injury and ¥3,000,000 for property damage. Insurance may be purchased from an authorized Japanese agency. Please consult 35 SFS/SFAP (Pass & Registration) for insurance requirements.
Japanese Compulsory Insurance (JCI). It must be purchased by a company licensed in Japan. Japanese law requires vehicle owners to carry in their cars at all times a form certifying that the second type of policy has been purchased. A firm selling the policy issues the form. The Japanese government determines level of JCI coverage. JCI inspections are required every two years. The inspection can be completed at the 35 SVS Auto Service Center or at an off base garage. Make sure you know /remember your JCI date and have the vehicle inspected at least 30 days prior to the expiration. You will need the extra time to get repairs if needed. The inspection is based upon Japanese safety standards. This is a requirement under Japanese law and is required for all A/E/Y plated vehicles.
Q. Where do I go to get my License in Misawa:
A: Course II/Drivers Orientation is conducted every Wednesday at the Officers Club at 1400 hours. Attendees must bring their current license (stateside, international, USFJ Form 4EJ from another base, or GOJ License), orders/sponsors orders, and ID card. - Class is open to all permanent party SOFA personnel and their dependents. You do not have to wait for your Right Start appointment before taking this training. - TDY USAF personnel contact your VCO/VCNCO for training. - TAD USN personnel contact NAF Safety for training.
Navy Personnel 25 years old and younger are required to complete “Driving For Life” on NKO before their license will be issued. They can pick up their license at Bldg 980 NAF Safety.
Q. What do I need to do to get my 16 year old dependant a permit/Driver’s License:
A: The 35FW Services youth center on base conducts a driver's education class here on base. This class is required in order to get a driver's license for the 1st time. Must attend the Course II/Drivers Orientation base driving brief to obtain driving permit. Once permit is issued you can sign up for the class at the youth center. The cost for the class is roughly $225. If you have any questions you can call the youth center at 226-3220.
Q. What if I do not have stateside, international, USFJ Form 4EJ from another base, or GOJ License?
A. Same as above
General Motorcycle requirements
Q: What standards govern the Misawa AB motorcycle program?
A: DoDI 6055.4; AFI 91-207; 91-207, PACAFSUP1; AFI 31-204; USFJI 31-205; and 35FWI 36-2901.U.S. Navy personnel fall under base regulations as well as OPNAVINST 5100.12H & COMNAVJAPANINST 5800.9Q.
Q: I am not active duty, do these standards apply to me?
A: Yes, these requirements were extracted from various Instructions and apply to ALL United States Forces personnel (including active duty, reserve, cadets and midshipmen, and civilian), their dependents in Japan, US Official Contractors and their employees under Article XIV, Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), MLC, IHA, JSDF, retirees and United Nations Command, Rear Liaison (UNC(R)LNO) officers visiting US Forces, Japan (USFJ) facilities. It also applies to both appropriated and non-appropriated fund activities of US forces and such other activities located in Japan at the invitation of USFJ.
Q: What do I have to do to have a motorcycle endorsement on my USFJ Form 4EJ
A: Before issuance of any on/off-base 2-wheeled vehicle license and decal, applicants must:
- Complete a written motorcycle operator's test with a minimum passing score of
- Complete the Traffic Safety Course II and a specialized orientation on motorcycle operations in Japan.
- Complete MSF training Basic Riders Course (BRC) Experienced Riders Course (ERC) or Navy Personnel riding sport bikes are also required to complete Military SportBike Riders Course (MSBC) after completing the BRC/ERC.
- All newly assigned motorcycle operators, regardless of training and riding experience, will have an Operation Risk Assessment (ORA) performed by their unit verifying the member’s riding history and experience.
- Wing Safety will check the ORA and confirm proof of experience prior to endorsing the temporary training permit, base pass, or licensing paperwork. New riders must first take and pass the MSF Basic Riders Course (BRC).
- Recurring MSF training must be accomplished every three years. Training must also be accomplished to graduate to a motorcycle with greater than 400 CC (4 stroke) or greater than 200 CC (2 stroke) engines.
Q: I just PCS’d to Misawa AB, does the three year refresher rule apply to me?
A: Yes, even if you just PCS’d from a base/command which did not require the three year refresher you are still required to take it. You are not authorized to operate a motorcycle until you take the course.
Q: I do not have a motorcycle; can I still take a course?
A: Yes, personnel seeking qualification in Japan may borrow a motorcycle for training purposes, if all the requirements of paragraphs 13.2-13.3 of AFI 91-207, PACAFSUP1 are met. (Ref: AFI 91-207, PACAFSUP1, para 13.5.1.)
Q: I just completed an MSF course before PCSing to Misawa AB. Why do I have to take the Experienced Rider Course (ERC) before I ride here?
A: USFJ requires certified motorcycle riders to attend an additional local training session highlighting the unique hazards of riding motorcycles in Japan. A road/skills test, equivalent to the Motorcycle Operator’s Skill Test II (MOST II), must be included in the training. The ERC meets this requirement. (Ref: USFJI 31-205, para 22.214.171.124.1.)
Q: I am new to motorcycle riding am I subject to any restrictions?
A: There are several restrictions for inexperienced riders. These restrictions are listed below.
- Inexperienced riders will receive a stamp on their MSF Card stating "RESTRICTED TO 400 CC or LESS (4-STROKE) and LESS THAN 200 CC (2-STROKE)”.
- Operators will not be allowed to register a motorcycle larger than the CC or stroke type used to complete the training.
- After one year of riding experience, riders may take the MSF Experienced Rider Course (ERC) with a larger motorcycle to remove the motorcycle size restriction from their licenses.
- Members are exempt from the size restriction if the motorcycle in question was owned by the member prior to 17 May 2004. The member must provide proof of prior ownership to be exempted.
- Inexperienced riders are prohibited from carrying passengers during their first year of riding.
- Motorcycle and moped operators enrolled in the base motorbike training class will operate between the main gate and the training class parking lot only when accompanied by another Motorcycle/Moped license operator.
Q: Are there any other restrictions for riders?
A: Yes, these are listed below.
- A separate road test will be administered to all two-wheeled vehicle operators who desire to carry passengers. A MOST II or equivalent road test will be used to evaluate an operator’s proficiency in handling the vehicle in a series of emergency conditions with a passenger aboard. The operator’s permit will be clearly over-stamped “AUTHORIZED TO CARRY PASSENGERS”. Two-wheeled vehicle operators not so licensed will not be allowed to carry passengers. (Ref: USFJI 31-205, para 126.96.36.199.)
- Two-wheeled vehicle operators will not be licensed to carry passengers off base unless they have had a minimum of one year's driving experience. Operating experience required to carry a passenger aboard a two-wheeled vehicle on base will be at the discretion of the installation commander. If in this case, required driving experience is less for on base than off base driving, the operator’s permit will be clearly over-stamped with “AUTHORIZED TO CARRY PASSENGERS ON BASE ONLY”. (Ref: USFJI 31-205, para 188.8.131.52.1.)
Q: Who determines the experience level of the rider?
A: For military personnel this is simple, your commander determines your experience level during the ORA. Commanders will require proof of prior motorcycle riding experience and/or completion of an ORA by the immediate supervisor before recommending the individual for a temporary training permit, base pass, or licensing.
Q: How do I prove my level of motorcycle riding experience?
A: This proof will be a state driver's license with motorcycle endorsement, an MSF card, or other evidence showing completion of a DoD recognized motorcycle safety course.
Q: Can I receive a temporary permit to operate my motorcycle off-base?
A: No this is not authorized. In order to legally operate a motorcycle off-base you must have the motorcycle endorsement on your USFJ Form 4EJ. You will not receive the endorsement until successfully completing the training requirements.
Q: Can I receive a temporary permit to operate my motorcycle on-base?
A: Yes, operators may be issued a temporary training permit (temporary base pass/registration) until the next scheduled training date, but not for a period exceeding 15 days. Prior to the individual receiving a temporary pass, the individual's immediate supervisor must perform and document an Operation Risk Assessment to determine if the level of risk warrants the temporary pass. Successive 15-day training permits are authorized only if approved by the operator's Commander.
Q: What do I need for a temporary permit?
A: Come in to the 35 FW Ground Safety Office (SEG) to begin the process. SEG person will assist you in signing-up for a MSF class. You will be given a letter to present to your supervisor, Unit Safety Representative (USR), Unit Motorcycle Monitor (UMM), and commander. Once this letter is returned to SEG, you will be given a letter authorizing a temporary permit.
Motorcycle Personal Protective Equipment
Q: What protective equipment do I need when riding motorcycle?
A: Requirements for motorcycle, motor scooter, and moped operations on Air Force installations and for operation by military personnel off Air Force installations include the following:
Operator and any passenger must wear a properly fastened (under chin) protective helmet protective helmet which meets the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Department of Transportation (DOT). Operators and passengers may use foreign-made helmets provided they meet or exceed these standards. These mandatory requirements also apply to All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) operators. Riders are encouraged to affix reflective material to their helmets.
Operator and any passenger must wear impact resistant goggles or a full-face shield on their helmet. A motorcycle-mounted windshield is not considered proper eye protection.
- All motorcycle and lightweight motorized scooter (Go-Ped or similar machine) operators and passengers will wear reflective vests with a minimum of 138 square inches. For example, an appropriate vest would have a reflective strip at the top and bottom of vest on both back and front of vest.
- The reflective vest will not be covered by a backpack or similar item.
- Within PACAF, the only approved reflective vest colors are international orange and lime green.
- Outer upper garment shall be clearly visible and not covered.
- Long sleeved shirts or jackets, full-fingered motorcycle gloves or mittens designed for use on a motorcycle, and long trousers.
- Sturdy footwear. Hard-soled over-the-ankle leather shoes or boots are required.