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fukdane

Driving? Intl license? Go to the police NOW

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Well after my incident the other day I went to the police today.

 

They were very friendly, telling me I must go to the licence center about 150km away.

 

Oh yes, and I couldn't drive home. I had to get a 2000 yen double-driver taxi ride home, and I can't use my car now until I get my Japanese license - which could take "however long". mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif

 

Not happy. But I recommend people who havent already seen to this frustrating issue to get on it asap.

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Amazing. Japan is nearly always more efficient than Hong Kong. However, if all your documents and qualifications are in order, over here it takes about 15mins (30 on a busy day) from the time you walk into the door of the Transport Department till you exit it with your International Driving Licence. It's even quicker for the ordinary Driving Licence for us locals...about 10 minutes.

Wasn't always like this but has been so for a couple of years now. I was so impressed the first time I wrote a letter to the P.R. of the Transport Department complimenting them. They appreciated the gesture but not as much as I appreciated their service!

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And I've just found out that it will be at least 2 weeks before I can drive again (it takes 7-10 days to get my licence translated by the "official source") and then at least a week to get an "appointment".

 

mad.gif

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fukdane, when you do get your 'translation' back, I'd be very interested to know what it consists of, and how much it cost you...

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yah...

I've been working on getting my license as well..

 

what the $%#^@ is up with that translation thing???? it costs 3000yen, and I swear, there is nothing on my license to translate...it has my name, the address I lived in, expiratino date, dob, and vehicle class, and the state its from...

that is it! 80% of the damn thing is numbers...grrrrr

 

and I hear the driving test is hard...like if you stop the car with your bumper 5cm past the line you fail...

 

anybody taken the road test here that wants to give some tips???

 

danz

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I've got to send 3000 yen and a copy of my license. It will take a week and we can ONLY get it done there (apparently).

 

In the meantime I am pretty much screwed for 2 weeks not being able to drive. mad.gif mad.gif

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Danz, you have it worse than me - I have a UK driving license and so it's "quite simple" for me - I don't have to actually take a driving test, seems you do.

 

Are you screwed too right now? Can't drive now?

 

I am really mad at this today, suddenly the next few weeks has transformed into a nightmare.

 

Wouldn't you think they'd give you a "goodwill" period so you can get your J licence. And before that, TELL YOU ABOUT THE NEW LAW somehow.

 

mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif

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fukdane,

so you have been driving without a licence for how long? whats another few days gonna hurt?

 

I went to the police without my licence , drove there, drove out with them waving good bye!

 

love this place!

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:rolleyes:

 

Oh, ok then, you told me right there didn't you mate.

 

OK - to everyone who lives out of the same precinct as Indosnm, when you go to the police make sure that you move to Indosnms area first and you'll be OK!!!

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i aint going to the cops...no way...

I have a 1hr commute to work...each way...if i take public transport, it would take close to 3hrs...as there are no trainstations in Tukuba city...I NEED my car...

 

i've already been pulled over since the new law was passed, but managed to get away unscathed...so i'm not to worried...but am still going through the shite trying to get one...

 

danz

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You should be worried, danz.

 

If they catch you you may be in real trouble. I've been through this, and as charming and non-confrontational as I am \:\) they were very strict with me too. I've also heard a few horror stories from acquaintances.

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if your from the uk, nz, oz etc.. dont assume you wont be given a driving test - it depends on how they feel on the days what iv heard from an aussie that had to take the cop for a drive.

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Nagoya is a matter of just going to the road transport office, get the translation and putting the forms in. if u go early its done in a few hours.

 

fukdane, yes maybe you should move down here!

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the driving test sucks!! and they were so crap about informing the foreign population about the change in the law. for jets, we work for the govt, and they didnt even tell us til the fall. anyways, there was a big discussion back then on a forum for nagano jets. here's some info from a person who took the test about how to pass. it's really long, sorry, but they are really strict!! its mostly aboout the actually driving course, so try to go before your test to get a copy so you can memorize it.

 

i had made an appointment and was told to arrive between 1pm and 1:30. i got there right at one with all the materials i needed (see past posts or faxes from the kencho). i gave them to the guy at the counter, and he gave me another form to fill out. five minutes later i was finished and he told me to wait in the lobby. i waited until about 3:15. then he called me in for the eye test and the written test. both were pretty easy, but the written test had a few tricky spots. a couple were obscure laws and a couple were because of bad and confusing english. you may want toreview the pages at the back of the jet diary about road signs just in case. after the test he called me and the one other person that was taking it over to the counter and informed us we had passed the first part. then he gave us a map of the course and explained the route we would be taking. he gave us a couple of points to keep in mind and told us we could go up to the observation room to check out the course before the test. then it began. the course was

actually pretty easy. the japanese people taking their test at the same time actually had a much harder course to drive. after the test he called us over and told us that we had both failed and told us why and gave us some tips. here are those tips (these are what he told me knowing i am from america, so i don't know how much they apply to people form other counties.

>also i took my test at the shinonoi center):

>

>1. on the long straight aways you HAVE TO go 40km. you have to make the needle at least touch the 40.

>

>2. on the outside corners you can only go 20km, but you CANNOT break around the corners. you HAVE TO break before the corners and coast around them. they are really strict about the first two rules.

>

>3. when turning onto another street, make sure to turn on the inside of the center. in america we learned to turn at an almost 90 degree angle, this will fail you in japan. you must turn with the outside of your car just barely touching the center on the INSIDE of the corner.

>

>4. if you are turning right onto a road with two

>lanes, you must turn into the OUTSIDE lane. in america we turn into the inside lane.

>

>5. when you turn left, first look over your shoulder for bikers, then drifter over the left side of the lane before you turn.

>

>6. for right corners make sure you are as close to the center as you can go.

>

>7. when driving on a single lane road, drive close to the center so bikes and scooters can fit on the left side.

>

>8. on a two lane road you must drive in the outside land and only use the inside lane to pass or turn right.

>

>9. when you come to a crosswalk go slow and look a bunch of times. but the most important thing is you HAVE TO take you foot off the gas pedal. you might want to take it off dramatically so they notice.

>

>10. don't forget blinkers even when you enter and exit the course.

>

>11. at unmarked four way stops the car to the left has the right of way.

>

>i followed almost all of the above. so how did i fail? well, on one straight away i couldn't get the car up to 40km before the turn, and then i breaked too close to that very same turn. nevermind that to get fast enough i would have had to slam on the gas and then slam on the breaks before the turn. nevermind that it was a total downpour and 40km really didn't feel safe to drive. the only other point that i made a mistake on was that i didn't put my blinker on to exit the course. nevermind that there were no other cars and the course. nevermind that the road curved to the right and the exit kept going straight. so because of two very minor points i failed. and to top it off the instructor was going off about how good of a driver i am! why did the other person fail her test? while she was driving she didn't take her foot off the clutch. that's it. everything else was fine for her. (by the way, i took the test with an automatic, but that means that i can't legally drive a stick en/if i pass. my car's an automatic anyway)

so i was very frustrated (and probably rightly so), just telling you so you are ready for it. but my instructor was really nice. he was cheerful the whole time and even gave us some important tips before we did the test. he joked and told us we did a good job. then he carefully and polietly explained why we failed and said if we could keep those points as well as the additional points he mentioned in mind that we would pass. and at the end he said that the only appointments he had open for anther test time are in three weeks, but he thought that we too long. so he told me to get in contact with sarah and try to get a fast time. and if that doesn't work, he gave me his name and personal phone number so he can help me out.

>

>so i don't think what i've heard and read about

>discrimination is true. our instructor seemed like he really wanted us to pass and wanted to help us out as much as he could, but the system is set up with a very difficult passing level. after talking to japanese people they said that it is just as strict for them (maybe more so since the course they were driving was harder. for example, up and down hill parking, backing nto a parking space, crossing railroad tracks, etc.

>we DO NOT have to do those things. but we do have to drive on some really skinny roads and not hit the poles). for example, one japanese guy forgot to renew his license in time and had to take the test. it was going to be his fifth time so far. and some friends of one of my japanese teachers took it thirty times! from what i've heard, almost nobody passes the first time.

>no matter what. no matter how good you do. no matter if you have two tiny little mistakes.

>

>so like i said, i don't think there is any

>discrimination going on as far as personal

>discrimination or racial discrimination goes. but i do think there is somewhat of a racket. when the woman failed her test the instructor suggested going to the driving school for some practice lessons. just bring your sheet with 'failed' marked on it to them and they

>know what to do. in the words of one of my teachers, 'they are afraid that if someone like you (meaning, someone without any lessons or anything just waltzing in and acing the test) passes, the driving school can't make any money and people might think the driving test is too easy.' it almost seemed like he had to kind of give the additional points, even thought i didn't break any of time, just so it seemed

>like there was a reason i failed.

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thanks nekobi!!!

 

that should be a big help...

(fade into danz training sequence...)

 

danz

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I am so glad that i come from a right hand drive country!

more than 10 years of driving and little bad habits would see me fail for sure!

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As with the re-entry permits for people with a valid visa and valid passport, I wish some diplomatic pressure could be brought to bear for all of this frivolous shit about driving. It all wastes so many foreigners' working days for absolutely no gain except employment for some deadwood bureaucrats. Let's all write to our elected representatives about this...

 

I hate this place sometimes.

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When I first spoke to the police and protested when they said I couldnt drive until I got my J license they didnt have an answer. Apart from "you can't drive now until you get your J license. Starting from now. Even though your car is currently parked in our police car park".

 

The fact that nobody told me about this new law, and I didn't know until the evening before when a friend told me about it, didn't seem to bother them in the least.

 

And the fact that I needed to drive every day also did not seem to move them at all.

 

I went nearly a month before I could get the J papers and it was a real pain. My whole life situation was severly compromised because of it.

 

I can understand the law and all that, and I want to abide by it. But surely if you have a "valid" Intnl licence on the day you go to the police (voluntarily!) and get the whole thing in motion as fast as you can they could give you a period of time to let you get your J license without disrupting your life big style? I just can't get that.

 

The policeman I spoke to was not nice. No peace there, man.

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Been pulled over twice now with my int'l drivers license (a piece of advice if you get angry about paying 3000 yen one way on the aqua-line, wait until your well past the toll gate to get your car up to 200kpm) both times been a 30 second stop. Did the whole pretend youre a tourist and speak absolutely no japanese. Whatever you do, do not show your gaijin card unless absolutely demanded because thats how they figure out you shouldnt be driving here. If they ask for your Shaken or what-not youre probably done for, both times i was pinched they neglected to check the registration (first time the car was still not in my name) maybe they asked for it but anyway pretend like you courteously just cannot understand. Now I know someone who got their car taken away, and according to him, you dont need a Japanese license to get it back, only to have whoever picks it up have one. He had a mutual friend drag himself over to the police impound and get his car. Don't know if this trick works everywhere but might be worth a shot as keeping the int'l license is key (chances of getting a ticket if pulled over much lower...)

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oops, didnt read the part about insurance not being valid, gulp! Guess i better bite the bullet and get the japanese license as even if an accident isnt your fault in japan you could still be in for damages under the shared fault system (whats up with that?)

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mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif

 

OK, 9 days without being able to drive.

9 days since I send off for the "translation" of my driving license.

The "translation" came today.

 

As expected, it is a piece of paper that surely could have been done in 10 minutes (by myself). Simply my home address, name, and numbers from my overseas license. That took 9 days, right.

 

Then we telephone the license center where I have to go. It's 150km away from where I live. They aren't taking reservations on a Saturday, but say that it is "very busy" and it might take time to get an appointment. The person on the phone "guessed at" 2 weeks.

 

So that will mean nearly 4 WEEKS total if he is correct.

 

He could be wrong of course and I could get my appointment in June 2006.

 

This whole thing is really terrible I think and making me so f#$%% angry. Is anyone else in the same situation here? (It seems so with the amount of gaijin they said were applying).

 

mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif

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I'm pretty much in the same position as you fukdane, although I can cope without a car for a few weeks where I live. The lack of system and information and treatment of us here is a disgrace.

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