Foreign Driver’s License Renewal Procedures, Geneva Convention, Vienna Convention


The annual…

Today I went to the police station to renew my foreign driver’s license, which is a necessity for my annual European road trip, before going to work.

It is relatively easy to get a driver’s license. If you have a regular driver’s license in Japan, you can take a picture at a police station or an examination center.


In Tokyo, it was issued the same day at the police station, and from my experience, it took about 30 minutes, but in Kanagawa Prefecture, it takes two weeks at the police station. Too bad….

If you go to the examination center in Kanagawa prefecture, you can take the test on the same day, but you have to wait a long time for it. It’s too far from Futamatagawa….

Germany and Croatia are not included?

I thought I had already acquired it so many times that there was not much I could know about it now, but no, no, no, I found something new again.

The photo at the beginning is a booklet you get when you apply for an international driver’s license. It’s a small booklet of 4 pages, folded in half.

I always at least take a quick look at it, but when I look at it again, there’s something I never noticed before!

On the last page of this booklet, there is a page titled « Countries where you can drive with an overseas driver’s license ».


Apparently, these countries are not « Geneva Convention Contracting Parties ».

It seems that there is also something called the « Vienna Convention » regarding international driving licenses, and Germany is a member of this convention. Japan is not a member.


At any rate, Switzerland and Germany have « You can drive » in the notes below, but what about other countries, such as « Croatia » and « Slovenia » that I mentioned above?

As a matter of fact, these countries also seem to be able to drive without problems due to bilateral arrangements. I was able to confirm these situations with the embassy information.



In any case, it seems that a foreign driver’s license obtained in Japan can be used in most European countries.