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International Drivers Permit absolute must?

International Drivers Permit absolute must?

Old Oct 8, 15, 11:44 am
  #1  
k2
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International Drivers Permit absolute must?

So I'm literally about to board for a short notice trip to Japan where I need to rent a car. I didn't have a chance to get an IDP. I have a normal US drivers license. I realize an IDP is needed in Japan, so;

1) will the rental agency check/insist I have one?

2) is there any way to get one when I arrive in Tokyo? I have a couple days before heading up north where I'll rent the car.

Thanks
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Old Oct 8, 15, 12:49 pm
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a IDP is required as far as i am aware. and no.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2022.html
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Old Oct 8, 15, 12:53 pm
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I've always found the IDP to be useless and never asked for. Tried to use it once a few years back in Dubai and it just confused them.

Would be interested in knowing how it works out for you.
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Old Oct 8, 15, 1:07 pm
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This is Japan and you will not be able to rent a car without one; they will follow the rules. You can only get one outside Japan.
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Old Oct 8, 15, 1:35 pm
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I'd think a quick trip into your local AAA office is in order.

If you absolutely can't get the IDP in time, are you certain you have to drive for your assignment? If you aren't familiar with it, the Japanese public transit system is second to none. You might be able to get by with rail transport.
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Old Oct 8, 15, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by fly7b2 View Post
I've always found the IDP to be useless and never asked for. Tried to use it once a few years back in Dubai and it just confused them.

Would be interested in knowing how it works out for you.
As noted above, an IDP is required in Japan for all but a select few countries. Each time I have rented a car in Japan they have wanted to see my IDP. Maybe, the OP will be lucky, but I doubt it. For example, see:
https://www.toyotarentacar.net/english/guide/license/
http://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/...fic/geneva.htm
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Old Oct 8, 15, 4:00 pm
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Make sure it's valid too. They do look at the dates sometimes as well and you can be SOL if it's expired.
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Old Oct 8, 15, 7:52 pm
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Yep, I never get an IDP for any other country but I always get it for Japan and it has always been requested both for the person driving the car and any other alternate drivers. There's always a chance you'll get away with not having one but I'd put that at less than 5%
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Old Oct 8, 15, 8:29 pm
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
I'd think a quick trip into your local AAA office is in order.

If you absolutely can't get the IDP in time, are you certain you have to drive for your assignment? If you aren't familiar with it, the Japanese public transit system is second to none. You might be able to get by with rail transport.
Yes, your local AAA can supply one of these. I've never gotten one, but I've seen other people get them, and it seems like a quick and painless procedure.
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Old Oct 8, 15, 8:54 pm
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You can apply to AAA for it from Japan, and AAA can mail it to you. However, that'll take a few weeks. If you need one in 2 days, you're out of luck.
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Old Oct 8, 15, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by fly7b2 View Post
I've always found the IDP to be useless and never asked for. Tried to use it once a few years back in Dubai and it just confused them.

Would be interested in knowing how it works out for you.
Dubai experience is not relevant to Japan.

the IDP is an absolute must in Japan for a US driver lic.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 7:57 am
  #12  
k2
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International Drivers Permit absolute must?

Thanks folks. I'm very familiar with Japan and for that reason figured they might actually ask for it. I was able to do the application on the phone with my AAA rep and they sent me a scan of the permit, my hotel here in Tokyo will print it for me. So I officially have one but not in the official booklet format. I'm confident that will suffice.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by k2 View Post
I'm very familiar with Japan ...

I officially have [an IDP] but not in the official booklet format. I'm confident that will suffice.
Your two statements are inconsistent!

Seriously, would a scanned and printed copy of your US drivers license be sufficient to rent a car in the US? Would a scanned and printed copy of your passport be sufficient in Japan? I'm not saying it's not possible for it to work, but I'd be far from confident that it would.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by k2 View Post
Thanks folks. I'm very familiar with Japan and for that reason figured they might actually ask for it. I was able to do the application on the phone with my AAA rep and they sent me a scan of the permit, my hotel here in Tokyo will print it for me. So I officially have one but not in the official booklet format. I'm confident that will suffice.
let us know if it works.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 1:35 pm
  #15  
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Life is much, much easier in Japan when renting a car if you have the IDP. It really is.

That being said, I have on one occasion when I did not have one convinced an agency to rent a car, and that's without speaking or understanding Japanese. So I can verify it can be done but, as others have said, I wouldn't count on it.

The IDP is not much of a document. If you happen to have one that has expired, just put a sticker over the date and write in a new one. That's worked every time for me; i.e., more than once (but not a statistically significant number of times).
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