THE PROCESS FOR THE REST
Getting a scooter license instead of a car license may be a simpler option for
many people (especially if you do not have a driver's license from home.) Note that you
cannot drive a scooter on your home driver's license (unless it is explicitly specified),
even though you can with an ordinary Japanese driver's license.
The written test is difficult, however, there are no restrictions on foreigners.
You can take it at any local driver's testing center if they have the test in English
and most do. The questions are very specific and the translation is not perfect, so do not
get too hung up on the wording. It is 50 true or false questions. You must get 45 right.
It is somewhat difficult and well worth studying from the scooter book (available in English).
You may notice that many young Japanese are taking the tests with you.
That is because the age to drive scooters (and small motorcycles) is age 16 instead of 18 as
it is for cars.
Once you pass the written test, a 2 hour scooter lesson is required (it is given in Japanese).
However, no practical exam is necessary. The total cost for the test and the lesson could be
up to 12,000 yen.
A Full Japanese License
Getting a full Japanese car / motorcycle license from scratch the way the Japanese do it
requires one to take the full Japanese written test, which is one hundred true or false questions.
That written test is only available in English in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Osaka, Kyoto, Aichi,
Hyogo, Hokkaido, Saitama, Niigata, Shizuoka, Miyagi, and Tokushima. You must get ninety
correct (90%) to pass.
Also required is the full Japanese practical test which is longer and more complex than the test
for foreigners, can be on either a course or on the road, and is not discussed in this book
for lack of knowledge about it. Many Japanese opt out of the practical test by graduating
from an accredited driving school, which can cost 300,000 yen. However, one cannot
opt out of the written test.
END OF CHAPTER