Driver's Licence

Obtaining a Provincial Driver's Licence on the Basis of a Japanese Driver's Licence

New Brunswick

Starting October 1, 2016, the applicant for a New Brunswick driver's licence holding a driver's licence of Japan will be exempted from completing a written or road test for passenger vehicles and/or motorcycles.

Please find the relevant procedures below. Details may change, so please consult the relevant authorities prior to applying for the updated information. You may refer to the website of Service NB, the main access point to the provincial government's services.

Where to apply

Service New Brunswick

Conditions of exemption

  1. Must be a resident of the province of New Brunswick
  2. Must surrender the Japanese licence in exchange of a NB licence.

    It is illegal in the province of New Brunswick to have a valid driver's licence from NB and another one from a different province or country. The holder of a Japanese licence must surrender it to Service NB, in order to obtain a NB licence without tests. If the Japanese licence is needed because of a planned return trip to Japan, for example, it may be returned to its original holder in exchange of their NB licence. A request for the return of a Japanese driver's licence must be made 14 days in advance of your departure.

    If the holder of a Japanese licence comes back to the province of New Brunswick before the expiry date of their NB licence, they may obtain that NB licence back in exchange of their Japanese licence. Please consult Service NB for further details. Replacement fees for the re-issue of a NB licence may apply.

  3. Licence classes to which this test exemption may apply (Class 5 and Class 6)

    Please consult the Driver's Handbook for further information.

  4. The Japanese driver's licence should not have been expired for more than 2 years prior to the time of application. It must not be cancelled, suspended or otherwise revoked or invalid.

Required Documents

  1. Japanese driver's licence
  2. Official English translation of the Japanese licence
  3. Valid passport
  4. Documents proving the validity of the applicant's status of residence in Canada and its expiry date.
  5. Two documents as proof the applicant's usual place of residence (i.e.: utility bill, bank statement, etc.)
  6. If necessary, an approved medical certificate attesting to the applicant's ability to drive a motor vehicle

Further information regarding the required documents can be found here: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.200566.html

Service NB has asked us to inform potential applicants that the translation of a driver's licence can be obtained through the

Multicultural Association of Fredericton (フレデリクトン多文化協会)
Address: 28 Saunders St, Fredericton, NB
Telephone: (506)454-8292

Please note that all fees related to the translation of a driver's licence must be paid for by the applicant.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Starting from the month of May 2016, the applicant for a Newfoundland and Labrador driver's licence holding a Japanese driver's licence is exempted from completing a written or road test for passenger vehicles and/or motorcycles.

Please find the relevant procedures below.

The exact procedures are subject to change, so please consult the concerned authorities in advance for the most up-to-date information. Your starting point should be the website of Service NL of the government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Where to apply

Service NL

Conditions of the exemption

  1. Must be a resident of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador
  2. Must surrender the Japanese licence in exchange of a NL licence.

    It is illegal in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to have a valid driver's licence from NL and another one from a different province or country. The holder of a Japanese licence must surrender it to Service NL, in order to obtain a NL licence without tests. Should the Japanese licence be needed because of a planned return trip to Japan, for example, it can be returned to its original holder in exchange of their NL licence.

    If the holder of a Japanese licence comes back to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador before the expiry date of the NL licence they used to have, this person may obtain that NL licence back in exchange of their Japanese licence. Please contact Service NL for further details.

  3. Licence classes to which this test exemption may apply (Class 5 and Class 6)
    • Class 5: Vehicles with two axles, but not for motorcycles or vehicles designed to carry customers such as a passenger bus or a taxi. This vehicle is allowed to tow another vehicle weighing 4.5 tons or less.
    • Class 6: Motorcycles and mopeds only.

    Please consult the Road User Guide for further information.

  4. The Japanese driver's licence should not be expired for more than 5 years. It must not be cancelled, suspended or otherwise revoked or invalid.

Required Documents

  1. A Japanese driver's licence
  2. Official English translation of the Japanese licence.
  3. Valid passport
  4. Documents proving the validity of the applicant's status of residence in Canada and its expiry date.
  5. If necessary, an official medical certificate attesting to the applicant's ability to drive a motor vehicle

Further information regarding required identification documents, including the official English translation, can be found at the Service NL web site at: http://www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/drivers/DriversandVehicles/driverLicensing/identificationdocumentation.html

Prince Edward Island

Starting May 2, 2011, the holder of a valid Japanese driver's licence and a long-term stay permit may apply for a Prince Edward Island driver's licence and benefit from an exemption of both the written examination and road test.

The procedures are explained below. The exact details may change from time to time, so please make sure to verify with the relevant authorities before submitting an application.

Where to apply

Access PEI Service Centre

Conditions of the exemption

  1. Must be a resident of the province of Prince Edward Island
  2. Must surrender the Japanese licence in exchange of a PEI licence.

    It is illegal in the province of Prince Edward Island to have a valid driver's licence from PEI and another one from a different province or country. The holder of a Japanese licence must surrender it to Access PEI, in order to obtain a PEI licence without tests. Should the Japanese licence be needed because of a planned return trip to Japan, for example, it can be returned to its original holder in exchange of their PEI licence.

    If the holder of a Japanese licence comes back to the province of Prince Edward Island before the expiry date of the PEI licence they used to have, this person may obtain that PEI licence back in exchange of their Japanese licence. Please contact Access PEI for further details.

  3. Licence classes to which this test exemption may apply (Class 5 and Class 6)

    In situations where the Japanese driver's licence was obtained less than 24 months prior to the date of application, the applicant will be automatically enrolled in the provincial Graduated Driver Licencing Program.

    The Class 5 category includes vehicles weighing up to 14 tons which can tow other vehicles weighing up to 4.5 tons, with the exception of motorcycles and buses. Class 6 is for motorcycles. Both classes are available for applicants aged 17 years old or more.

  4. The Japanese licence must be valide for at least 1 year; it must not have been suspended or otherwise limited in any way.

Required documents

  1. A valid Japanese driver's licence
  2. Two documents proving your status as resident of PEI (utility bills such as a telephone service or electricity, a personal check, a document sent by the federal or the provincial government, your apartment's lease, documents pertaining to a loan from a bank, a letter from your employer, etc.)
  3. A translation of your Japanese driver's licence as produced by the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada
    For information on fees and other issues, please contact:
    PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada
    25 University Avenue
    Suite 400, Holman Building (4th floor)
    Confederation Court Mall
    PO Box 2846
    Charlottetown, PE C1A 8C4
    Phone: 902-628-6009
    Fax: 902-894-4928
  4. Documents proving the validity of the applicant's status of residence in Canada and its expiry date.

Quebec

If you have a valid Japanese driver's licence, you may be eligible, under certain conditions, to obtain a driver's licence of the province of Quebec without taking exams. The SAAQ (Société d'Assurance Automobile du Québec) may assist you to obtain Quebec's licence at one of their offices. Please contact the SAAQ directly (514-954-7771 (in Montreal), toll-free: 1-888-356-6616) or visit their website for more information and to verify your eligibility.

Once your eligibility is confirmed by the SAAQ, you will need to visit their office with the required documents. One of these documents is a certificate called unten menkyoshō no bassui shōmei, which is a partial translation of your Japanese licence in English or in French, issued by the Consulate-General of Japan in Montreal.

To apply for this certificate, please come to our office with the following documents:

Operating hours

The processing time is normally 3 working days, from the day of your application. The processing fee is listed here, and it is payable upon receipt of the certificate. Please bring the amount of the fees in cash, as we do not accept any other form of payment (such as debit or credit cards or by cheque.)

Should it prove difficult for you to receive your certificate in person, it may be possible to designate someone as your proxy―but you must first explain the situation at the time of application. Should permission be granted, your proxy will come to our office with some form of ID (passport, driver's licence, etc.) and money for the payment of the processing fees.