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driving license conversion

myjasonlee

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Dear All

I am seeking advice on how to convert home driving license to a Japanese one.
I have called JAF and is told that for Malaysian driving license I need to go for a 10-question test, and then driving skill test.
However I have no reference of materials I should study for the 10-questions test.
Could any kind soul share with me their experiences?

Thank you all!


best rgds
Jason
 

ET_Fukuoka

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The 10 question test is a breeze, no studying needed!! The driving test is a pain in the butt!! I recommend you go to the license center and watch a lot of people take the driving test to get an idea of what the test is like. After that I (we) can tell you all the secrets to passing it. There are a lot of silly things you have to do in Japan when taking the driving test. For example, you have to look under both ends of the car before getting in or they take points off. Most of my friends passed it on their 2nd or 3rd attempt. I researched a lot and practiced a lot and passed it on the first attempt.
 

KirinMan

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Dear All
I am seeking advice on how to convert home driving license to a Japanese one.
I have called JAF and is told that for Malaysian driving license I need to go for a 10-question test, and then driving skill test.
However I have no reference of materials I should study for the 10-questions test.
Could any kind soul share with me their experiences?
Thank you all!
best rgds
Jason
What prefecture are you coming to? The written test is standardized however the driving test is left up to the whim of the instructor. There are plenty of stories about how some people had to take the driving portion of the test 3, 4, or even 5 times. While others passed it after only one try.

Here is a link to some helpful information and tips on what to expect and what you have to do.
Japanese Driver's License and Driving Test Tips

 

Mars Man

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Yes...I agree with the above. Too bad. This is more clearly so than not, an example of one rotten apples spoils the whole bunch--perhaps at least for Nagano prefecture.

Back in '84, when I got my license from the US switched over, it was simply a matter of filling out a form. Then, after a short two year break from Japan, I found out that the tests were needed. I got it on the first try. Of course I had had some 8 years driving experience here, knew what they liked (yeap, I had had my Japanese license taken away from me and had gone to one of the one day, all days schools to get the 90 day suspension reduced to 60 days---yes, I was wild and crazy....

Talking with those who work at one of the driving schools may help also. Try to be as honest as possible, and simply ask what type of things they would want to see...such as not breaking on the curve, but rather using the right gearing down, or not touching the curb, or not bumping into the hanging pipes on the one-laned Z-shaped curve, and so on. GOOD LUCK !!!! MM
 

ET_Fukuoka

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I drove on an international for about 2 years before they became more strict about it. If you know what to do and prep for it you should pass on the first or second attempt. Assuming you are a good driver... ;-)
 

myjasonlee

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Thanks a lot for the tips and links

Dear All

I saw lots of supporting comments about how easy the written test was and how pain in the butt the driving test was as well. :)

I have found some similar links yesterday as well.
Currently I still need some paper work before I can register for the test.
Seems like my plan is to*
1) translate my driving license at embassy/JAF
2) get a copy of the road rules in English and read it carefully(Glenski)
3) Checking out the people at driving test site
4) come back here for the discussion and tips (as ET_fukuoka suggested)

To Obeika, I am in Kanto prefecture near to Edogawaku.

To Marsman, thanks for the honest tips . That sure will help.

Just if anyone recall the breezy and easy written test, please srop a simple few lines of the questions here.

For now, I have to kick off my plan now.

Thank you guys!

best rgds
Jason
 

Mars Man

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You're most welcome myjasonlee san !!

Just if anyone recall the breezy and easy written test, please srop a simple few lines of the questions here.

One question I especially recall was that dealing with going-over the yellow line dividing the two opposing traffic lanes to get to the right-turn position at an interesection where you have the green light but for whatever reasons, the line of traffic in front of you is not moving fast enough, or not at all. Anyway, the key point is you NEVER cross the yellow line.

Another one was the road sign thing. (It'd be good to know all those.) The white arrow on a blue background pointing straight ahead shows that you have to go straight at that interesection, no left (or sometimes right) turn is allowed.

I think that there was one about the green arrow displayed at the same time of a red light...and so on...

I think your plan of action is good. You can make it !! No problem !! 👍
 

ET_Fukuoka

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One of the questions:

"Do you need insurance to drive in Japan?"
"Do you stop if someone is walking through a crosswalk?"

Those were 2 that I could remember. The English is super jacked up so you have to read the questions a couple times to figure out what they are talking about.
 

myjasonlee

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Dear Mars Man & ET Fukuoka

Thanks for the effort to recall and sharing the tips.

Just now I surfed a page and can:t locate back the address. It was saying that some Japanese rule are different from the British.
It was something about the driver turning left into another main road and the priority is not given to the people turning into the same road (which is different to the British) I can`t recall exactly the words.
If you know what actually it means, do enlighten.
Thanks a lot!

best rgds
Jason
 

myjasonlee

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now it is preparation for driving test

Dear All

I passed my written test. I can`t say it was too easy. But I believe most people can pass for the common sense questions. As for those with signs, one must know the real meaning.

So I am given 2 driving course A and B info. Then I am requested to memorise 1-20 in Japanese, left, right and etc.
I am thinking of going for a practise on Saturday. Before deciding on that, I would like to seek some advice here.

Looking at the maps (A and B) which are almost similar, I would like to know if numbers(1-20) would appear big enough on the road when one is driving during the test.
If numbers are to be there, that should be fine. Else I worried that if the tester says turn left at location 13, I would be scratching my head thinking where is 13.
Do not tell me that I must memorise the whole directions at each turning points!

Also I noted that some crossroads are indicated with traffic lights but some are not. So should I stop at every crossroads to carefully check for the traffic before turning for those without traffic lights?
For those with traffic lights, of course I would not stop if it is green light.

Another thing which is weird. I saw the paper they given me stating that when the traffic lights is red. But this traffic lights comes with extra features which shows the lighted direction of turning left and straight arrows. In this case even if I see red lights (the round one), but the arrow of turning left and going straight is gree, I should follow the arrows instead.
Is that true?

Then come back to the opposites, will there be situation when round traffic light is green , but arrows are red? If yes, which overides which signals?

I see some website mentioned that driver should go for the walk in the test drive. Can I go anydayanytime or must be on saturday?

I will be taking a manual transmission gear test at Shinagawa site. Kindly give me some pointers.
For the manual drive, should I put to neutral gear and pull the handbrake everytime I stop at the junctions in order to pass?

Let`s hear from you guys , the kind teachers out there.


best regards
Jason
 

Mars Man

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Hey there Jason ! Congradulations on the paper test !!

The green arrows with a red light indicate which direction of traffic flow is not affected by the red signal. If you are at an intersection where there is a traffic signal and the basic, round red light in on, but there is also a green left-arrow light on and a 'pointing ahead' green arrow on, then those who are turning left or going forward, are allowed to go, BUT those who intend to turn right must stop.

If it were a green left-turn arrow with a red light, then only those who intend to go forward or turn right must stop.

REGARDING the unmarked intersections, I cannot really recall. I would argue (and I could be wrong, but I think not) that if there is no signal AND no stop sign, it would be unwise to come to a full stop. To slow down a bit, or to look carefully would probably be a good idea.

If there are (and there probably will be) other vehicles operating in the practice area on that day at that time, I would recommend that you not rush when leaving a stopped position at a stop sign to move into the intersection. If another vehicle is approaching, make a good judgement as to whether you have plenty of time to cross the intersection or not, then move into and cross it. DON'T RUSH. That means, if you feel you have time, but it is a little tight, don't do it; wait.

However, don't camp out at the intersection just because a vehicle is heading that way. Being over cautious also appears to count against you.

On the long, slow curves, keep the car in second gear and use accelerator adjustment to control speed. Try your best not to use the brake then, and do not shift to 3rd, even if you feel you have the room for it.

OH...if the arrows are red but the basic, round light is green? Strange. Does that happen? I really kind of doubt that, because the almighty signal is the round one. The arrows are subservants. A full red means 'all traffic stop' but if that is subserved by a green arrow, we can think 'except in this direction,' so...I really don't think you'll ever see the opposite because of logic. If there were a time when traffic were only allowed to go straight and not turn left or right, for example, you'd find the basic round light red, with a green arrow pointing ahead.

I would argue agains putting the car in neutral and putting on the emergency brake at every stopping point. Depending on the time and distance to reach the stopping point, gear down, then brake, then, maybe neutral, come to a full stop, and shif to first gear--all the while keeping your foot on the break, of course. (this is just my suggestion though, it may not be the best...) Good luck !!
 

myjasonlee

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Thanks there

Dear Mars Man

Thanks a lot. That is pretty clear, in details and cool.
Well I was quite lucky I would say.10 out of 10 correct.
Thanks to all who have advised me before before the written test.

What about the questions on numbered junction during the test? Will I be able to see those number at the road during the test? Or I must memorise them (the numbered location and complete course/route)?

If I do not need to bother the number, that will be better. All I do is to turn left right according to the instructor. Am I right?

Thanks to enlighten for those who knows.

Thank you and cheers
Jason
 

Glenski

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I have no further advice to add, but let me just say that the system you described is totally different from what I experience in Sapporo. There, I took the written test before lunch, and then after lunch took the driving test. No choices of course A or B. The monitor drove me around the course just before I went, expecting me to remember it and allowing me to ask questions as we went. She parked the car, and it was my turn. Piece of cake.

Ok, one piece of advice. With a manual transmission, the shift lever will be on your left. If you are not used to that, practice. Shifting to get up to a certain required speed at one point in the course was the only thing I did poorly and got docked points. Do it smoothly. You may also want to practice making that "crank turn"; you are allowed to back up and redirect the vehicle if you feel you are going to go off the curb (in Sapporo and some other places, anyway).
 

Mars Man

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Same here...I know of no numbered intersections at all.
 

myjasonlee

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Thanks Glenski and Mars Man

Dear Glenski & Mars Man

I copied all you mentioned and advised.
Mars Man given a lot of good pointers for the driving tips. Then for the numbered location, I will just see what happen during the introduction of the course on the day of the test.
I will share with people in this forum....no matter what the result is...

To Glenski, I am comfortable with the gear of the left hand side as I am from Malaysia/Singapore. For the speed up to 40km/hour, I try not to exceed the limit then.


Thank you once again.


best rgds
Jason
 

Kirirao

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I would love to hear any news of your result and any tips you can give after your driving test. Since I'm (Malaysian) also thinking about converting my drivers license to the Japanese one sometimes soon too.
 

ET_Fukuoka

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A couple more pointers. In Japan when you are turning you should move to that side of the lane (a little). I guess this is to make sure you dont take out any motorcyclist and to leave room for people to pass. To me it was kind of strange but to pass the test you gotta do a lot of strange stuff. Also they grade you on the use of your mirrors so use them. Don't forget to look under the front and the back of the car before you get in. Also before you open the door to get in the car look both directions. When you get in adjust the seating postion, put on your seatbelt and ajust the mirrors. Make sure you check to make sure the guy is also wearing his seatbelt. Don't forget to use your signals. Not too early and not too late (In my book Japanese signal too late). When you finish the test and park make sure you look before you get out of the car.

The test is very, very anal!!
 

Glenski

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ET Fukuoka,
All of your tips are covered in the links I just provided.

I don't know about any other country except my own (USA), but it just makes sense to "be anal" at the license testing center. Do whatever you like after you get the license (within legal limits, of course). You're going to have to return in a year anyway (first-time license holders, that is) for a really silly half-day of videos and lectures, all in Japanese. Yes, it's required.
 

myjasonlee

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Dear Glenski & ET_Fukuoka

Thanks a lot for flooding this post with lots of information. I find it useful. Let`s see what happen in the test. Whether it is that anal... :)

Dear Kirarao

No problem. I will let you know then.

Cheers
Jason
 

ET_Fukuoka

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ET Fukuoka,
All of your tips are covered in the links I just provided.
I don't know about any other country except my own (USA), but it just makes sense to "be anal" at the license testing center. Do whatever you like after you get the license (within legal limits, of course). You're going to have to return in a year anyway (first-time license holders, that is) for a really silly half-day of videos and lectures, all in Japanese. Yes, it's required.

Cool I gotta save those links so I dont have to type this out again. I have posted it on other forums numerous times! ;-)

I really don't mind helping though because of all the help that was given to me when I was getting my license. If I didn't get any help, I would have been one of those people that had to take the test 2-3 times.

My friend was like "Dude, why you doing all this research and practicing so much? It's just a driving test!" I was like "Dude, this is Japan! You know how anal they are about everything!". Needless to say I passed on the first attempt and it took him 2 times.
 

Glenski

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I'm with you, ET Fukuoka. I did similar research and passed the first time. My friend who has lived here for about 7 years (and driven all that time here) also went to get his license. He failed.
 

Mars Man

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While agreeing with the above, for whatever reason, I passed on the first go with the 'instructor' making a very positive comment (maybe relative to the other three non-Japanese who had gone before me, only) about my driving job, BUT...I didn't look under the car, nor did I look both ways before getting into the car nor before getting out of the car. It may be that out here in the countryside, folks are just a little more laid-back.

BUT THIS IS NOT TO SUGGEST SKIMPING--do it as mentioned above this post!!
 

myjasonlee

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Dear All

Just another question....
What are the commons road sign or rules usually tested during the driving test?
The common one should be STOP (To Ma Ri)

Kindly share with me .

Thank you!


best regards
Jason
 
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