Registration Documents

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Having gone through the process of buying a used car, the next step is to collate all the necessary registration documents needed to register a vehicle at the local transport bureau. There are a number of caveats attached to the registration process, which in turn require additional paperwork, however the most common example is a standard transfer of the deeds, described as follows.

Why is this important?

It is a statutory law in Japan that owners of vehicles notify their local transport bureau of changes in the ownership of a vehicle, and/or a change in the registered owners address for taxation purposes.

Parking Space

Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass

Step One

The first task for any prospective buyer however, is to secure the right to use a valid parking space. At the same time, it is worth double-checking that the vehicle to be purchased will actually fit the designated space, as per the dimensions listed on the shaken certificate.

I.E. No height restrictions (tower parking) for those living in urban areas.

Once a parking space has been obtained, a consent form from the management company will be required, with maps highlighting the location of the parking space relative to your accommodation, and the specific parking space allocated to you.

NB: The above step do not count for home owners who already possess a designated space.

Step Two

For those who do not possess a Japanese seal (inkaninkan), the next step to consider is the application for a signature certificate from your local embassy/consulate, required for proof of signature on all relevant documentation. Fees and waiting periods applicable.

NB: Signature / Seal Certifications are valid for a period of three months from the date of issue.

Key Fob

Step Three

Obtain all the necessary paperwork, keys and log book from the previous owner.

  • 1. Valid Shaken Certificate
  • 2. Compulsory insurance certificate
  • 3. Recycle Certificate
  • 4. Transfer Certificate
  • 5. Automobile Tax Reciept
  • 6. Signature / Seal Certificate
  • 7. Power of Attorney

NB: For those who purchase a vehicle through an auction agent, all of the above documents will be collected on their behalf.