AF News

Friday, March 14, 2014

International Driving Permit/License - Okinawa

International Driving Permit 

 So I needed an international driving permit (IDP) for my trip to South Korea pronto. I am normally on top of getting everything I need to travel way ahead of time, but this slipped mine mind completely! Normally you would have to mail your IDP application back to the States, and then wait for it to get back, but I didn’t have that much time. It would take a month going that route, mailing back and forth, and I figured there had to be a way to get one here on the island. Well come to find out, there is! You got to take a trip down by the ASHIBINAA Outlet Mall area, more specially, just down the street past the mall. No joke, the place you have to go is right there, way easy to find, right behind the Nissan dealership. Anywho, if you still have time to mail the IDP application back to the states, you can order an IDP from  two places ONLY. The AATA and AAA are the only authorized IDP issuers in the States, so don’t fall for the scams that are floating out there. Here the links…



Alright, here is the address to the place and a picture of what the building looks like…

Address:  3-22 Toyosaki, Tomigusuku-shi, Okinawa-ken

Google Map Link:  http://goo.gl/maps/XQY6b

3-22 Toyosaki, Tomigusuku-shi, Okinawa-ken
Here is info off the internet about what to bring to the place. My Japanese friend printed it up and translated the key parts for me. I do want to note that you can do this at some office near Gate 5, but it takes weeks to get back, and I don’t know exactly where it is. I think they basically take all your paperwork and then send it to the main IDP office anyways. Better off driving there yourself….

IDP Information

IDP Information
The main things to note…

1. SOFA license has to be good for over a year.

2. Bring Passport. I don’t know why they need it, but they want to see it.

3. Picture. I used the photo booth right there in the front of the Kadena BX. I would get pictures as close to the size you need for the IDP. Don’t stress too much about it though, you can get pictures done there at the IDP office.

4. Yen

5. Mind the hours, they are closed during lunch.

Well, I was smart and went after their lunch hour and there was barely anyone there. I was in and out in less than 20 minutes, but your mileage may vary. I even got there super fast from Kadena, took the express way all the way down, and no traffic! Friday, was a good day… =) Anyways, They make it right there while you wait. When you go into the building, you should see a sign like the one pictured below …

Near the Front Door of IDP Office

If not, they speak English in there, so you should be fine asking someone. I had to go to counter 10 when I went. And you will find the English language application form there. Here is what you do. Grab the form first, fill it out at the fill out station, then go to the middle counters to pay the fee, and THEN you can take everything to them to start your IDP. Overall, it was way simple and easy to do. I was nice enough to grab the English language application for ya’ll viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

IDP Application English 

13 comments:

  1. Really appreciate this writeup. I was in a very similar situation (last minute Korea TDY for a month) and it would have been a pain without a rental car. AAA permit would have been a four week turnaround at the very least!

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  2. Well come to find out, there is! You got to take a trip down by the ASHIBINAA Outlet Mall area, more specially, just down the street past the mall.

    International Driver's License

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  3. I believe the place by Gate 5 is as follows:
    4 Chome-27-22 Minamitobaru, Okinawa
    Easy enough to find, just enter the above into the search of Google-Maps.

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  4. Hey - this is awesome thanks for posting! I'm in Okinawa now, hoping to go to the office tomorrow.

    I have a Canadian Drivers Licence - do you think it will be ok?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as it is valid for at least a year more from the day you apply for the IDP, you should be good!

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  5. I have a US license ready to expire 10/31/15 I have had it for years. I am non military have my visa and sponsorship here. Can I convert to a International license?

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    Replies
    1. From what I understand, if you got an international license from here, it will be tied to your US issued license. So if your US issued license expires soon, so will your international license. See the IDP application in the post and the note at the bottom of that form for more info. I don’t even think they will give you an international license anyways, since you other license is expiring so soon anyways. Heck, maybe even a US license is not enough to get an international license from here, as I had a SOFA license that I used when I got mine back then. Plus international driver’s licenses are not valid for driving in the country of issue anyways too. Your best bet is try to renew your US license via mail, as most States allow you to do this under certain circumstances. I hope this helps. Good luck!

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  6. I am lost sorry so my license will expire I do not have a international license and need one

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    Replies
    1. I don’t think you can get an international license because your US issued is expiring soon, sorry. But I would go to the office mentioned in the post and ask them to be sure. There may be more rules than what I know about that may apply to your situation. Take care!

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  7. Hi,

    My SOFA license is expiring soon, but my US license is still good for another 2-3 years. Can I get an international driving license at this place still?

    Thanks,
    Jeff

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    Replies
    1. if you are here on sofa status, they will want to see it, and it has to be good for at least 12 months from your application. normally your sofa license is good as long as your stateside license, unless your orders are shorter in length. if you are losing sofa status soon, you best bet may be to apply for an IDP from the States and hope it gets here in time.

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    2. You can get a international drivers license at AAA in Florida I have a connection. There is no need to go else where. They are very good at responding immediately!

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  8. What if you do not have a passport? I have my sofa license, but my state side driver license is currently expired, and all I have is a photo copy of it. Do you think I will be able to still obtain my international driver license without passport.

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