AF News

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Info On Your GOJ Inspection/Road Tax Stickers

***UPDATE: You can also get more details on this topic at my other post here and here***

Disclaimer: If you got your finances in order, skip to paragraph 2 to begin reading about the stickers. All other cases, please pull up a chair to my soap box rant…=)
Now that we have been here a year already (man that went fast!), I had to fork some dough over on our cars’ annual insurance. It was about $536 for both…I will let that sink in for a minute….5…3…6…hundred dollars! Now, depending on your financial philosophy/outlook, that is either a great deal (about $46/month) or you are going to be struggling this month to make ends meet because you “forgot” about this annual requirement. Luckily I have money aside for these expenses, but I am sure others do not, especially our younger airmen/families living on a budget as it is. I have mentioned in prior posts about how expensive it is to drive out here, and that is why I stand on my soap box again to harp on this insurance cost to illustrate to everyone to save money for theses type of expense while you are out here in Okinawa. I have dealt with fellow Airmen getting their cars impounded over expired insurance/not current JCI/Road tax, and then they have to deal with those extra fees and headaches too, all without a car now! And for most when you got down to the root causes of the issue, it was because they couldn’t pay those “out of know where” expenses, and they were trying to ride it out to their “next pay check”. It would have been a non-issue if they saved a little every month, “knowing” they will have to pay insurance again a year later (surprise!). And don’t forget about saving for the annual road tax or biannual JCI too! Like I said it is expensive to drive out here, it just isn’t apparent after you buy your first “everything included in the loan” car out here, since 365/730 days later seems “so far away”. Ok soap box rant finished. So what does this have to do with stickers?! Continue on to the next paragraph.
As I renewed my insurance recently, I started wondering when my GOJ Inspection was due and what not. I wondered because I had to recently deal with one of my Airman getting their car impounded over an expired vehicle GOJ inspection/weight tax (I will explain what this is later) and the resulting confusion to what that is specifically. Well I did some digging on that issue and got clarification finally, but I also got some info on those stickers that are on every cars’ windshield here in Okinawa. I took pictures of the ones on one of my cars….


GOJ Inspection and Road Tax Sticker
Ok, so the large round shaped one is the Road Tax and this color is the current (2014) one. Next year the color will change of course. The smaller box shaped is your GOJ Inspection sticker. This one is telling me that my GOJ Inspection is up August of 2015. I know there is different yellow sticker/yellow plates (Mini Cars) floating around, but I only see them on the really tiny cars around here. Since I don't have one of those cars, I can't really say anything about them. Well Here is some info about the year references that they use here in Japan. It is based off the how long the current Japanese emperor's reign has been going on. The current Emperor Akihito has been in the seat since 1988ish, so just add the numbers to that, and you will get the year reference we are used too. So my JCI 8-27 = Aug 2015 and the Road Tax 26 = 2014. These should be the only stickers you should have on your windshield, however some of you may have one that looks like this too.


Garage/Dealer Service Sticker

Now this one (could be any color) is a garage/dealership sticker that serves no purpose for anything official. It is more of a gimmick to get you to come back to their shops for an "inspection" at the halfway point of your GOJ Inspection window. But I will admit that this sticker made me nervous at first because it is saying I have an "inspection" due next month! However, the Auto Hobby shop on Kadena gave me the low down on this sticker and it is safe to remove if you don't want it on your windshield. Just remember it serves NO official Japanese government purpose and it is just a gimmick used by the local garages/dealerships around here. I scrapped my off with a razor and used GooGone to clean off the residue that was left. The Auto Hobby shop went on to further state that you won't "pass" your GOJ inspection with it on your windshield anyways. I don't know how true that is, but my is gone regardless.

Well, that is about it on the stickers, but I want to go back to my story about my Airman getting his car impounded for an expired GOJ inspection/weight tax. This all started with this Airman getting in a very minor traffic accident and in the process of the police doing their thing, they found out he had the expired inspections mentioned above. Well he didn't actually know that at that time, nor did the MPs tell him exactly what it was either when they towed his car away either. It took some investigation on our part to figure out what was expired and how to fix it. Well, long story short, these GOJ inspections/weight tax stuff is "usually" done at the same time you do your JCI, but my Airman's case was different. He bought his car privately and for some reason his JCI and these other inspections were done at different times. There is no sticker that tells you when the JCI is due, but it is on the JCI paperwork. Also, the GOJ Inspection date should be on your car title. I scanned one of my car's title below...

Japanese Car Title

Now, I circled the relevant blocks and what you should look for. The green circle is the date you bought the car and what year your car is. So for example, 25-8-8 = 2013-Aug-08, is when I bought the car, and 15-9 = 2003-Sep is the year/month of my car. The orange circle is not relevant in this matter, so please disregard. But the red circle is where the GOJ inspection due date is. So take a moment to look at your title, and make your GOJ inspection isn't coming up soon or even past due! They do random paperwork checks at all the gates, and they will tow your car if anything is past due.

Well I managed to snag the printout on the whole GOJ inspection/Weight Tax thing from the JSVRO on Foster and it is below. It tells you how to get it all done, and guess what, it isn't cheap! Surprise Surprise! So now you know why you hear "JCI" time is so expensive, it because the Weight Tax can be up to $200, depending on how heavy your car is. I did some quick math on what it is going to cost me to "own" two cars here in Okinawa next year when I have to do JCI. It is going run me about $1100+ for JCI, Road Tax, GOJ Inspection, Weight Tax, Insurance, and I hope that is it! It actually comes out to about $92 a month, so that isn't bad at all, but that is if I start saving now of course! =)


GOJ inspection/Weight Tax Info

GOJ inspection/Weight Tax Info

2 comments:

  1. Just a update on the GOJ Inspection and anything car registration related for that matter. Here is the link to the JSVRO on Foster, where you can find all kinds of info on forms and how-to's relating to just about anything you want to do with your cars here in Okinawa.

    http://www.mcbbutler.marines.mil/BaseInformation/VehicleRegistration.aspx

    If you need to junk your car, get 120 day waivers, do the GOJ inspection, you name it, it is on that website!

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  2. To confirm, no you will not pass JCI inspection with the "Garage Sticker" displayed. As both me and my coworkers had to remove ours before passing JCI.

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