Buying a Car

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Q: I want to buy a car from my friend. Do I need to do something?

A: When you buy a car from a dealership, the dealer takes care of the registration documents and taxes. However if you buy a car, motorbike, or scooter from an individual, you will have to do all the paperwork yourself.

First, within 15 days of the transaction, you will need to change the name of the owner on the car’s registration documents at your local Transport Office Branch (Unyu-shikyoku 運輸支局) .

Aichi Transport Branch Office, located in Nakagawa Ku, Nagoya, covers the Greater Nagoya Area (Nagoya, Handa, Tsushima, Tokoname, Tokai, Obu, Chita, Toyoake, Nisshin, Aisai, Yatomi, Ama-gun, Aichi-gun, and Chita-gun). There are also branch offices in Toyota, Komaki, and Toyohashi.
Tel: 052-351-5311 Access: Take Aonami line and get off at Nakajima Station and 8 minute walk (see map).

You and the former owner need to prepare the following documents.

1. A valid Motor Vehicle Inspection Certificate (jidosha-kensa-sho 自動車検査証)

2. Inkans and Inkan Registration Certificates (inkan-shomesho 印鑑証明書) issued within the last 3 months from the city hall / ward office. If you or the former owner cannot apply for the registration in person, a proxy can apply on behalf of the absent party for the registration with a Certificate of Proxy (i-nin-jo委任状); downloadable from

3. Transfer Certificate (joto shomeisho 譲渡証明書); downloadable from

4. An Application form (iten toroku shinseisho移転登録申請書)and a Registration Fee Payment Notice (tesuryo-nofusho手数料納付書) from the Transportation Bureau’s revenue stamp shop. You will need to buy a jidosha-kensa-toroku-inshi (自動車検査登録印紙) and attach to the payment notice; costs 500 Yen.

5. Automobile Parking Certificate (jidosha hokan basho shomeisho 自動車保管場所証明書) issued within the last month; this is available at your local police station. You must obtain a parking space for the vehicle that is not on a road and is located within 2km of the address from which the vehicle will be used (home, work place, etc); The Automobile Parking Certificate is not needed for motorbikes and scooters.

After the transfer of ownership is approved, you are required to apply for the payment of Automobile Acquisition Tax (jidosha shutokuzei 自動車取得税) at the taxation office located in the same building (Tel: 052-362-2101). The former owner of the car should also supply you with the Compulsory Liability Insurance Certificate (jidosha songai baisho sekinin hoken shomeisho 自動車損害賠償責任保険証明書).

Alternative Options
If this all seems quite overwhelming, Nagoya-based Lease Japan can provide, for a fee, vehicle registration and change of ownership assistance. As well as leasing new and used cars, multilingual staff can also assist you with a wide range of car related issues including assistance with buying and selling cars, and insurance.
Website:  Tel: 052-973-3957 Fax: 052-973-9293


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