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3 month rule with license renewal date 2020/6/30 11:20
Hello,

I am in a bit of a pickle and any help would be greatly appreciated.

In short, I am wondering if I can use an old license (NOT expired, but not usable to drive as it had a hole punched in it when I was issued a newer license) in order to establish that I had been driving in my home country (America) for at least 3 months prior to moving to Japan.

I moved to Japan in the same month that I changed my state of residence in my home country, so I was forced to renew my license at the same time. The license I currently have therefore says that it was issued the same month that I arrived in Japan.

I knew this would be an issue due to the 3 month rule, so had prepared to get a driving history from my DMV, showing that I've been driving for 14 years. However, there was an issue with the online form I applied for back at the end of March, because it only would show my driving history in that state under my married name, not including my maiden name record in that state (the only driving history in that state after being married is from the date of issue on the license I already have-- from the month I left). I spoke with a DMV staff member online, and they told me that in order to get a driving record with my full history in that state, including prior to being married, I would need to get an official record through the mail. However, their office has been closed to "non-priority requests" since early April and still is not open, so I can't do that.

I have my document check, written test, and driving exam scheduled for this coming Friday and I am really worried out about this. The only official document I have showing that I had been driving for more than 3 months is the license from the state I moved from, which is still within expiration. However, it is no longer legally usable because it had a hole punched in it when I received the new license, issued the month I left for Japan. The previous license, with the hole in it, was issued in 2018.

I've seen that expired passports can be used to help establish length of residence in a country for IDP purposes, but I am not sure if my previous license (issued in 2018, from the DMV in state I moved from) will work or not. My IDP expires at the end of this month and I live in the countryside, so not being able to drive impact my life greatly. I have been trying everything I can since March, but with the DMV in America closed to "non-priorities" from April, I feel at a loss. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
by ThreeMonthQuestion (guest)  

Re: 3 month rule with license renewal date 2020/6/30 13:07
As you can use old passports (eg with a hole in them) to show your resident history it would SEEM only logical that a hole in your old driving license isnft a problem either. However best place to get an answer to your question is the driving license office.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: 3 month rule with license renewal date 2020/6/30 13:11
Thank you, LikeBike!
by TheeMonthQuestion (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 3 month rule with license renewal date 2020/6/30 20:48
Also, my name had changed when i got married.

Although my name was updated on my license and passport, my old passports were in my old name so they asked to see my wedding certificate.

it may be a good idea to bring it along just to prove the name change
by Shelly (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 3 month rule with license renewal date 2020/7/1 07:46
AFAIK you need to show you were in your home country at least three months after getting a licence - not simply that you have had a licence more than three months. I did that with a set of expired passports and my current home country licence.
You have an old licence from a US state showing it when it was issued and then you need to prove you lived in the US more then three months after that was issued - that's where the passport comes in - those helpful stamps.
It gets more difficult these days as countries often don't stamp passports anymore, so much harder to prove.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: 3 month rule with license renewal date 2020/7/1 10:32
Hello,

Thank you for the advice! Luckily, I do have a passport that shows I was in the country for at least 3 months after the previous license was issued.

And as for the old license, it has my married name on it. Sorry that I wasn't clear about that! I will bring my marriage certificate just in case, as well as my Japanese translation for it, though none of the documents I will be presenting have my maiden name on them.

Thank you, everyone. Hopefully this all goes well.
by ThreeMonthQuestion (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 3 month rule with license renewal date 2020/7/8 10:13
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update you on the outcome, in case if anyone else is looking here wondering the same thing.

There was absolutely no problem establishing length of license with the hold-punched card, and I was able to take the tests and get my Japanese license all in the same day. This may vary depending on the policies of the center you visit, so I would not necessarily take it as a perfect rule (in seeking an answer across the internet, I read horror stories of situations and policies in other locations, but for me there was no issue).

Best of luck to others in the same situation!
by ThreeMonthQuestion (guest) rate this post as useful

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