Transferring of Ownership

Transferring of Ownership

Transferring of Ownership


Daichi was moving to Tokyo from Hiroshima, so he thought to sale his previous car. When he talked about this too to one of his friend he told him about the transferring of ownership of car when a person sale it to another.

Transferring ownership in Japan is not just an agreement between you and the purchaser, if someone is willing to sale his/ her car then it is mandatory to officially transfer the ownership. 

Note: The form and process may vary by municipality, so you must have to check and follow if there is any additional local regulations.


Need of Preparing Documents:

There are paper work requires from both the sides seller and buyer.

From the Seller Side:

  • Car registration payment. Proof of the transfer of car ownership.

  • Certificate of inkan impression. Inkan, for stamping forms.

  • Certificate proving your address ( sometimes not be needed).

  • Certificate of compulsory car insurance (sometimes not be needed).

From the Buyer Side:

  • Certificate proving you have a parking space, it should be dated within.

  • 40 days of transfer application.

  • Certificate of compulsory car insurance.

  • Receipt for automobile tax, ( might not be needed).


Certificate for Parking:

The buyer must have a certificate showing they have a parking space. There are also some required items which need to be taken to the police station or may be to the municipal office.

  • Application form.

  • Map showing the parking space location relative to you residence.

  • Document showing that you have the parking space owner’s consent.

  • ¥2,700 for white plate cards, or ¥500 for yellow plate cars.


Registering Your Seal:

There are various official paperwork required in transferring the ownership in Japan, for those official works you need to register your personal seal. If you don’t have it registered technically it’s just a stamp without official legal meaning. Once you get it registered, you can get a certificate showing this. 

The certificate is called (inkan shomeisho). The process takes a short amount of time at your local public office. Bring your seal, your Alien Registration Card, and a small amount of money. Once you register your seal, you'll probably get a card, which is needed when obtaining subsequent certificates. Each certificate costs ¥250.

Note: If your name on the seal is not in the same characters as your Alien Registration Card (i.e., it is in katakana not romaji) you may have to register your name as shown on the seal on your Alien Registration Card record as well. The office employees are familiar with the process, and they will handle any difficult points.


Vehicle Registration:

Registering a vehicle and transfer of ownership takes place at the local Land Transport office. A form for the transfer must be filled in:

The following documents are required:

  • Valid Driving License.

  • Seal Certificate or Inkan of the seller.

  • Proof of parking Space certificate.

  • Proof of payment of vehicle tax.

  • Bill of Sale with the seller's signature which must match the inkan or Seal Certificate. This should be completed in Japanese.

  • Certificate of permission for a parking space.

  • Police parking application.

  • Map of the location of the parking space - this is checked by the police before a permit for a parking space is issued.

Applicants are given a de-registration certificate to complete and there is a fee for this. Once the de-registration is complete, it is then necessary to pay the taxation fee on the vehicle.

If the car is from a different prefecture, it may be necessary to purchase new number plates. Once this process is complete the car should be registered in the new owner's name. Exact requirements may vary from district to district so it is worth checking beforehand.


Vehicle Taxes:

There are number of taxes payable when buying a car in Japan. These are:

  • Car Acquisition Tax: This is five percent tax of the purchase price and is payable at the time of purchase.
  • Automobile Tax: This is an annual tax for owning a car. An invoice for this tax is sent directly to the owner's home address every April. Tax rates differ depending on the size of the engine.
  • Weight Tax: This tax is calculated based on the weight of the car. It is payable at the time when the vehicle inspection (shaken) is done.


Disposing of a Car in Japan:

If a car cannot be sold because it does not pass the vehicle inspection (shaken) or if the insurance costs become too high, it can be disposed of by a car sales or disposal company.

The following documents are required to dispose of a car:

  • Vehicle inspection certificate (shaken).

  • Number plates.

  • Certificate of disposal (this is available from the disposal company, or the licensing centre if the owner is disposing of the car personally).

  • Automobile tax certificate, depending on the office or company processing the paperwork.

  • Inkan and Seal Certificate.

This was the whole process, to transfer the ownership in Japan, You need to go through each process and get all paper stamped legally, than only is your sale is valid in Japan, and if you are buyer then is also having  legal ownership of the car you purchased is mandatory in Japan. So, it is recommended to buyer and seller coordinate with each other and finalize all the paperwork required in Transferring of ownership.


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