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Installation Personnel Adminstrative Center (IPAC) (Passport & Immigration)
6th Marine Division RD, Bldg. 5699
Camp Foster Unit 35002
MCB Camp Butler
FPO, AP 96373
Contact information for key programs and services at this installation.
Figuring out the best way to get around is important when you’re in a new installation. It’s useful to understand the various regulations, local laws as well as license and registration requirements. Whether you need a driver’s license, transport a car overseas or want help buying a car, there are people to assist you at your new installation. Check out the topics below to find information and regulations on vehicles and registration at your base.
Before Purchasing Your New Car
You must obtain an operator's permit to drive a vehicle in Okinawa. Registration requires possession of an operator's permit. The U.S. Forces, Japan Operator's Permit For Civilian Vehicle (USFJ Form 4EJ) is the only authorized permit, and it can be obtained from the POV licensing section of the Marine Corps Base Safety Installation Office at Camp Foster.
Just Like Buying a Car In the United States
The price of a car depends on the year, make, model, condition of the vehicle, etc. Unlike buying a car in the United States, the price of a car in Okinawa may vary with the amount of vehicle inspection, if any, which remains on the vehicle at the time of purchase.
Motor vehicles in Okinawa undergo a periodic safety inspection, and with few exceptions, the initial inspection is renewed every two years in conjunction with initial registration or re-registration requirements.
Japanese Compulsory Insurance (JCI)
Registration of a motor vehicle in Okinawa also requires a JCI. There must be sufficient JCI to cover the entire inspection period.
On average, the cost for a two-year policy is 13,000 yen. It pays for bodily injury or death of the other party, for which you are legally liable.
The limits of JCI are up to 30,000,000 Yen for death or permanent disability and up to 1,200,000 Yen for injury of each person per accident.
In addition to the JCI, current military regulations require all vehicle owners to purchase and maintain additional insurance.
The minimum insurance required is 3,000,000 Yen for property damage to the other party for which you are legally responsible, and 30,000,000 Yen bodily injury to the other party for which you are legally responsible.
The cost of this insurance varies with the military member's rank, age, the type of vehicle purchased and length of insurance policy.
Vehicle owners in Japan are required to pay an annual road tax. Mini-car (four-wheeled automobiles with an engine displacement of 660cc or less) and motorcycle road tax is a city tax paid to Japanese city offices in April.
All other road taxes are prefecture or state taxes paid to the Prefecture tax office personnel on some of the military installations in May of every year.
Payments made by U.S. forces personnel are discounted. The amount of tax is determined by the registration categories of the vehicle, which is indicated on the vehicle's number plate in small numbers to the right of the kanji for Okinawa.
Hands-free devices must be used while operating a motor vehicle on ALL military installations worldwide.
Registering your Vehicle On-Base
All vehicles owned by US Forces personnel assigned to Okinawa must be registered through the Joint Services Vehicle Registration Office (JSVRO). Vehicles are registered under the sponsor's name and there is a limit to the number of autos registered at one time.
Obtaining a Driver's License on Okinawa
In order for active duty personnel, civilian or family member to drive on Okinawa or mainland Japan, you must obtain a valid USFJ-4A, US Forces Japan Operator's permit.
All applicants must have the following on hand:
All active duty personnel, under the age of 26, will be required to attend an accredited Drivers Improvement Course (DIC). This can be completed through Marine Net or My Navy Portal.
Service Members in paygrades E-5 and below must present to the licensing examiner an application Form USFJ-4A signed by their gaining command's CO. E-6 and above may sign their own request. For family members, the sponsor must sign the application Form USFJ-4A.
Studying for the SOFA Licensing Exam
The SOFA licensing exam is done Monday - Friday, except for Wednesday at the MCB Safety Installation Office, Camp Foster, Bldg. 5831 at 0800 and 1000.
Newcomers will also have an opportunity to take the licensing exam during the Newcomers' Orientation Welcome Aboard. In addition, the SOFA licensing exam is a challenging examination. It is strongly recommended each individual taking the licensing test to thoroughly read and study the entire Driver's Manual, becoming familiar with and study all of the road signs enclosed in the road sign document. To obtain a copy of the SOFA Driver's Manual please visit: https://www.okinawa.usmc-mccs.org/about
Per MCIPAC Order 5560.1, attendance at the Newcomer's Orientation Welcome Aboard must be confirmed prior to the MCB Safety Installation Office issuing a SOFA Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Driver's License.
Obtaining a Learner's Permit on Okinawa
Driving on Okinawa
Okinawa definitely offers a distinct driving experience. Unlike the United States, people drive on the left side of the road, which requires some getting used to. The slow lane is on the left, and the fast lane is on the right, although there usually is not a significant difference between the two.
All speed limits are marked in kilometers per hour, and, except for the Okinawa Expressway, there is no authorized speed zone beyond 60 kilometers per hour, or about 37 mph. In addition, all traffic signs here conform to international standards.
Many roads are much more narrow than standard American roads. Traffic congestion is more the rule than the exception, and coral dust-laden roads can get slick fast when it rains. Needless to say, careful, defensive driving is an absolute necessity.
For additional information or assistance, please contact the MCB Safety Installation Office:
MCB Safety Installation Office
Camp Foster, Bldg. 5831
DSN: 315-645-3183 | Comm: 011-81-98-970-3183