Road tax returns to Misawa
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Status of Forces Agreement vehicle owners here are required to pay the annual Japanese Road Tax, which can be conveniently accomplished during Road Tax Week.
In order to pay the road tax, each person owning a standard size, small or other motorized vehicle can pay taxes April 15 to 19 at the Mokuteki Community Activities Center ballroom during designated times.
"The mandatory road tax helps defray road and expressway maintenance costs in the areas where the tax is collected," said Tech. Sgt. John Kramer, 35th Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of Pass and Registration. "The taxes are also used to build new roads or repair roads in the city."
Owners must bring their Japanese title, which must be registered in the owner's name, a valid Japanese Compulsory Insurance certificate, and proof of liability insurance, base registration Form 71 or Form 97EJ and a 2012 Road Tax receipt. Japanese Yen is the only accepted method of payment.
"It's going to be an easy process - we've got Road Tax Week down to a science and have it every year," said Kramer. "Different stations will be set up to streamline the process and make it as convenient as possible for everyone."
Tax rates vary and will increase based on the vehicle and its engine size because heavier vehicles may cause greater damage to the roads. Also, regardless of individuals changing duty stations, separating or planning to scrap their vehicle within the next year, the payment is still due.
Once vehicle owners pay their road tax, security forces members will issue a vehicle decal on the spot. People who consider opting out on paying their road tax might think twice as security forces officials and gate security will be on the lookout for proof of road tax payment.
Additionally, officials here said drivers who get caught without the decal will be immediately cited and may lose their driving privileges. Likewise, vehicles without the new decal will not be allowed on base.
The decal should be placed at the top center of each vehicle windshield, below the JCI sticker. Base volunteers at the center will help scrape off old decals and help vehicle owners process their payments. New decals must be visible by June 1.
Alternate avenues to pay road tax include going through the vehicle owner's insurance company, Land and Traffic offices in Towada or Hachinohe City, or local off base banks. However, once they pay their road tax, drivers must take road tax receipts to pass and registration to receive their decals.
Kramer said no power of attorney is necessary to pay another person's road tax if the person is deployed or out of the country as long as all of the required documentation is present.
For more information, SOFA members can call the 35 SFS Pass and Registration Office at 226-3995.
SOFA members should arrive at the activities center at the following times according to the first letter of their last name:
· Letters A to E should report April 15, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
· Letters F to L should report April 16, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
· Letters M to S should report April 17, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
· Letters T to Z should report April 18, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For those vehicle owners who may have missed their designated times, road tax can also be paid April 19, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.