Road tax season returns: Don’t drive yourself crazy, pay on base
Editor's note: We're reposting this as a friendly reminder to those who have a car. If you don't pay, you'll be walking to work. So get it done!
It’s time to pay your annual road taxes, which are mandated by Japanese law and based on vehicle engine size.
All Status of Forces Agreement personnel are required to pay their road taxes in order to receive their 2013 base vehicle decals. Luckily, most of you can pay them at U.S. military installations across Japan, where Japanese tax officials will be setting up collection stations to process payments.
“In Tokyo, we visit Yokota Air Base and collect taxes every year.” said Tetsuji Kurihara, Planning Division Head, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Taxation. “I feel they are always very cooperative and I have never seen any troubles in collecting the taxes out there.”
“Japanese tax officials are very helpful,” said Sayo Ozaki, NAF Atsugi Vehicle Registration Office. “As they come on base to collect the taxes, we won’t have to go off base to pay them at a Japanese tax office.”
Payments must be made by May 31 (by April 30 at NAF Atsugi), either on base or at the local Japanese tax office. Remember that payments must be made in yen. If you own more than one vehicle, all of them must be registered at the same time. Vehicles without new decals will not be allowed to be driven on or after June 1.
“ The road tax for a regular 4-wheel vehicle , which is called ‘Automobile Tax’ in Japan, is levied by the metropolitan or prefectural government to those who own vehicles within the prefecture as of April 1,” Kurihara said. “As for the tax for a mini-car and motorcycle, which is called ‘Light Motor Vehicle Tax’, the city or ward government collects them. Both of the road taxes were originally established for vehicle owners to bear a proportionate share of the cost in maintaining roads. So, regardless of nationality, it is mandatory for virtually anyone who owns a vehicle in Japan to pay the road tax.”
Anyone can pay road taxes for deployed or absent vehicle owners, but a power of attorney may be required to obtain a base decal for anyone other than a spouse. Those unable to make the scheduled base collections times have until May 31 to pay the road tax off base at their local Japanese tax office, post office or select convenience stores, according to base officials.
Where and when to go
April 16-19, staggered based on last name, from 9 to11 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Zama Community Center. April 16, drivers with last names starting with A-E; April 17, F-K; April 18, L-R; April 19, S-Z. Motorcycle and mini-car taxes can be paid on April 19. For more information, call DSN 263-4337.
Yokota air Base:
For regular 4-wheel vehicle: April 16-19. For mini-car and motorcycle: April 23-24. At the Yujo Community Center (Bldg 327) from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m and 1 to 3 p.m. For more information call DSN 225-8932/8914.
Naval Air Facility Atsugi:
April 6-9 at Skymaster Building 1342 on the second floor from 9 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:15 p.m. Motorcycle and mini-car road taxes will be collected Thursday, April 7, from 9 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:15 p.m. For more information call DSN 264-3627.
Yokosuka Naval Base:
March 26, 27, and April 23, 24 and 25, from 9 to 12 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Bldg. J-196 (Regular 4wheel vehicle only. Mini-car and motorcycle taxes must be paid at Yokosuka City Hall or Kanagawa Tax Office.) For more information call DSN 243-5011.
Misawa Air Base:
April 15-19, staggered based on last name, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Mokuteki Community Center (Bldg. 626). April 15, Drivers with last names starting with A-I; April 16, J-R; April 17, S-Z; April 18 and 19, make-up for anyone who missed their scheduled day. For more information, call Pass & Registration DSN 226-3995.
Sasebo Naval Base:
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni:
April 24-26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in PMO. Regular 4-wheel vehicle only (mini-cars and motorcycles must go to city hall). For more information, call PMO Pass and Registration DSN 253-3161.
What to bring?
Drivers should bring these items when paying road tax on their base:
• Base driver’s license
• Liability insurance
• Japanese Compulsory Insurance (JCI)
• Current base vehicle inspection
• Japanese vehicle title
• Military vehicle registration
• Certificate of title of motor vehicle (DD Form 430)
• Parking certificate, if applicable
A new base decal is issued at the end of the tax-paying procedure when road tax is paid on a U.S. installation. Drivers should be registered with the Defense Biometrics Identification System (DBIDS) to receive their new base decal.
Road taxes can be determined by the number shown on the top of each vehicle’s license plate, which identifies the vehicle’s engine size.
While anyone can pay road tax for deployed or absent vehicle owners, a power of attorney may be required to obtain a base decal for anyone other than a spouse. For more information, contact your base vehicle registration office.
Road Tax for regular 4-wheel vehicles (Metropolitan/Prefectural Tax) Vehicle plates and taxes
40/400 and 50/500 plates: 7,500 yen
33/300 plates (4.5 liter engines and below): 19,000 yen
33/300 plates (4.6 liter engines and above): 22,000 yen
11/100 plates: 32,000 yen
•Light Motor Vehicle Tax
Road Tax for mini-cars and motorcycles (City/Ward Tax)
Mini-cars: 3,000 yen
Motorcycles up to 125cc: 500 yen
Motorcycles 126cc and above: 1,000 yen
Payments are accepted for mini-cars and motorcycles at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokota Air Base and Camp Zama, but not at Yokosuka Naval Base. Call your base VRO for more information.