Road tax season: Don't drive yourself crazy, pay on base
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 2014 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.
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. 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.
Since some collection sites have no exchange counter, be sure to prepare Japanese yen cash before you pay your tax on base.
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 15-18, staggered based on last name, from 9 to11 a.m. and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Zama Community Club. April 15, drivers with last names starting with A-E; April 16, F-K; April 17, L-R; April 18, S-Z. Motorcycle and mini-car taxes can be paid on April 18. For more information call DSN 263-4337.
Yokota Air Base
For regular 4-wheel vehicle: April 15-18. For mini-car and motorcycle: April 17-18. 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.
Naval Air Facility Atsugi
April 2-4 at Convention Center on the first floor from 9 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m. Motorcycle and mini-car road taxes will be collected Friday, April 4, from 9 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m. For more information call DSN 264-3805.
Yokosuka Naval Base
March 25, 26, and April 22, 23 and 24, from 9 to 12 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Fleet Theater (Regular 4wheel vehicle only. Mini-car and motorcycle taxes must be paid at Yokosuka City Hall for April 1 – May 31). For more information call DSN 243-5011.
Misawa Air Base
April 14, drivers with last names starting with A-I, April 15; J-R, April 16; and S-Z, April 17-18 are make-up days. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (from 9 a.m. the 17th) in the Mokuteki Community Center Ballroom (Bldg. 626). For more information call DSN 226-3995
Sasebo Naval Base
TBD (for the month of May)
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni
April 16-18, 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m. in Talbots Dining Room adjacent to the Officers Club (Bldg. 600). You can pay for your both Automobile Tax and Light Motor Vehicle Tax in one venue. 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.