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Driving Coach

Japanese driving license lesson in English

             Driving License Procedures

 The Japanese driving system is organized in two phases both comprising of written and driving test.

The "first phase" is to obtain learner’s permit that may qualify a student to practice behind-the-wheel out on public access roads under the supervision of qualified instructor seating beside.

In phase one learner driver is required to sit for written test (50 questions within 30 min) and minimum passing grade is 90%. Then behind-the-wheel driving test will be conducted inside a circuit in the driving testing center. Minimum passing grade is 70%. After successful completion of both tests a "Learner's Permit" will be issued.

The second phase is the last stage that leads to issuance of Japanese Driving License. The first test in this phase will be written test having 90 questions (True / False) and 5 illustrations carrying 2 points each. Minimum passing grade is 90%. The final test will be behind-the-wheel outside on public access road. It takes about 40 minutes. This test has three parts - driving under the guidance of the examiner for about 20 minutes, self navigation driving for about 20 minutes and lastly either parking or changing direction (backing up) test inside the driving center's circuit. The minimum passing grade is 70%.

After successful completion of both tests the learner driver is required to produce completion of "Special Lesson Certificate" that confirms the attendance of 7 hours special lesson regarding First Aid, Danger Prediction and Expressways. Trainees usually take this lesson after getting their "Learner`s Permit" and completion of phase II training (just before taking phase II tests). This will enable them to get their driving license on the same day they finished phase II behind-the-wheel test. Otherwise, they have to go for "Special Lesson" training before they got their driving license.

All tests are conducted at the Driving License Centers run by Public Safety Commission. The table shown on the right summed up the entire procedures.

I was like many of you too - Learning for Life Vs Owning a Paper

It happens to be most customers ask the first question “How fast and how cheaper I can get my driving license?” where as few are interested about the content of the training program.

When I rolled the time machine back and try to read my own mindset, it is no wonder, I subscribed to the same school of thought THE CHEAPER AND THE FASTER IS BETTER. No question about it, I and my customers was not absolutely wrong in seeking fair price and reasonable time.

However, when I sink deeper into an ocean of traffic rules and regulations as an instructor in Japanes driving school, I can’t help but I know how much I was fairly blunt. I came to recognize the driving license I obtained was on sheer luck and memorization which is in fact a passbook put my life and others on constant danger.

In essence driving is not a mere operation of a vehicle, but a complicated process of learning by heart, coordination of body and soul, constant vigilance, wisdom to decipher the codes and interpretations of traffic rules and above all the values, manners, etiquettes and compassion one has to offer.

I had been a teacher by profession (prior being an instructor in a driving school in Japan), and I know what learning is all about. If the process of learning is restricted within the peripheries of a text book (like many driving schools do) it may be helpful to pass an exam but knowledge is restricted within that limit. Sitting for an exam and driving out on the road are entirely different aspects. I believe one has to be taught to drive on the road comfortably and safely than to pass a test that takes less than 60 minutes.

To pass a test one need not to go to school (like what I did) but to learn for life. I am confident that all of you will agree life is much more important than having a paper permit.