Updated: Jul 14, 2019
Owning a car in Japan can be quite expensive and a bit of a headache. You have to pay car insurance, road tax, and JCI on top of all that.
This post is intended specifically for those that are in Misawa, Japan; however, if you're located elsewhere, I'm sure the process should be quite similar.
WHAT IS JCI?
JCI (Japanese Compulsory Insurance), is a government regulated, mandatory safety inspection that must be done every two years for cars and motorcycles in Japan.
Assuming that there is nothing wrong with your car, this process can run you roughly about
if you have someone do it for you.
(It can cost a lot more if there is something that needs to be fixed/adjusted)
Although it can sound confusing and complicated, the actual JCI process is quite simple and can save you around 20,000-30,000 YEN if you do it yourself.
I will do my best to try to break it down as best as I can.
IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS YOU'LL NEED:
(THESE NEED TO BE CURRENT AND CAN'T BE EXPIRED)
-CURRENT BASE VEHICLE INSPECTION
-JAPANESE VEHICLE TITLE
-MILITARY VEHICLE REGISTRATION
-CERTIFICATE OF TITLE OF MOTOR VEHICLE (DD FORM 430)
BREAKDOWN OF THE PROCESS:
1.) If you know of any pre-existing/ongoing conditions or problems with your vehicle, it might be a good idea to take it to a mechanic or hobby shop for a pre-inspection.
This way you can get them fixed before taking your car through the actual inspection and most likely failing it.
I'll admit, both of the times we've done JCI to our vehicles, we skipped this step and failed the first time around for the same issues.
The first time we failed because one of the headlights needed to be slightly adjusted (easy fix).
The second time (different vehicle), we also failed because one of the headlights needed to be adjusted and the headlight bulbs needed to be brighter
(also easy fix).
That aside, it was smooth sailing.
2.)Go to your insurance company and let them know you need to renew your JCI.
This will be the same place where you bought the
JCI policy for your vehicle.
Prices will vary depending on if you have a 300 or 500 plate.
For a 500 plate we payed roughly 25,000 Yen at this time.
Make sure to bring enough Yen with you, because they don't take card.
If you're confused as to what paperwork you need, just bring everything I mentioned above in a folder, and the customer service agents will sort through and let you know what you need exactly.
3.)Now you're ready to head over to the inspection place to finish up the rest of the process.
If you're located in Misawa, the nearest one is in Hachinohe.
Here is the address:
2 Chome-12-12 Kikyōnokōgyōdanchi, Hachinohe-shi, Aomori
Paste this into Google Maps and it'll take you straight there.
4.) Once you're here, take all of your paperwork, head into the main building towards counters 3 or 4 and let them know you need to renew your JCI.
Don't forget to bring your new JCI policy form from the insurance company showing that you've already paid to renew it.
They'll stamp your papers and then send you to the back building to counter 12 or 13.
Once you get there, show them the stamped papers and prepare to pay the rest of your fees.
(Yen only, no card)
We paid roughly around 14,000 Yen
(you can ask your insurance company to tell you the exact amount you'll need when you're paying the JCI renewal fee)
Once you've paid, you will be sent back to counters 3 or 4 to show them that you've paid the rest of the amount, and after this they'll send you to do the actual car inspection.
5.) Get into your car and pull around the side of the building into the first lane (first one on the right side)
There are a total of 3 lanes, and they will let you know at the counter if you need to get into a different one.
Once it's your turn, you will be approached by someone who will ask you to open your hood, and then guide you on what to do next.
(ex: turn on hazards, turn on windshield wipers, turn on left/right blinkers, put car in reverse, roll down windows, ect.)
Once this part is done, if you have any passengers in your vehicle they will need to step out at this time and wait outside while your car goes through the remaining of the inspection.
(don't bring your kids if they can't be left unattended)
6.)Once you're done with the inspection they will tell you whether you've passed or failed.
If you passed, congrats! You can proceed back to counters 3 or 4, show them you've passed, get your new sticker and replace the old one on your windshield.
You are now done.
If you failed, they will tell you what you failed on, and you will need to go get it fixed before you can do the inspection again.
If it's a minor fix like a headlight adjustment or changing out your light bulbs, you can get that done at a shop about 500 meters away from the inspection place if you don't want to do it yourself.
Here are the directions to that shop:
-When you're pulling out from the JCI inspection building, take a right.
-Drive about 500 meters. You will see a yellow building on your right called "Lotas Kikuchi"
-Boom! You're here.
7.)Once you get your car issues fixed, you can return to the inspection place.
There's no need to go inside the building again, just have your papers ready and pull back into the inspection line.
(if you don't come back on the same day that you failed, you will have to pay an extra charge of roughly 1,000-1,500 YEN again per visit)
Mostly likely this time around they will only check for the things that failed before instead of conducting the entire inspection from the beginning.
I'm assuming by this point you've already passed, so head inside to counters 3 or 4, show them you passed, get your sticker, put it on your windshield, and you're done.
Here are the hours the JCI place is open:
Lunch break: 12:00-13:00
If you would like to watch the vlogs of us going through the JCI process step-by-step,
I will have them linked below:
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