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News > Road-tax season begins April 1
Road taxes due soon
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- People who own vehicles on April 1 must pay Japanese road tax by May 31 or risk losing their driving privileges or vehicle-registration privileges, according to 374th Security Forces Squadron officials. Once the road tax is paid, each vehicle owner will receive a base decal similar to the one shown here. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Devin Doskey)
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Road-tax season begins April 1

Posted 3/22/2009   Updated 3/23/2009 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Ruth Curfman
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

3/22/2009 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan  -- Japanese road-tax season begins April 1 and affects all Status of Forces Agreement members across the Kanto Plain. 

People who own a vehicle on April 1 must pay the tax by May 31 or risk losing their driving privileges or vehicle-registration privileges, according to 374th Security Forces Squadron officials.

To help people pay their road taxes on time, there will be a mass road-tax collection at the Yujo Community Center from April 13 to 17 for regular four-wheeled vehicles, said Kenji Takura, 374th SFS pass and registration specialist.  People who own motorcycles or mini-cars, which have "A" license plates, will pay their road tax on April 16 and 17.

Volunteers will be available from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. each day. The entire process should only take approximately five minutes if all paperwork is ready, said Tech. Sgt. Brent Paul, 374th SFS pass and registration NCO in charge. 

Here is a list of what to bring:
-- Japanese Inspection Certificate
-- Japanese Compulsory Insurance
-- Liability insurance policy
-- Military registration
-- Military ID card 
-- Japanese yen, see rates below

Credit or debit cards and American dollars will not be accepted for payment.

"If people want to pay early or later than the dates provided on base, they can go to a Japanese bank or post office to make their payment," Sergeant Paul said. Motorcycle and mini-car owners, however, must go to the Fussa or Murayama City Hall to pay their road tax. 

Before going off base, members must first take all vehicle information to the pass and registration office and pick up a road tax application form. The owners then take the receipt and vehicle information to the pass and registration office to receive a new base decal.

"People should also be aware that if someone is deployed or otherwise unable to pay their taxes before May 31, they can send anyone in with their information to pay for the tax," Sergeant Paul said.

The following are the road tax rates for this year according to vehicle category:
-- 500 yen for motorcycles and scooters with engines smaller than 125 cubic centimeters 
-- 1,000 yen for motorcycles with engines 125 cubic centimeters and larger 
-- 3,000 yen for mini-cars with 40A or 50A license plate
-- 7,500 yen for vehicles with 44Y, 55E, 56Y, 57Y, 58Y, 500Y or 400Y license plate
-- 19,000 yen for vehicles with engines smaller than 4.5 liters and a 33Y, 33E, 88Y, 300Y, 300E, 800Y or 800E license plate
-- 22,000 yen for vehicles with a 4.5-liter engine or larger and a 33Y, 33E, 88Y, 300Y, 300E, 800Y or 800E license plate
-- 32,000 yen for vehicles with a 11Y, 11E, 100Y or 100E license plate

The money collected for road taxes helps off-set the cost of maintaining roads in Japan. The prices, based on the engine size of the vehicle, are discounted for military members because they don't use the local roads as often, said Sergeant Paul. 

The Japanese government recently simplified the process for collecting road tax, said Mr. Takura. 

Beginning April 1, when road tax is paid once during the Japanese fiscal year, which is April 1 to March 31, any subsequent SOFA status owner will not have to pay the tax for the same time period. "But, anyone selling their vehicle after the road tax is paid will not receive a refund from the Japanese Government for the remaining portion of the year," Mr. Takura said.

"Another important bit of information to remember during the next couple of months is to make sure the road tax has been paid before purchasing a vehicle," Sergeant Paul said.

"Sometimes people buy a vehicle and either don't know or aren't told about the road tax needed to legally drive the vehicle," Sergeant Paul said. "This can cause financial or even legal problems for some people, so buyers must make sure to ask and get verification." 

For more information, call 225-8932 or 225-8914, or visit the pass and registration office in Building 316, room 124.

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