HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

Fact Sheet Display

SOFA driver's license

I have a question about the policy regarding SOFA Driver's Licenses. My wife has a Thai driver's license. I took her to the Registration Office to get her SOFA driver's license. I was told that they do not give SOFA licenses to people who have a Thai driver's license. They told me she must have either a U.S. license or an internationl driver's permit. They said she would need to attend a driving class like the one at the Schilling Community Center. In the past I know that SOFA licenses were given to people who had a Thai driver's license. I was just wondering if there was a recent change in policy, or should the policy be changed so they can get a SOFA license.

Thank you for the opportunity to address this important issue. According to The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Article X, Japan accepts drivers licenses issued by the United States to a member of the United States armed forces, civilian component and their dependents. United States Forces Japan Instruction 31-205 permits issuance of the Form 4EJ, or SOFA license, when a SOFA member presents a valid (current) operators permit issued by any state or territory of the US or by the District of Columbia, an international drivers permit, or a valid Government of Japan operators permit. The available options would be to obtain one of the forms of driving credentials previously mentioned; otherwise, the applicant must provide written proof that he or she has successfully completed a certified formal driving course like the one offered through the Schilling Community Center. If you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact the 18th Security Forces Police Services Office at 634-0714. Thank you.