Kadena drivers reminded to pay road tax Published May 1, 2008 By Master Sgt. Jeff Loftin 18th Wing Public Affairs KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Annual Japanese road use fees, commonly referred to as "road tax," are just around the corner for Department of Defense employees on Okinawa. Road tax payments for the more than 27,400 vehicles registered to military and family members on island must be made by June 1. "Road Tax is an annual fee paid to repair and maintain prefecture roads on Okinawa," said Senior Airman Bryan Henson, Joint Service Vehicle Registration Office liaison. Base collection events have been set up at many Okinawa installations to assist SOFA members in making their payments. Kadena Air Base drivers can make road tax payments between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. May 12 to 16 at the base theater. "The mission of the base collection events are to provide SOFA status vehicle owners a convenient means to pay their 2008 road taxes, in accordance with Japanese Law," said Airman Henson. "Much planning and work goes into each base event to make the road tax process as smooth as possible for SOFA vehicle owners." Drivers will need a current military registration (DD Form 430), original title, Japanese compulsory insurance, current personal damage insurance, and the 2007 road tax receipt. They will have to go to JSVRO at Camp Foster if any of the items are missing or expired. Drivers can pay for up to five vehicles during the base event. Road tax payments must be made in yen. Currency exchange will be available at the event. No credit cards or checks will be accepted. Road tax prices are based on the license plate category. Plate categories 40/400, 50/500, and 77/78 will cost 7,500 yen. Plate category 33/300 will cost 19,000 yen for 4,500cc and below, and 22,000 yen for above 4,500cc. Plate categories 11/100 and 88/800 will cost 32,000 yen. Minicars, motorcycles and scooters can only be paid for at local city offices. Drivers must then bring the receipt to JSVRO or the collection site to receive a road tax sticker. Road tax for mini-cars cost 3,000 yen. Motorcycles cost 500 yen for 125cc and below, and 1,000 yen for 126cc and above. According to JSVRO officials, road tax must be paid in May even if a member plans to deregister or "junk" the vehicle in the near future. Failure to pay road tax by June 1 can result in a citation or, depending on the installation, seizure of the vehicle. Deployed members must make the road tax payment upon return before driving the vehicle. "Many have the misconception that only Americans have to pay for road tax; however, local nationals pay two or up to three times more for road tax," said Airman Henson. "Every registered vehicle owner on Okinawa pays road tax annually during April and May. SOFA members just use the decal as an identifier to show road tax has been paid." Road tax can also be paid at the Okinawa Prefecture Land Transportation Office or local insurance companies who provide road tax service.