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Okinawans forget to renew driver licenses

Date Posted: 2006-08-03

Okinawans forget to update their driver licenses at a rate double that of mainland Japan.

The Metropolitan Police report that 2.1% of Okinawa residents fail to renew their driver licenses before they expire, despite the campaign to do so. In mainland Japan, only 1% of citizens forget to renew the document. Police emphasize the shortsightedness strips citizens of their legal proof of identification.

Equally a problem, those who fail to renew their licenses must go back to school and begin the process of getting a new license the same as a beginner. They must pay the full price for going to school, then taking the examination.

The road law changed in 2003, permitting a one-month grace period, and allowing application for new permits a month before expiration. Police are now encouraging all Okinawan drivers to double check their license expiration dates.

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