This article is part of the Moving in Japan series of posts. If you have not yet read the others, be sure to check out our step by step walk-through of how to set up your mail forwarding address online with Japan Post. You can also check out our guide for how to change the information listed on your Japanese driver’s license. In this topic, we’ll cover the process of changing your address in Japan and updating your residence card to reflect that.
What You’ll Need
- Notice of Moving Out (転出届 Tenshutsu Todoke)
- Your Passport (パスポート)
- Your Residence Card (在留カード Zairyu Card)
- Individual Number Card (マイナンバーカード)
- Notice of Moving In (転入届 Tennyu Todoke) or Notice of Change of Residence (住民異動届 Jumin Idou Todoke)
- Kokumin Insurance Card (国民保険カード Kokumin Hoken Card) **Required for those who use Kokumin Insurance, but not required for those who use Shakai Insurance (社会保険 Shakai Hoken)**
Step One: Before You Move
When you expect to be moving out from your current address, the first thing you will need to do is go to your local town hall (区役所 kuyakuysho) or city hall (市役所 shiyakusho). You will need to do this at least 14 days prior to moving out. Make sure it’s the city or town hall for your old address. Bring with you your passport (パスポート), residence card (在留カード zairyu card), and your individual number card (マイナンバーカード) with you. When you get there, you will need to fill out a Notice of Moving Out (転出届 tenshutsu todoke). This form allows your old city hall to process you out of their system and get you prepare you to be registered into the system of your new city hall.
Do not move to your new address prior to submitting your notice to your previous city hall. If you attempt to go to your new city hall first and have them update your residence card, you will be rejected and told to return to your old city hall. Moving can be a stressful and expensive endeavor, not to mention time consuming. The last thing you want to do is move from Fukuoka to Tokyo, only to be told that you need to return to Fukuoka because you never submitted the notice to your previous city hall. Save yourself the trouble. This can’t be done online, so make sure you do it right the first time.
Step Two: After You Move
After having submitted your Notice of Moving Out to your previous city hall, you can now proceed with the rest of the process. Once you have moved to your new address, the next step is to go to your new town or city hall and fill out a Notice of Moving In (転入届 tennyu todoke) or a Notice of Change of Residence (住民異動届 Jumin Idou Todoke). Be sure to bring your passport, residence card, and individual number card with you.
Once you complete the paperwork, you will submit your passport (パスポート), residence card (在留カード zairyu card) , and individual number card (マイナンバーカード) along with the paperwork. When you are called back, you will receive your passport, residence card, and your individual number card back. If you take a look at the back of your residence card, you will see the address has been updated to reflect your new address.
Individual Number Card
In the event that you don’t have an Individual Number Card, but already have your individual number, you can always ask your city hall to issue you a card. Not everybody has a physical card, but everybody has a a card, but everybody has an individual number on file. For more information on the Individual Number Card (マイナンバーカード), click here to check out their official website.
Changing Address on Your Insurance Card
If you have a Kokumin Insurance Card (国民保険カード Kokumin Hoken Card), then you can go ahead and get the address updated while you are at your local city hall. This will save you a future trip, so do yourself a favor and just get it done while you are there. Since Shakai Insurance (社会保険 Shakai Hoken) is managed by your employer, you wouldn’t need to bring that card with you. You would just notify your employer of the address change.
Good Luck with the Move!
Changing your address in Japan is usually a straight-forward process. So long as you prepare and do what you’re supposed to do, you’ll have no worries with your next big move. Good luck!