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All you ever wanted to know about Japan License Plates

Japan license plates for vehicles with engines 2000 cc and over are issued by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Land Offices  (MLIT) nationwide.  Local municipalities issue vehicles with engines less than 2000 cc.  Japan license plates for vehicles smaller than 2000 cc are 5-series plates while license plates for vehicles larger than 2000 cc are referred  to as 3-series plates.  License plates for motor vehicles in Japan are always issued in pairs with the rear plate permanently attached to the vehicle and is only removed when the vehicle is scrapped or exported.  Japanese purchase their new vehicles with the license plates already attached by the dealership.

Custom Japanese license plates online

There are numerous internet merchants selling Japanese license plates online.  A casual shopper may be misled by the offering to think the only Japanese Prefecture (same as a USA State) issuing license plates is Nagano with a single Hiragana!  It is similar to an internet retailer offering custom USA plates only from the state of Hawaii!  The only online merchant offering a wide selection of Japanese car and motorcycle plates is  Most of the Japanese Prefectures are offered with varied Hiragana on in colors to match the officially issued license plates.  Shoppers can choose the correct Japanese license plate to match a specific Prefecture and vehicle or motorcycle on

Japanese License Plate Colors

License plate for private vehicles with engines less than 660 CC

"Japanese License Plates "Plate size generally: 6.5″ x 13″

License plate for private vehicles with engines greater than 660 CC

"japan license plate"Plate size generally: 6.5″ x 13″

Commercial vehicles with engine greater than 660 CC

"license plates from Japan"Plate size generally: 6.5″ x 13″

Light private vehicles with engine lesser than 660 CC

"japan license plates authentic"Plate size generally: 6.5″ x 13″

Light commercial vehicles with engine lesser than 660 CC

"japanese license plate"Plate size generally: 6.5″ x 13″

Japan motorcycle (250 CC & Greater) license plate

"japanese motorcycle license plate"Plate size generally: 4″ x 8″

Japan license plate layout

"plate-layout Japan license plates"

Special use Japan license plates

American Forces in Japan have been issued license plates with a special letter Y on green on White plates and A on Black on Yellow plates replacing the hiragana prefix character.  These license plates are issued under Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).  These letters also indicate the vehicles are imported into Japan and are left-hand-drive as opposed to the standard right-Hand-Drive Japanese vehicles.

About 30 years ago, United States servicemen, because of Japan bureaucratic problems, were dissuaded from importing American made vehicles into Japan, so servicemen purchased vehicles from local car lots or from so-called lemon-lots (within the walls of United States bases in Japan).

A Japan license plate shopper paradise

If a shopper is looking for a specific Japanese license plate from a specific prefecture, then the only choice is   Shoppers can choose Japanese license plates for specific Japanese brand cars to match the prefectures from which the Japanese car manufacturer is based.

Prefecture                                          Car brand headquarters

Kanawaga                                                           Nissan, Infiniti, Datsun

Sapparoro                                                           Toyota, Lexus, Scion

Saitama                                                                Honda, Acura

Gumna                                                                 Subaru

Do not be trapped in Nagano Prefecture –get a Japanese License plate in the authentic colors to match the prefecture from which your Nissan, Infiniti, Datsun, Toyota, Lexus, Scion, Honda, Acura or Subaru was made.  Visit and get the Japan license plate which is the closest to authentic.

Visit our website to order any of our authentic license plates from around the world.

Japanese license plates
5301 NW 35th Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309


TOLL FREE: 800-491-2068

One Response to “Japanese License Plates”

  1. Zach

    I just left the military in japan and I had to turn in my plates for my car in order to go. I would like to have some complete replacas made so I can put them on my new car here in the states. Just one regular car plate (相模 500 Y 8342) How much would that cost?


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