How to register or change your address in Japan

Poste date: Thursday, April 4, 2019

Once you are in Japan and have a fixed residence or are staying at a service apartment that allows their address to be registered as your residence, the first thing you will need to do is head to the municipal office and register your address. This article will cover the procedures used to register your address and the procedures for changing your address while living in Japan. You are also able to request that your attorney handles the registration of your address (rules may differ from city to city).

Address registration in Japan

Address registration can be done either while living in a service apartment, where they allow you to register the address, or when you find a fixed residence in Japan. You are required to register your address at the local municipal office within 14 days after having moved to your fixed address.

To register your address you will need to bring Your Passport and Residence Card to the municipal office and fill out a Form (similar to the one pictured below).

If you would like to register your family members as well, you will need to provide a Marriage / Birth Certificate translated into Japanese. An apostille is not required for the translation (you can ask your friend or colleague for help as well).

Click the image above to download a PDF version of this form for Minato-ku.

When you cannot go to the municipal office

Most municipal offices will allow your attorney to register your address on your behalf. What your attorney will have to bring is your passport, residence card, and the letter of proxy (委任状 - Ininjo). The attorney will have to bring his/her ID as well. Every municipal office has their own format for the letter of proxy. A downloadable copy of each cities letter of proxy can normally be found on their municipal office's website. Some municipal offices may not allow your attorney to register your address, therefore we recommend that you to make sure beforehand if they allow attorneys to regiester addresses on their clients behalves. The letter of proxy pictured below is from the Minato-ku municipal office. You can download a PDF version of the Minato-ku's letter of proxy by clicking on the image below.

* It should be noted that the letter of proxy is only available in Japanese.

Once your have completed the registration process, your new address will be printed on the backside of your residence card.

Download the Move-In form from Minato-ku
Download the letter of proxy for Minato-ku (Japanese only)

"My Number" Notification will arrive at your address

Once you have registered your address at the municipal office, your "My Number" Notification will be sent to your registered address within 2-3 weeks. "My Number" is a social security and Tax Number System. Please refer to the Ministry's Website for more information about the "My Number" system and how it's used.

Within 2 – 3 weeks of your address registration, your "My Number" Notification will arrive. The notification will arrive in an envelope (pictured above). Within the envelope your will find a greed card with the word "通知カード" written at the top (see image above).

This letter will arrive by registered mail. This means that if you miss the delivery, the postman will leave you a missed delivery notice. The post office will usually keep the letter at your local post office for up to 1 week . If you don’t contact them within a week of the first missed delivery notice, the letter will be sent back to the municipal office and you will be required to go there to retrieve it. To avoid any problems, if you find the Delivery Notice, please contact the post office a soon as possible. In the event that you need to have your Notification Card re-issued, it will cost 500 yen.

The notification card itself can be used as verification of your "My Number" (the Individual Number) in various situations where you are required to present your "My Number" (the Individual Number) card.

This Notification Card cannot be used as a form of identification, therefore you still have to carry provide your residence card, driver’s license, or passport when you are asked to provide proof of identity.

When you change your address, it’s also required that you bring this card to a municipal office in order to change the data and printed address on the document.

In case you missed the registered letter

If you haved missed the delivery of your "My Number" Notification–delivered by the Post Office–you can find a missed delivery notice in your mail box (pictured above). You can find a tracking number for the letter on the missed delivery notice. Please call the number below (English Service) to request a re-delivery. You can choose the date and hours that you would like them to re-deliver the "My Number" Notification.

  • TEL: 0570-046-111 (English)
  • Monday - Friday: 8:00 - 21:00
  • Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 - 21:00

If you are able to read Japanese, you can request a re-delivery via Internet.

Changing your address when you move in Japan

If you change your address–while living in Japan–you will have to notify your previous municipal office and your new municipal office of your new address within 14 days of the move. You can also ask your attorney to take care of the procedures on your behalf. In order for your attorney to register your new address on your behalf, he/she will have to bring Your Residence Card, the Letter of Proxy (委任状 - Ininjo), and the attorney's ID.

Changing your address when moving to another city

The first thing you will need to do when you are changing your address after moving to another city, is to go to the municipal office where your previous address is registered and notify them that you moved out of the city. You will then need to aquire a Certificate of Change of Address. To aquire this certificate, you will have to submit a Moving Out Notification (転出届 Tenshutsu-todoke) at the municipal office where your previous address was registered. Without the certificate you will not be able register your address at the new municipal office.

After receiving a Certificate of Change of Address from the previous municipal office, you can go to the new municipal office and submit the form for Moving-In. Please bring your Residence Card and My Number Notification. Once finished, your new address will be printed on your Residence Card and My Number Notification.

The procedure may change depending on the area you move to, but usually follows the pattern below.

Step 1: Going to your previous municipal office

  1. What you have to bring: Your Residence Card
  2. Head to your previous municipal office (where previous address is registered)
  3. Submit "Moving Out Notification"
  4. Aquire a "Certificate of Change of Address"

Step 2: Going to your new municipal office

  1. What you have to bring: Your Residence Card, My Number Notification, and Certificate of Change of Address
  2. Head to your new municipal office
  3. Submit your "Certificate of Change of Address"
  4. Submit form for Moving-In
  5. Your new address will be printed on your Residence Card and My Number Notification

Changing your address when moving within the same city

When changing your address, after moving within the same city, you will need to go to the municipal office (same as your previous address) and declare that your address has changed. As you are moving within the same city, you will not need a Certificate of Change of Address. To change your address you will simply have to go to the municipal office and declare that your address has changed within the same city. Your new address will be printed on your Residence Card and My Number Notification.

Moving within the same city

  1. What you have to bring: Your Residence Card and My Number Notification
  2. Go to your municipal office
  3. Inform them that your address has changed
  4. Your new address will be printed on your residence card and My Number Notification.
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