How to Get a Juminhyo (Resident Record) in Japan
A crash course on Japan's Basic Resident Registry System and how to get a juminhyo copy at your local convenience store, at a city office, or by postal mail.
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What is juminhyo in Japan?
Juminhyo is a resident record (also occasionally referred to as a residence certificate) recorded by local municipalities to comply with Japan's Basic Resident Registration System. The kanji for juminhyo is 住民票.
All residents in Japan, including medium- to long-term foreign residents and special permanent residents, are eligible for residence records. Before 2012, foreign residents were registered in a separate registry. From July 9, 2012, foreign residents were covered by the same system as Japanese nationals.
The juminhyo or "resident record" (also referred to as "resident certificate") is proof of residential relationship with one’s city of residence. The municipality looks at the resident record for national health insurance eligibility, national pension eligibility, and other affairs related to welfare and immunization. Additionally, the central government uses this information for census surveys.
The resident record is also used when additional proof of residence is required for legal work, and it is updated each time residents submit moving-in or moving-out notices at their local city office.
What type of information is listed on a juminhyo (resident record)?
In general, residents must list one's name, date of birth, gender, address, social security matters, nationality, status of residence, etc. See here for the list of information required to complete an application for a juminhyo, as noted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Image. Sample English certificate of residence form by Minato City.
What is a juminhyo code 住民票コード?
The juminhyo code is an 11-digit number assigned to all persons recorded in Japan's Basic Resident Registry Network. Residents use it when requesting a pension ruling or when making applications to government agencies. It is also used by Japanese citizens when applying for a passport.
What's the difference between juminhyo and koseki?
A copy of your juminhyo (resident record) is used primarily to prove one's place of residence, whereas koseki (family register) is primarily used to certify one's identity through kinship relationships. To read more about koseki, see "What is Japan's Family Register System?"
Step-by-step how to apply for juminhyo (resident record) in person
Every city has a different application form when applying for a copy of your juminhyo (resident record copy). Do the following to get a copy of your resident record in Japan.
Step 1. Google your city's official home page.
Every city in Japan has an official website where they list directions for application procedures. Such directions are often available in English in Tokyo and certain other prefectures. If you can't find results in English, try the following [kanji for your city] + 住民票申請書.
Step 2. Download the jyuminhyo (resident record) application form and fill it out.
Most city offices throughout Japan allow you to download and print out the form from their website. If you can't find a downloadable copy online, go to your city office and apply directly. Many cities in Tokyo have an English language version of the jyuminhyo application available online. If the city does not have an English version, consider using an English form from another city to show to officials at your city office. They can then help you fill that information into the correct form.
Step 3. Gather the required documentation as listed by your city office.
Most city offices don't differ too much here. But to be safe, you can bring all your ID verifying documents, such as driver's license, zairyu card, passport, Special Permanent Resident Certificate, or My Number Card.
Step 4. Go to your city office and submit the paperwork.
Bring the completed jyuminhyo application form and ID verifying documents to your city office. If you aren't sure what section/desk to stand at, ask, "Juminhyo no shinsei wo dashitai no desuga…" (I'd like to apply for a residence certificate.)
Step 5. Receive a copy of your residence record.
Pay the handling fee, which usually amounts to no more than ¥300, and you will receive a copy of your juminhyo, which you can use to show proof of residence.
Step-by-step how to get a juminhyo (resident record) copy by postal mail
Here are the steps to acquiring a copy of your juminhyo (resident record) by postal mail.
Step 1. Download the application form.
Most cities in Japan allow you to send in your application by postal mail. If your city permits this, the city will have instructions for how to do so on its website.
Step 2. Make a photocopy of documents verifying your ID and address.
Usually one of the following: My Number Card, driver's license, health insurance card, residence card, etc.
Step 3. Prepare a fixed amount postal money order.
Pay the handling fee by postal money order(定額小為替 = teigaku kogawase) issued by Japan Post Bank.1 juminhyo copy = ¥200 to ¥300. Learn more about postal money orders here.
Step 4. Place everything in an envelope and send it in.
Some city offices (for example, Minato-ku and others) provide envelopes for you to download and print, which require no postage to send in. This information will be listed on the city office site where application instructions are listed.
However, even for cities that provide postage-paid envelopes for sending in applications, you will still be required to include a return envelope properly addressed to you with your name, postal address, and a 94-yen stamp affixed.
Step 5. Receive a copy of your residence record by post.
If all your papers are in order, expect to receive a copy of your family register within one week to 10 business days. However, because this option can take some time to process, it may not be suitable if you're pressed for time and need the document immediately. In which case, apply in person at your registered domicile's city office.
Step-by-step how to apply for juminhyo (resident record) at a convenience store
By far the easiest method, residents with a plastic My Number Card (with an electronic signature enabled) are able to request and receive a copy of their juminhyo (resident record) at convenience stores across Japan within municipalities that have digitized these procedures.
Here are the steps for applying for your resident record at a convenience store.
Step 1. Determine if your municipality has permitted the convenience store method for requesting a resident record, then find a participating convenience store.
As of May 2022, 946 of Japan's 1741 municipalities allow resident records to be requested at convenience store kiosks. To determine the case for your city, go to this site and look up your city. Participating convenience stores are also listed on the aforementioned site.
Step 2. Bring your plastic My Number Card (and pin code) to a participating convenience store.
The participating convenience store closest to you will often be a 7-Eleven, Lawson, Family Mart, or Mini-Stop. Please note that each city will have its own rules regarding designated hours during which you are allowed to submit your application via kiosk. Generally, submission hours start from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Step 3. Use the kiosk navigation system to guide you through the process.
Each convenience store line will have its own interface, but in general, the information will not differ much, and for most convenience stores, this feature and interface are available in English. The application process using 7-Eleven's photocopier is well-documented online with navigation available in English, so we recommend choosing 7-Eleven if you have the choice.
Image. "How to print out official certificates at convenience stores" by Practical Japan.com. This is a well-documented guide with step-by-step pictures for using 7-Eleven's kiosk copier service.
Step 4. Pay and print.
The handling fee for printing a resident record at a convenience store is ¥200. Pay the fee, and you will get a copy of your juminhyo printed out for you on the spot!
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