How to Register in a New City in Japan [Step-by-Step Guide]

How to Register in a New City in Japan [Step-by-Step Guide]

Moving to Japan from a foreign country? Relocating to a new address within Japan? In both cases, you must register your place of residence within 14 days of moving at a local city office. 

This article explains the basics of address registration for new arrivals, how to register in a new city in Japan, and a step-by-step guide on how to submit paperwork in person. 

What is a moving-in form (tennyu todoke) in Japan?

A moving-in form (転入届 = tennyu todoke) is a document all residents (including foreign residents) must submit when relocating to a new location in Japan. Depending on your municipality, a moving-in form may be called a change of residence form (住民移動届 = jyuumin idou todoke). 

Failing to submit this form or falsifying details will result in penalties such as losing your residence status and fines up to ¥200,000 (Immigration Services Agency Japan Q88). 

By submitting a moving-in form, you fulfill the requirement for informing the Ministry of Justice of your current address. 

Moving-in form, English example

Image. English example of how to fill out a moving-in form from Okazaki city’s official website.

Note: Different municipalities have different procedures for filing a moving-in form. You can find exact instructions and required documents on the official homepage of your municipality office. 

Address registration requirements for first-time visitors to Japan

If you are staying in Japan for longer than 90 days, you will receive a Residence Card (在留カード = zairyū kādo) at the airport upon your arrival.

A Residence Card contains essential information such as your name, residency status, and period of stay. 

Residence Card Example

Image. Example of Residence Card from ISA Japan.

Once you've been issued a Residence Card, you must file a moving-in notification within 14 days after finalizing your living arrangements in Japan. 

Short-term residents or foreigners staying in Japan for less than 90 days are not required to file a moving-in form. Instead, they will receive a stamp on their passport when entering the country. (Learn more about Japan's Residency Management System and Residence Card here.)

To file a moving-in notification to register your address, bring the following documents to your local municipal office:

  • Your passport

  • Residence Card

  • Moving-in form

After registering your address at a municipal office, you will receive a notification letter containing your Individual Number Notice (My Number) and a QR code to apply for a My Number card. 

Note: An Individual Number notice is an extremely important document that cannot be reissued. Don't lose it or throw it away. 

Find out more about Individual Number notices and My Number cards in our article, “My Number Card for Foreigners.” 

Step-by-step how to register in a new city in Japan

If you relocate to a new city while living in Japan, you likewise need to notify your new municipal office of your address within 14 days of moving. 

However, before registering your address in a new city, you must first submit a moving-out form (転出届 = tenshutsu todoke) to the city office where your previous address was located and receive a moving-out certificate (転出証明書 = tenshutsu shou mei sho). [Note: Not applicable to first-time residents in Japan.]

Once you have your moving-out certificate, you can submit your moving-in form to register your new address. 

The exact process may vary depending on the area you move to, but the general pattern for how to submit a moving-in form is as follows:

Step 1. Go to your previous address' municipal office.

Submit your moving-out form and other required documents to receive a moving-out certificate. This step can be done by post or by proxy if circumstances prevent you from applying in person. For details on how to follow those methods, see our step-by-step guide “How to Submit a Moving-out Form in Japan.”

Step 2. Gather all required documents. 

Prepare the required documents. These may vary slightly depending on the city or district. Most often, you will need the following:

  • Moving out certificate

  • Residence Card

  • Passport or government issued ID

  • Moving-in form

  • My Number Notification or My Number card

Step 3. Go to your new municipal office and submit the paperwork.

Bring all documents to your new municipal office. Once you submit your paperwork, your new address will be documented on your Residence Card and My Number notification.

How to register your address when moving within the same city

If you are moving within the same city, then you do not need a moving-out certificate. However, you still need to register your new address. This process is called 転居届 = tenkyo todoke, change of address notification.

To register an address change within the same city, bring your Residence Card and My Number notification to your local municipal office and inform the officials that your address has changed. They will update your Residence Card and My Number notification with your new address. 

Registering your address via proxy

If you cannot go to the municipal office in person to register your address, a proxy can submit the necessary paperwork on your behalf.

To use a proxy to submit your paperwork, they will need to provide a certificate of appointment (委任状 = innin jyou), your passport, Residence Card, and moving-in form along with their own ID. 

Certificate of appointment example

Image. Example of how to fill out a certificate of appointment from Shinjuku city’s official website.

However, bear in mind that some offices don't allow the use of proxies when registering addresses. To be safe, check with your municipal office to see if this is permitted. 

Other useful links on how to register in a new city in Japan

Basic Resident Registration System for Foreign Residents > Related Materials, Publicity Leaflets, etc., Immigration Services of Japan Agency


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