Tenshutsu Todoke: How to Submit a Moving-out Form in Japan

Tenshutsu Todoke: How to Submit a Moving-out Form in Japan

Moving to a city in Tokyo or elsewhere in Japan? Changing addresses? Or leaving Japan for good? There's one form you must fill out before you move on. 

Today, we cover how to submit a moving out form (転出届 = tenshutsu todoke) in Japan that all residents must submit before relocating elsewhere. 

What is the moving-out (tenshutsu todoke) form? 

All residents (including foreigners residing in Japan) are required by law to notify their local city office when any change of address occurs. 

Primarily, this “moving out” paperwork is called tenshutsu todoke 転出届. Residents must file this form with their current municipality before relocating to a different city or moving abroad.  

Failure to submit this paperwork may result in a fine (up to ¥50,000).

If you are moving within Japan, you must next submit a moving-in form (転入届 = tennyu todoke) to the city where you are relocating. 

For example, say you live in Shinjuku City, but you are moving to Minato City. A simplified action plan would look like this: 

  1. Submit a moving-out form to Shinjuku City.  

  2. Receive a moving-out certificate from Shinjuku City. 

  3. Present the moving-out certificate from Shinjuku City to Minato City Office. 

  4. Concurrently with 3, submit a moving-in form to Minato City Office. 

If you are leaving Japan, then only 1 and 2 are required. (This checklist covers how to move out in Japan for those leaving for a prolonged period or permanently.)

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When should I submit a moving-out form in Japan? 

Submit your moving-out form at least 14 days before moving out and no later than the day of the move. 

While cities have varied processes for accepting this application, all cities throughout Japan maintain a 14-day time frame when leaving a city. 

Where can I download the tenshutsu todoke form? 

Municipalities in Japan use different systems to keep their resident registries up to date. Thus, every city has its own form that city residents must fill out when relocating.

To find out the specific process and form for your city, search for 転出届 + [your city name]. Some municipalities call the form 住民異動届 = jyuumin idou todoke, change of residence form, which you can also search for. Minato City uses a 住民異動届 = change of residence form. Shinjuku City uses a 転出届 = moving-out form. 

Note: If you are moving within city boundaries (not moving to a new city), the form you want to look for is  転居届 = tenkyo todoke, which notifies the municipality of a change in address within city bounds. 

Step-by-step how to submit a moving-out form in Japan in-person

Here are the general steps to submit a move-out form in-person before a relocation. 

Step 1. Google your city's official home page. 

Every city in Japan has an official website where directions regarding their moving-out procedures can be found. If the city's official site is not available in English, look for the kanji 転出届 or 住民異動届 to find the relevant directions. 

Step 2. Download the move-out form from your city office website and fill it out. 

While the forms will vary, the information you will be requested to fill out remains largely the same. Some city offices have the form available in English. And most city offices now allow you to download and print out the form from their website. 

Notification Change Address

Image. English version of the change of residence form, available on the Minato City official website

Step 3. Gather the required documentation as listed by your city office. 

Generally speaking, these items will include ID verifying documents (My Number Card, driver’s license, residence card, etc.), your inkan, and your health insurance card

Step 4. Go to your city office and submit the paperwork. 

Bring the filled-out form and the required documentation discussed in Step 3 to your city office. If you aren’t sure which desk to stand at, you can ask, “Tenshutsu todoke wo dashitai no desuga…” (I’d like to submit a moving-out notice.)

Step 5. Receive the moving-out certificate. 

After receiving your paperwork, the municipality will issue you a moving-out certificate (転出証明書 = tenshutsu shou mei sho) that you must bring with you when registering in a new city in Japan. 

Moving out certificate

How to submit a moving-out form in Japan by proxy

Most cities allow the use of a designated proxy (代理人 = dairinin) to submit this paperwork so long as all other conditions are followed. 

In addition to your documents covered in the previous section, your proxy must bring personal ID verification, their inkan, and a certificate of appointment (委任状= ininjyou), which you issue to your proxy. 

You can find the certificate of appointment form on each city's website. Here's an example of Minato City's proxy certificate of appointment document (Japanese PDF). 

Additionally, certain rules and conditions surrounding proxies apply, depending on the city. 

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Step-by-step how to submit a moving-out form in Japan by postal mail

Most cities allow you to submit the moving-out form by postal mail. If your city permits this, these are the general steps:

Step 1. Download the moving-out form from your municipality's website. 

Fill it out and set aside. Also, make note of the municipality address to which you must send your paperwork. 

Step 2. Make photocopies of the required ID-verifying documents to include with your moving-out form. 

Generally speaking, it will be 1 of the following: My Number Card, driver's license, residence card, etc. 

Step 3. Include a self-addressed return envelope with an 84-yen stamp affixed.

Required so that they can send you a moving-out certificate. 

It will take from 1 week to 10 days to receive a certificate of moving out by mail. Because you must use the moving-out certificate to complete your registration in a new city, officials advise that you list your new address on the return envelope. 

(Alternatively, find out how to use Japanese postal mail forwarding to receive mail at your new address!)

The My Number Card fast-track for submitting a moving-out form

For My Number Card holders, the paperwork for submitting a moving-out form has been simplified (and for some cities, it has been fully digitized). This fast-track does not apply to My Number Notification Card holders. 

Instructions and allowances for submitting a moving-out form with your My Number Card will differ from city to city. Be sure to research whether your city has made this available or not.

Frequently asked questions

What is 転出届 tenshutsu todoke? 

The meaning of 転出届 = tenshutsu todoke is a "moving out" form that residents in Japan must file with their current municipality before moving out.

When should I submit a tenshutsu todoke

The tenshutsu todoke should ideally be submitted about 2 weeks in advance of moving. However, if one is unable to submit it before their moving date, they must submit it post-move as soon as possible.

Who can submit a tenshutsu todoke

The tenshutsu todoke can be submitted by the individual moving, the head of the household, or their representative.

What happens after the tenshutsu todoke procedure is completed? 

After the tenshutsu todoke procedure is completed, a moving out certification (tenshutsu shomei sho) is issued.

What documents do I need to bring for the tenshutsu todoke procedure? 

For the tenshutsu todoke procedure, you will need to bring your Residence Card, and the Notice of Moving Out (Tenshutsu Todoke) from your previous ward office. In some cases, proof of your flight ticket may also be required.

What if I didn't give notification of moving out before I moved to a new city? 

If you didn't give notification of moving out before moving to a new city, you should submit the Tenshutsu Todoke as soon as possible after moving.

In closing

Navigating the process of moving can be daunting, especially when it involves understanding and complying with legal requirements in a foreign country. However, with the right information and guidance, the process of submitting a Tenshutsu Todoke, or moving-out form, in Japan can be straightforward and manageable.

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