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Japan plans to link driver's license with My Number card from 2026: minister

National Public Safety Commission Chairman Hachiro Okonogi (Mainichi/Daiki Takikawa)

TOKYO -- National Public Safety Commission Chairman Hachiro Okonogi revealed on Oct. 16 plans to start linking driver's licenses with My Number social security and tax identification cards as early as 2026.

    Okonogi made the announcement in response to questions from reporters after a meeting he had at the Cabinet Office with digital reform minister Takuya Hirai and administrative reform minister Taro Kono.

    "We want to decrease the cumbersome procedures surrounding the updating of driver's licenses by making it a one-stop, online process," Okonogi said.

    Starting in fiscal 2020, the National Police Agency has been working to streamline the management system of driver's license information, which the agency and the 47 prefectural police departments have in their possession separately, and plan to finish the process by fiscal 2025. It aims to incorporate driver's license data into the IC chips of My Number cards.

    Under the current system, when people move, they must register their move out of their original municipality of residence and their move into their new municipality of residence. In addition, they must change their address on their driver's license at the local police station in their new municipality. If driver's licenses are linked to My Number cards, the change of residence registered with the local municipality will be reflected in the driver's license automatically.

    Considering the fact that the individual numbers of My Number cards are used for procedures relating to social security and taxes, Okonogi said, "We will certainly implement systematic and technological measures that will prevent the police from freely accessing the My Number database."

    (Japanese original by Noritake Machida, City News Department)

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