Home > Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The main text begins here.

About Individual Number Notices

Q1Who issues Individual Number Notices?

The mayor of your municipality.
The Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems (J-LIS) handles all issue and delivery of Individual Number Notices on behalf of all municipalities.
*The Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems (J-LIS) operates in cooperation with municipal governments.

Q2What should I do if my Individual Number Notice contains incorrect information, a spelling error, or a typo?

Please contact your local municipal office to correct the information on your certificate of residence.

Q3I’m living overseas. Will I receive an Individual Number Notice?

Those without a certificate of residence in Japan, including those residing outside Japan, are not issued Individual Numbers (My Numbers), and therefore do not receive Individual Number Notices. If you move to Japan and register your residence, you will be issued an Individual Number Notice.

Q4Do I receive an Individual Number Notice if I’m not a Japanese citizen?

Even residents of other countries receive Individual Number Notices if they move to Japan and register their residence.

Q5If I have a new baby, does the baby need to be issued an Individual Number (My Number)?

Once you register the birth and your baby’s residence, an Individual Number Notice will be generated and an Individual Number Notice provided, so there is no need to apply for one separately.

Q6Does my Individual Number change if I change residence?

Unless your Individual Number is divulged and there is a risk of misuse, it will never be changed, and you will continue to use the same number throughout your life.

Q7Can I use an Individual Number Notice as identification?

An Individual Number Notice serves only to inform an individual of their Individual Number and cannot be used as identification.

Q8Can an Individual Number Notice be reissued?

An Individual Number Notice cannot be reissued.
In order to confirm or verify your Individual Number (My Number), you will need to obtain an Individual Number Card, a copy of your certificate of residence with your Individual Number listed, or a Certificate of Items Stated in Resident Register.

Q9If I am unable to change my certificate of residence due to special circumstances such as stalking or domestic violence, how should I receive my Individual Number Notice and Individual Number Card?

If you are unable to have your Individual Number Notice and Individual Number Card issue notice delivered to the address where your certificate of residence is registered due to special circumstances, you may register your current address at that municipal office and have the documents delivered there.
Please consult the municipal office where your residence is registered about the process for registering your current address.

About Notification Cards

Q10Who issues notification cards?

The mayor of a municipality that has the person’s resident record.
In addition, the Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems (J-LIS) will issue notification cards with the authority from mayors throughout Japan.

*The Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems (J-LIS) is an organization jointly operated by municipalities.

Q11What should I do with my Notification Card now?

Notification Cards already issued can be used to confirm the holder’s Individual Number, so please keep it.
If you have lost your Notification Card, please report it to your local municipal office.
Please note that if a Notification Card holder receives an Individual Number Card, they are required to return the Notification Card to their local municipal office.

Q12Why are Notification Cards being discontinued?

This change was necessary as residents and municipal offices who found the procedures for changing the address on the Notification Card when moving to be an inconvenience, and was also motivated by a desire to hasten the switch from paper cards to Individual Number Cards with electronic certificates serving as official verification of the holder’s identity.
Even after Notification Cards are discontinued, you will still be able to use them to apply for an Individual Number Card. Please check here for details.

Regarding the discontinuation of Notification Cards (external link, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications)

Q13Will the Number be changed when I transfer my resident record?

Unless the number is leaked and there is a risk of illegal use, the Number will never be changed because the same Number will continue to be used throughout the bearer’s lifetime.

Q14Can my notification card be used as identification?

Notification Cards are only to be used as confirmation and proof of the holder’s Individual Number, and cannot be used as a form of identification.

Q15Is reissuance of the notification card acceptable?
If it is acceptable, where and how do I request for it?

Notification Cards cannot be reissued.
Beginning May 25, 2020, residents are issued Individual Number Notices as notification of their Individual Numbers in place of Notification Cards.
In order to confirm or verify your Individual Number (My Number), you will need to obtain an Individual Number Card, a copy of your certificate of residence with your Individual Number listed, or a Certificate of Items Stated in Resident Register.

Q16What should I do if my name or address has changed and the information on my Notification Card is out of date?

From May 25, 2020, there is no need to change the information on your Notification Card even if your name or address has changed.
In this case, in order to provide proof of your Individual Number, you can show your Individual Number Card, a copy of your certificate of residence with your Individual Number listed, or a Certificate of Items Stated in Resident Register.

Q17If the name or address on my Notification Card is out of date, can I throw away the Notification Card?

As your Notification Card is required to confirm your Individual Number when applying for an Individual Number Card by mail (handwritten application), please keep it.
When you receive an Individual Number Card, you will need to return your Notification Card, so please bring it to the counter at your local municipal office.
If you have lost your Notification Card, please report it to your local municipal office.

About Individual Number Cards

Q18What do I have to do when any of the matters described on my Individual Number Card is changed?

If any of the information on your Individual Number Card such as your address has changed (for example if you have moved), please visit your local municipal office and have them record the new information on the back of the card.

*If there are any changes to the information on your Individual Number Card, you are required to visit your local municipal office and have it updated within 14 days.

Q19Do Individual Number Cards have a period of validity?
What is the renewal process?

The validity periods of Individual Number Cards are as follows.

<The validity periods of Individual Number Cards>

  • The validity period will be printed on the card.(valid up to year month day)
  • ・Until the owner’s 5th birthday following card issuance, for those below the age of 20.
  • ・Until the owner’s 10th birthday following card issuance, for those above the age of 20.
  • ※ If the owner is above the age of 20 at the time the card is issued, validity shall last until his or her 10th birthday following card issuance.

<Validity period of electronic certificates>

  • Not printed on the validity section on the electronic certificate card.
  • Please ask the relevant department at your local municipal office to fill it in or get it done yourself upon confirming the validity period.
  • ・Until the owner’s 5th birthday following card issuance, regardless of age.

Please apply for renewal at your local municipal office to continue to use your Individual Number Card after expiration.
Information regarding renewal process and fees can be obtained through your local muncipal office.

Q20Where can I find a list of IC card readers that are compatible with Individual Number Cards?

The information about IC card reader/writer that is compatible with Individual Number Cards and used for e-Tax and so on is available at the portal site of "public personal identification service".

Q21My employer is requesting for me to submit my Individual Number for Tax Return and Social Insurance processing. Am I obligated to submit this information?

Please contact our Call Center for the Social Security and Tax Number System (Press 3 Voice Guidance) regarding the handling of Individual Numbers.
Contact our Call Center for the Social Security and Tax Number System (Press 3 Voice Guidance) here.

Q22Can I obtain documents such as the certificate of residence at convenience stores using my Individual Number Card?

If the municipality of your residence provides Convenience Store Issuance services, you can obtain documents such as the certificate of residence at convenience stores.
You can chek which municipality provides this service at the Convenience Store Issuance service page.

About Application and Issuance of Individual Number Cards

Q23Am I required to apply for an Individual Number Card?

While application for an Individual Number Card is not mandatory, we would like as many people to apply as possible as it serves as verification of Individual numbers as well as personal identification in certain administrative proceedings and also as allows users to enjoy Convenience Store Issuance services using electronic certificates, thereby enhancing the convenience of our residents.

Q24What is the deadline to apply for an Individual Number Card?

There is no deadline for applying for an Individual Number Card.

Q25How can I apply for an Individual Number Card?

After the notification card and application form for issuance of the Individual Number Card are mailed by recorded delivery to the address on your resident record, make the application by mail or through on-line application on a computer or smartphone, etc.
For further details relating to the application methods, please check the Application for issuance of the Individual Number Card page.

Q26The name and address on the re-issued notification card are hidden with astrerisks, can I use this application form to apply?

You cannot use a re-issued notification on which the name and address are hidden with astrerisks to apply.
If you wish to make an application, please use a new application form issued by your local municipal office or the Handwritten application form for issuance [English] or [Japanese].

Q27What should I do in the event that I lose my application form for issuance?

Please use a new application form issued by your local municipal office or the Handwritten application form for issuance.

Q28Can online applications be submitted via any PC or smart phone?

We recommend the following operating environment for comfortable browsing of this website. When using browsers other than recommended ones or even when using the recommended browsers, depending on the user’s browser settings, the website may not be functional or display correctly. Also when you have installed certain software, sometimes the website may not function well. Please understand.

・Desktop Computers
Windows 10(Microsoft Edge / Internet Explorer 11)
macOS 10.14(Safari 12.0)

・Smartphones
Android 8.0(Chrome 72)
Android 9.0(Chrome 72)
iOS 12.1(Safari 12.0)

■About Usage of Javascript
This website uses JavaScript to provide a more comfortable browsing of services.
In order to be able to use all functions of this website, please enable JavaScript in the settings of your browser.

■About Usage of Cookies
This website uses cookies to provide a more comfortable browsing of services.
In order to be able to use all functions of this website, please allow cookies in the settings of your browser.

■About Mailer Apps
If there is an error in the contents of your application, an electronic signature will be attached in the e-mail sent to you. For this reason, please use a mailer application capable of handling S/MIME (e-mail holding a digital signature). Digital signatures may not be recognized, and text may not be displayed correctly if you use a mailer unable to handle S/MIME.
Please make an inquiry to the company of your mailer to confirm whether or not your mailer can handle S/MIME.

Please make your application on the "online application site for Individual Number Cards".
※Should you wish to apply via smartphones and instant photo machines, please read the QR code on the application form using the scanner installed in the machines or your smartphone cameras.

Q29May an application for the Individual Number Card be made even by children?

An application for a person who is under 15 years old or an adult ward is required to be made by a legal representative. In addition, if there is any special reason, an agent accepted by the mayor will be able to make the application.

Q30Can I apply for everyone in my household using a single e-mail address?

You can submit multiple applications with a single e-mail address. However, please note that all notifications regarding the applications will be sent to the same e-mail address.

Q31When making an application for issuance of the Individual Number Card, is it necessary to attach an ID photograph?

It is required to attach an ID photograph when making an application for the Individual Number Card.
Please write your name and date of birth on the back of your ID photograph and paste it on the application in the specified area.
The ID photograph must be taken within the last six months and include front view without a hat with a plain background.
Please click here to see the example ID photograph.
※ Please refrain from using too much glue when pasting the photographs and ensure that they have sufficiently dried up before sending your application form.

Q32Is there a file size limit when uploading ID photos for online applications?

Please note the following requirements for ID photographs.

  • ・Must be photographed within the last 6 months (no hat, bust up, no backdrop)
  • ・Must be photographed in a well-lit environment (Black and white photographs allowed )
  • ・File Type: jpeg
  • ・Color Mode: RGB Color (other modes such as CMYK not accepted)
  • ・File Size: 20KB – 7MB
  • ・Pixel Size: 480 – 6000 pixel width, 480 – 6000 pixel height

Please note that images that have been edited using image editing software will not be accepted.
Please click here to see the details of the standard of ID photograph.

Q33What should I do if I cannot provide a photo, which fulfills the requirements, due to unavoidable reasons, for example, when the subject covers part of its head with material such as cloth for religious reasons or medical reasons as long as its face is clearly visible, the subject is an infant, a disabled person or bedridden, etc?

It is possible to use this photo by taking any of the following steps.

  • ・Call the municipality in which you reside or go to the municipal office and give your Application form ID.
  • ・Specify the reason why the photo could not be taken correctly in the Name field on the front side of the application form before sending it.
  • ・Call the Individual Number Card Call Center to inform them of your application ID.

* The local municipal office may enquire about your circumstances when issuing your Individual Number Card.
Please note that your application may be considered to be insufficient if the photo does not fulfill the requirements (e.g. if it is too dark, cannot be trimmed, etc.) or for reasons not relevant to the photo.

Q34How should ID photos for infants be taken?

ID photos for infants should be taken in the following ways.

■ Have your child lie on a bed.
The bed sheet must be plain and without any pattern or design.
Your child must be facing the camera when you take the photo.

■ Have someone hold your child, but ensure that only your child will be visible in the photo.
You may wish to consider having the person holding your child cover his or herself with a plain white cloth.

Should you be unable to take photographs that fulfil the "photo requirements", arrangements will be made for you individually upon contacting us via the Individual Number Card call center prior to applying, and telling us your application form ID.
*Municipal offices may review your circumstances when issuing your My Number card. Please be aware that your application may be deemed incomplete due to the photograph not conforming to standards (too dark, cannot be trimmed, etc.) or for reasons other than the photograph.

Q35The Braille kana on my application is incorrect. What should I do?

The kana on the Individual Number Card application is only used with Braille. If you are not requesting Braille on your card, please apply as-is.
However, if you want your name written in Braille on your card, please contact your local municipal office to correct and re-issue your application form.

Q36What does "Information for Alternative Letters" on the application mean?

The information for alternative letters on the Individual Number Card is alternative kanji (Chinese characters) for those who have names using kanji that cannot be used for the Public Certification Service for Individuals.
Alternative letters will not be displayed on your actual Individual Number Card.

Q37Should I use the Gregorian or Japanese dating system when indicating the date on my application form?

Both the Gregorian and Japanese dating systems can be used.

Q38Will a fee be charged for an application for issuance of the Individual Number Card?

We will not charge any issuance free for the time being.
However, an issuance fee will, as a principle, be charged for reissuances resulting from causes such as loss of card.

Q39What documents will be necessary to receive the Individual Number Card?

The necessary documents to receive the Individual Number Card are as follows;

  • – Application form for issuance (post card)
  • – Notification card (For those who received prior to May 2020)
  • – Identity verification documents
    (*refer to note on right for details)
  • – Basic Resident Registration Card
    (only for those who own one)
  • – Individual Number Card (only for those who own one)
  • ※Identity verification documents

    One of the following items: a Basic Resident Registration Card (must have photo.), a driver’s license, a certificate of driving history (only the one whose issuance date is on or after April 1, 2012), a passport, a physical disability certificate, a mental disability certificate, a rehabilitation certificate, a resident card, a special permanent resident certificate a landing permit for temporary refuge, or a permit for provisional stay

    If you do not have any of the above, two documents including either your “full name and date of birth” or your “full name and address”, and considered as appropriate by the mayor.
    (Example) A health insurance card, a pension book, an employee identification card, a student identification card, various documents in which the school name is described, a Claimant Certification for Medical Care

Only if you are not able to visit the place to receive your card due to your sickness, physical disability, or other unavoidable reasons, your representative can receive your card.
Please check here for the required documents should you wish to collect your Individual Number Card through a representative.

Q40What should I do If I misplace my notice of issuance, which would inform me of the details pertaining to the collection of my Individual Number Card?

As the issuance of Individual Number Cards are done by the respective municipalities, please contact the municipal office where you reside.

Q41If I cannot obtain the identification documents required for the collection of Individual Number Cards, what should I do?

As personal identification documents are absolutely necessary during issuance of Individual Number Cards, please confirm with your local municipal office what alternative forms of ID can be used if you do not possess the personal identification documents during issuance specified on the Individual Number Card website.

Q42Can children collect their Individual Number Cards by themselves?

While Individual Number Cards will, as a principle, be handed directly to the person in question, a legal guardian must accompany individuals below the age of 15 or those considered to be adult wards.

Q43Why do I have to return my notification card to get an Individual Number Card?

Both your Individual Number and official identification are required for applications and procedures relating to insurance, taxation, and disaster prevention. An Individual Number Card fulfills both of these requirements.
On the other hand, a notification card can only be used to provide your Individual Number. If you have an Individual Number Card, you do not need a notification card.
As a result, by law you must return your notification card upon receipt of your Individual Number Card, where it will be safely disposed of by the local municipal government.

Q44Will I be able to continue to use my Basic Resident Registration Card?

You can use your Basic Resident Registration Card if it is still valid. However, as Basic Resident Registration Card cannot be newly issued, re-issued or renewed, please use the Individual Number Cards to apply.Although Basic Resident Registration Cards will not be newly issued, reissued nor renewed, it will be available for the remainder of their period of validity.
In addition, by law, you are required to return your Basic Resident Registration Card upon receipt of your Individual Number Card. Note that you can request to keep your card as a memento following invalidation procedures at your local municipal office.

Q45Can I withdraw an application that has already been made?

Applications can be cancelled at local Individual Number Card counters. Please contact your nearest municipal office for details.
* It is possible to submit a new application after cancelling your original application by using the new application form for issuance issued by your local municipal office or by the Handwritten application form for issuance [English] or [Japanese].
Please note that an application cannot be returned after it has been received for processing.

Q46May I have an additional envelope for sending the application form(s)?

You can download the materials for making an envelope with a valid period until March 31, 2021 here.
To download the materials for an envelope, here

Q47Can I receive additional brochures?

Q48When can I pick up my Individual Number Card?

Individual Number Cards will be issued in 3-4 weeks following receipt of application, after which they will be sent via post to local municipal offices. (Excludes applications with errors.)
Following card issuance procedures at the respective municipal offices, an issuance notice (postcard) will be sent to your address. As the possible dates of receipt differ according to municipal offices, there may be significant delay between card shipment and the actual date of receipt.

Q49Am I required to set a PIN number even if I do not need an electronic certificate?

Even if you do not request an electronic certificate, you are required to set a PIN number for the Basic Resident Registration and Card Info Input Support applications.

Q50Can passwords with numbers only be used for the electronic certificate for the bearer’s signature?

For your password ,capital alphabets from A to Z, numbers from 0 to 9 can be used and and at least one of each are required.
※6 alphanumeric characters or more but not exceeding 16.

Q51Will my Individual Number Card password be made known to the staff at the municipal office?

As a rule, you must input your Individual Number Card PIN by yourself, so staff at the municipal office will not typically be informed of your PIN.

Please note that in the case of applications and procedures submitted by a representative other than a legal guardian (parent, adult guardian, etc.), municipal office staff must input the PIN on the individual’s behalf. However, all staff are bound by an oath of confidentiality. Furthermore, in the case that a staff knew your Individual Number, it would be impossible for him or her to use it without your Individual Number Card, so please rest assured that it will not be misused.

Q52How can I collect my Individual Number Card if I had applied for it but changed my address prior to collection?

If you relocate while your Individual Number Card application is being processed, you cannot receive a card on the current application. After relocation, please visit your new municipal office about re-applying for an Individual Number Card.

Q53My envelope, for sending the application form(s), is past the valid period for sending. May I have a new one?

The envelope (return envelope) for sending the application form(s) for an Individual Number Card which is sent together with the “Notification Card” and the “application form for issuance of the Individual Number Card”can be used as is without affixing a postal stamp until May 31, 2022 even if the valid period for sending says until October 4, 2017.

この部分です

About loss and found

Q54What should I do if I have lost my Notification Card or Individual Number Card?

<If you lose your Notification Card>

Please report it missing to the police, make a note of the report number, and inform your local municipal office.

<If you lose your Individual Number Card>

You will need to cancel your Individual Number Card. Please call the Individual Number Card Call Center to do so.
Additionally, please report it missing to the police and make a note of the report number.
Afterward, please notify your local municipal office and complete the Individual Number Card reissue procedures there.

Q55After suspending functions of my Individual Number Card, if the Card is found, should I just report it to my municipality again?

Termination of suspension is accepted at a service counter of municipalities. Please directly contact a service counter of your municipality and take the procedure.

download Adobe Reader

Some of the publications on this site are in PDF format. To view them, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader. Please click the graphic link to download Acrobat Reader.