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A vehicle like this Honda with a 300 on the plate will cost a driver 19,000 yen (about $185) in annual Japanese road tax this year. Bases throughout Okinawa will allow drivers to pay on base at select times.

A vehicle like this Honda with a 300 on the plate will cost a driver 19,000 yen (about $185) in annual Japanese road tax this year. Bases throughout Okinawa will allow drivers to pay on base at select times. (Erik Slavin / S&S)

A vehicle like this Honda with a 300 on the plate will cost a driver 19,000 yen (about $185) in annual Japanese road tax this year. Bases throughout Okinawa will allow drivers to pay on base at select times.

A vehicle like this Honda with a 300 on the plate will cost a driver 19,000 yen (about $185) in annual Japanese road tax this year. Bases throughout Okinawa will allow drivers to pay on base at select times. (Erik Slavin / S&S)

Vehicle registration offices will issue base decals with proof of payment and other required documents.

Vehicle registration offices will issue base decals with proof of payment and other required documents. (Erik Slavin / S&S)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — It’s road tax season on Okinawa. And starting May 1 the military community can once again pay at base locations.

The Okinawa Automobile Tax Office annually collects the tax based on a vehicle’s engine size uses it to maintain prefecture roads, Maj. Mike D. Mizell, Deputy Provost Marshal, said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

This tax should not to be confused with the weight tax drivers must pay every two years for the upkeep of roads or JCI, the Japanese Compulsory Insurance that all status of armed forces agreement drivers are required to maintain, military officials said.

Drivers must have a 2009 road tax sticker on all registered vehicles by June 1.

"If you plan to drive a vehicle, your road tax must be paid," said Senior Master Sgt. Will Schwartz, first sergeant for 18th Force Support Squadron.

Those who don’t pay risk being cited or having their vehicle impounded until payment, Mizell said.

Personnel deployed will not incur penalties for missing the deadline as long as they pay when they return, Marine spokesman 2nd Lt. Scott A. Sasser said in an e-mail.

Road tax prices have not changed from last year, but the cost to those paid in dollars will be slightly higher due to the exchange rate to yen.

Only yen will be accepted at the base collection points set up throughout May. Drivers must also bring orginal documents of military registration, their 2008 road tax receipt, vehicle title, Japanese Compulsory Insurance, and personal vehicle insurance for each vehicle.

Individuals can pay road tax for up to five vehicles and do not need a power of attorney to pay for others, Sasser said.

Road taxes for mini-cars and motorcycles cannot be paid at the base locations; they must be paid at local government offices, between now and May 31.

For more information, call the Joint Services Vehicle Registration Office at DSN 645-7481.

When and where to payCamp Kinser Fitness Center — 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. May 1Camp Courtney Theater — 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 7-8Torii Station Soldiers Center — 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 11Camp Foster Theater — 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 12-15Kadena Air Base Keystone Theater — 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 18-22Camp Hansen’s The Palms — 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 27Camp Schwab’s Beachhead — 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 28The number on the top of a vehicle’s license plate can be used to determine the road tax to be paid.

License plates with:40/400, 50/500 or 77/78 — 7,500 yen.33/300 (4.5 liter engines or less) — 19,000 yen.33/300 (4.6 liter engines or more) — 22,000 yen.11/100 or 88/800 — 32,000 yen.Mini-cars and MotorcyclesMini-cars — 3,000 yen.Motorcycles up to 125cc —500 yen; 126cc and larger — 1,000 yen.From staff reports

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