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A Marine at Okinawa’s Camp Foster places a new road tax decal on his window in June 2003. Motorists on Okinawa will be able to renew their road tax decals at U.S. military installations at various locations and dates in May.

A Marine at Okinawa’s Camp Foster places a new road tax decal on his window in June 2003. Motorists on Okinawa will be able to renew their road tax decals at U.S. military installations at various locations and dates in May. (Carlos Bongioanni / S&S)

It’s that time a year again for long lines and needing extra yen in the pocket.

Road taxes may be paid at most Japan military bases in April and May. Vehicle owners have until June 1 to affix the proper U.S. Forces Japan decal on their windshield or risk being ticketed and denied access to base.

“If we see the new decal, we know you have paid the tax for that year,” said Staff Sgt. Alfonso Patague of 35th Security Forces Squadron Pass and Registration office at Misawa Air Base, Japan.

Military officials provide the current decal to motorists upon paying their road tax.

The Japanese government requires the annual tax for road maintenance and improvements and the process to register vehicles, military officials said.

Fees are based on engine size, designated by license plate number. There’s no change from 2004 costs.

“The fee didn’t change for the engine sizes from last year, so just look on your road tax receipt from last year ... and that’s the amount you’re going to pay,” Patague said.

During designated times in April or May, representatives from each base’s local Japan government tax office set up shop on base to collect the tax. Military personnel and civilians who miss the dates still have an opportunity to pay off base — at a tax office, bank or post office, depending on local prefecture policies.

Five documents are required to complete vehicle registration: Japanese title, current liability insurance and Japanese Compulsory Insurance (JCI), 2004 road tax receipt, and military registration certificate (DD Form 430).

Vehicle owners at Okinawa bases also must complete and present a vehicle registration questionnaire, which can be downloaded here. Road taxes must be paid in the exact amount in yen; no checks or credit cards are allowed.

Some bases will have Community Bank employees available to convert dollars to yen.

Servicemembers deployed or vehicle owners unable to pay during the designated times may have someone else register in their place.

Locations and hours to pay

Times, dates and locations for military personnel to pay road taxes and update necessary forms and records. Some installations already have concluded their registration periods:

Mainland Japan

Misawa Air Base: April 18-22, Mokuteki Community Center, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (8 a.m.-3 p.m. on April 22). Slots for paying the tax are based on the vehicle owner’s last name. The program is set for the following dates (by first letter of last name):

A through E, April 18.F through L, April 19.M through S, April 20.T through Z, April 21.Makeup Day, April 22.Call DSN 226-3995 for more information.

Yokota Air Base: April 11-15, Yujo Community Center, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. All mini-cars and motorcycles, April 11-12. Call DSN 225-8932 or 225-8914 for more information.

Yokosuka Naval Base: April 11-13, Fleet Theater, 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. for vehicles registered at Yokosuka; April 26-27, MWR building in Negishi housing area, 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. for vehicles registered at Negishi. Call DSN 243-5011 for more information.

Camp Zama: Until April 15, Camp Zama Community Club Firelite Lounge, 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. Call DSN 263-4337 or 263-3732 for more information.

Naval Air Facility Atsugi: April 18-22, Old Fire Station, Building 22, 9-11 a.m. and 12:30- 2:15 p.m. Call DSN 264-4443 for more information.

Tokyo residents: Before June 1, Provost Marshal Activity Tokyo, Building 1, Room 115, 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Call DSN 263-4337 or 229-3280 for more information.

Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station: April 11-19 and April 22, Provost Marshal’s Office, for heavy vehicles; Auto Hobby Shop or Iwakuni City Hall, for light vehicles, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Call DSN 253-3161 for more information.

Sasebo Naval Base: April 18-20, Showboat Theater, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Call DSN 252-2377 for more information.

Okinawa

Camp Schwab: May 2, Beachhead Club, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Camp Hansen: May 6, base theater, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Camp Courtney: May 9-10, base theater, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Torii Station: May 11, base gym, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Camp Kinser: May 12-13, base theater, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Kadena Air Base: May 16-20, Keystone Theater, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Camp Foster: May 23-27, Foster Field House, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Military personnel on Okinawa can get more information online or by calling the Joint Service Vehicle Registration Office at DSN 645-7481 or 645-3963.

author picture
Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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