Oct 10. 2019Topics

For foreigners who live in Tokyo: Important information about Residency Certification and My Number


1 Important "Resident Certification" info that foreigners in Tokyo should know.

f you plan to move to Tokyo from overseas, you will need to go through various procedures in Tokyo. It is often difficult to understand the procedures at the government office, so it is important to check and prepare in advance in order to make your migration as painless as possible. In this section, we will provide you details about your "resident certification", which will prove to be indispensable knowledge.

・Resident Certification

To start, resident certification is a record of residents created in Japan's different wards and municipalities. Resident certification is compiled in the "Basic Resident Register" for each specific ward and municipality. Detailed contents are stipulated by the Basic Resident Registration Act.

Resident certification is not only a proof of your current address, but also an important document needed to live in Japan and is used for registering constituents as well as for recording population changes. In previous years, resident certification was required only for Japanese nationals, and foreign residents were recorded under the "foreigner registration system", but from July 9, 2012, the foreigner registration system was abolished. Foreigners who meet the requirements of foreign residence such as foreign nationals who stay in Japan for 90 days or more and special permanent residents are eligible under the Basic Resident Registration Act, and can get resident certification the same as a Japanese national.

・Who are resident certification documentation made for?

Resident certification is created for foreigners with a "resident card", such as foreigners residing in Japan from the medium to long term. Please note that resident certification will not be created for foreigners who are staying temporarily, such as for those in Japan for sightseeing and do not have a residence card. Currently, resident certification for Japanese and foreigners are created per household. Foreign residents can also obtain a copy of their resident certification at their local ward office and it can be used for various different situations. Depending on the region you live in, you may also be able to obtain a copy of your resident certification from the multi-copy machine installed in convenience stores, so check with the municipal office for more information.

・How to apply for resident certification

Foreigners who have received their resident card and are residing in Japan for the medium to long term need to submit notification to the municipal office about their place of residence within 14 days from the date they settle in Japan. By doing this, resident certification is created and foreign residents staying in Japan can obtain their resident certification. This notification can be done along with a "transfer notification" as stipulated by the Basic Resident Register Act.

In addition, after initial registration, if you happen to move or change addresses, you will also be required to notify the local ward office of your move-out date at the previous address and the move-in date at the new address so be sure to complete the required notification in a timely fashion.


Important "My Number" info that foreigners in Tokyo should know.

My Number is issued to foreigners who have a residence certification in Tokyo. "My Number (Personal Number)" is not the official name, and is listed as the "Social Security and Tax Number" in the English version leaflet of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

・What is "My Number"

My number is a 12-digit number issued to all people who have a resident certification in Japan. As long as there is no trouble with your "My Number", such as having your number leaked or other unauthorized usage, this number will not change throughout your lifetime and you will continue to use the same number. You cannot change the number yourself.

Your My Number is used to confirm that personal information, managed by multiple organizations, is being used by the same person in the three fields of tax, social security and disaster countermeasures in Japan. The My Number is a system that was introduced with the aim of creating a better and more convenient society by conducting procedures for social insurance premiums and verifying identity such as for welfare services in an easier manner.

・Who is given a My Number?

My Number will be given to those who are eligible for the Basic Resident Register system and have a resident card. A "notification card" will be issued at a later date to notify you of your My Number from the municipality. However, the notification card is intended only to inform you of your My Number, and cannot be used solely as an identity verification document because there is no photo on the card itself.

The notification card is a paper card, but you can receive an official plastic My Number Card for free by applying for it at your local municipality, by mail, by using your PCs or from a smartphone. Your picture, name, address, date of birth, and gender are written on the front of the My Number Card, and your "My Number" number is listed on the back. This card can be used as an ID card for identity verification.

・My Number cautionary notes

In Japan, you can use your My Number notification card and My Number card as forms of identification, so protect this card as you would any other identification you have and be prepared to present it when needed.

However, if your My Number information is leaked, your personal information may be at risk and unexpected damage may occur so it may be smart to store it away in a safe place and not to carry it with you everywhere you go, except when you need it.

In Conclusion

In this article, we have provided important need to know information for those who will be living in Tokyo about residence certification and your My Number. As you know from reading this article, resident certification and My Number are not given to all foreigners, but only to those who are eligible. Check in advance whether you can get resident certification or a My Number and if you have any questions, inquire at your local municipality. Also, as your My Number card can be used to verify your identity, it is a very convenient card to have in your life while in Tokyo. However, since it is also a very important piece of documentation with your personal information on it, be careful with it and store it away in a safe place. We hope that this information will help you live life in Tokyo with peace of mind and we hope it also helps to make the procedures easier to understand when coming to Japan.