Proof of identity in Japan: Proof of address and a seal certificate as a proof of agreement

Proof of address
If you are resident in Japan, you may be required to provide proof of your address to complete various procedures.

In Japan, you can register your address in the city where you live and obtain a certificate of residence at the city office. Non-Japanese nationals are also required to do this, and they can obtain a certificate of residence (proof of address) (住民票)at the city office after completing the necessary procedures.

You don’t need to prepare your passport as proof of name and your utility bill as proof of address separately. The “certificate of residence” states the individual’s name, address and date of birth.

When you move to another city, you should submit a “Notification of Moving Out” to the city office that holds its jurisdiction over your current location, and then submit a “Notification of Moving In” to the city office of your new city.

When you move abroad, you are required to submit a notification of moving out of Japan. After a Japanese citizen moves abroad, they should submit a “Residence Report” (在留届) to Japanese embassy in their new country and register their residential address abroad. Once the “Residence Report” is submitted, you will be issued a Certificate of Residence, which is an administrative certificate in place of a certificate of residence.

A seal certificate as a proof of agreement
In Japan, stamping a seal is widely used in daily life to signify approval, acceptance, or obligation. Especially when making an agreement, signatures are not used, and a person stamps the agreement instead. The stamp should be the official stamp for an individual and that is registered at the local council where the individual person resides. The registered stamp is called “Jitsuin” (実印) and a seal certificate is issued at the city office.

The presence of the seal certificate along with the personal seal acknowledges that “the document is indeed stamped with their true intention”.

If someone moves out of Japan, their seal registration will be cancelled at their local council. If Japanese citizen who resides abroad requires their seal certificate, they need to ask Japanese embassy to issue a “signature certificate” in place of a seal certificate.

In Japan, the primary purpose of the resident registration is to provide central and local government with the information about the movement of the population and family structure.

In addition, Japanese nationals are also registered in the family register system. The family record is an official document in Japan that is kept in the local council that stores all changes in family structure from birth to death.

I hope the information is useful.
I will update every Monday.
For more information
Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer (Judicial Scrivener)

Akiko HORI

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