Gather all the necessary documents

Before anything else, check if you have all the essential documentation needed at the City Hall. Each ward or municipality has different requirements but these are the general paperwork you would need:

  • Residence Card
  • Passport
  • MyNumber Card
  • Stamp (Inkan)
  • Health Insurance Card

Go to the Nearest City Hall

If you haven’t yet, make sure you visit your nearest city hall before moving out to let them know you will be moving out of your current residence. You should do this 14 days before your intended date of moving.

Oftentimes, the forms can be found near the counter on the first floor of the city hall and you can simply take one and fill them out by yourself. The form is called Tenshutsu Todoke (転出届). You can also get this form online by downloading it from your city office website.

The questions are very simple and require your name, current address, contact number, date of birth, number of family members, and so on. You only need to present your Residence Card along with this document. Don’t forget to get a transaction number before doing so.

It is important to make this a priority when you are planning your move as this could result in a fine of up to 50,000 yen!

Ask for a Moving Out Certificate

After completing all the steps needed and receiving all your paperwork, you will receive a moving-out certificate, which you will be presenting to the nearest city hall, you are planning to move into. This certificate is called Tenshutsu shou mei sho (転出証明書).

Go to your new City Hall as soon as possible

Generally, you are expected to report your new address to your new City Hall within 14 days upon moving. This could also result in a fine if not reported in time so try to schedule your visit as early as you can.

Depending on where you are moving to, there are different forms you need to fill out. The change of residence form in Japanese for moving to a different city is called Jyuumin idou todoke (住民異動届) but if you are simply moving to a different area within city boundaries, look for the form called Tenkyo todoke (転居届).

Present Your Form and your Residence Card to the Designated Window

Upon completing the forms, you can now go ahead and get your number and wait for it to be called. This procedure doesn’t take too long but for visits to the City Hall for any types of errands; allot at least an hour of waiting.

The staff will input your new address in the back of your Residence Card and update your address for future government mail or letters to be redirected to your new residence.

Get a Copy of Your Residence Certificate

Now that you are a bonafide resident of your new city, you can ask to be issued a Juminhyou (住民票) or Residence Certificate.

This will come in handy when you are applying for the bank, need documentation or proof of residence, and so on. This document usually costs from 300-500 yen. If you are aware of your MyNumber password, you can even get this from any convenience store near you.

It is important to note that some municipalities have these forms in English but the majority of City Halls only have them in Japanese.

So there you have it! Here is the basic procedure of moving in and out within Japan. If you are leaving Japan for good, keep your moving-out certificate with you as you will need to show this as well when applying to get your pension refund!