Registration and certification of personal seal

 The inkan (印鑑), or personal seal, (also known as a hanko) is an indispensable part of everyday life in Japan, and is used in the same manner that a personal signature is in the West.  Although foreigners can often make do with a signature, there are times when it may be either necessary or simply more convenient to use an inkan.

  Any inkan that is to be used in an official capacity must be registered at City Hall.  In order to be registered, an inkan must have a diameter of between 9mm and 25mm, and it must include your name (or some portion thereof) as printed on your Foreigner Registration Card.  Therefore, if the name on your Foreigner Registration Card is written in Roman letters (romaji) you can not register an inkan that is a katakana representation of your name.  (However, those residents who show that they have been using a katakana name for official purposes may be permitted to register a katakana inkan).

  Registration is done at the Citizens' Affairs Section on the first floor.  You will need to bring an identification card your Foreigner Registration Card and the inkan you want to register.  After registering, you will receive an inkan tourokushou (Personal Seal Registration Card, 印鑑登録書).  At this point, your seal is then known as a jitsuin.

  When purchasing a car, entering into certain contracts, or in various other transactions, you’ll need to provide your jitsuin and a document that proves your seal has been registered.  You can get this document by taking the aforementioned “Personal Seal Registration Card” to the Family Register and Residents’ Affairs Section on the 1st floor of City Hall and requesting an inkan touroku shoumeisho (Proof of Personal Seal Registration, 印鑑登録証明書).  Each copy will cost you 300 yen.

Contact Us

International and Domestic Relations Section, Community Activities Department, City of Obihiro

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