Take a moment and review the different ETC services in Japan. Compare which ones offer the type of services you aim to expect living overseas in Japan.
How It Works
Benefits with ETC
How To Use ETC
ETC Usage Warnings
ETC Safe Driving Tips
ETC In-Vehicle Devices
Benefits with ETC
How To Use ETC
ETC Usage Warnings
ETC Safe Driving Tips
ETC In-Vehicle Devices
Article 1. In these rules, East Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd., Metropolitan Expressway Co., Ltd., Central Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd., West Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd., Hanshin Expressway Co., Ltd., Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Co., Ltd. and certain incorporated bodies such as prefectural organizations and city and town councils that have publicly announced items that are given in Article 2, Clause 1 of the Ministerial Ordinance on Toll Collection Administration of Toll Road Automated Toll Collection Systems (Ordinance No.38 of the Ministry of Construction (hereafter called “the Ministerial Ordinance”) decide the items to be acknowledged by users that are based on regulations in Article 2, Clause 2 of the Ministerial Ordinance.
Article 2. Those who will be using this toll road automated radio collection system (hereafter: “the ETC system”) must observe these rules. In the event that they are not observed, East Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd., Metropolitan Expressway Co., Ltd., Central Nippon expressway Co., Ltd., West Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd., Hanshin Expressway Co., Ltd., Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Co., Ltd. or other public corporations that accept payment through the ETC system (hereafter: “road administrators that manage the ETC system”) may refuse the use of the ETC system.
Article 3. Those who will be using the ETC system must take the procedures mentioned in items No.2 to 4 below, after following the procedures mentioned in item No.1 below.
1. Receive the ETC card from the ETC system administrator or an organization contracted by the road administrator to issue the card. (An ETC-equipped car is defined in Article 2, Clause 2 of the Road Vehicle Law (Law No.185, 1951). The onboard radio equipment of such a car is defined here as equipment that communicates data for toll payment via roadside antennas and that records the data necessary for toll payment.)
2. Obtain the onboard radio equipment that conforms to the manufacturer’s specifications for the car to be installed with such equipment.
3. Install the onboard equipment described in the previous item in the car according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
4. By the method specified in the Ministerial Ordinance Article 4, Clause 1, Item No. 3, render the onboard equipment mentioned in Item No. 2 useable by recording information necessary for toll payment (this process is hereafter called “setup”). However, those who will be using the ETC system with a motorbike (a light motorbike, including one with a sidecar (including a motorbike with an astride seat, a bar-handle, and/or with three wheels with the driver’s side open and registered as a three-wheeled motorbike with a hood; (A motorbike is defined here as a light motorbike, including one with a sidecar)) is specified in Article 3 of the Road Trucking Vehicle Law) must follow the other regulations set by the road administrators that manage the ETC system before setting up and registering the prescribed particulars to the road administrators that manage the ETC system.
(Handling of the onboard equipment)
Article 4. The user shall not disassemble or otherwise alter the onboard equipment, as that may impair its ability to function.
2. The user shall not obstruct the radio of the onboard equipment by putting an obstruction near the antenna.
3. In the event that the license plate of an ETC-equipped vehicle is changed or an ETC-equipped vehicle is remodeled into a vehicle that can pull heavy loads, then the ETC equipment must be updated with the new car registration number and license plate number.
(Handling of the ETC card)
Article 5. The user shall not disassemble or otherwise alter the card, as that may impair its function.
2. In the event that those who receive ETC cards lose the card or have them stolen and/or the ETC card is broken or deformed, they must inform the ETC card issuer of that event immediately.
3. The following ETC cards will not be functional: Those that have expired and those declared invalid by the road administrators that manage the ETC system or by the ETC card issuer.
(Use of the ETC card)
Article 6. Those who use the ETC System must insert the ETC card into the onboard equipment properly and drive in ETC-equipped toll lanes (hereafter: “ETC lanes”) after making sure that the ETC System is functioning.
(Restrictions on use of the ETC System)
Article 7. The Road administrators that manage the ETC system can restrict or stop the use of the ETC System without notice, when necessary for road control.
(Points to note in driving)
Article 8. Those who use the ETC System in ETC toll lanes shall observe the following. (The following items do not apply to ETC users at Smart IC lanes; Smart IC lanes are interchanges that public organizations create with permission based on the Article 11 2-1 of the National Expressway Law (Ministerial Ordinance No.79
of the Ministry of Construction and Public Infrastructure, 1957) as facilities mentioned in Article 11 Clause 2 No.1 of the same law and that they install as described in Article 13, Clause 2, No.3 of the Road Construction Special Measures Law (Ministerial Ordinance No.18 of the Ministry of Construction and Public Infrastructure, 1957); they are lanes usable only by ETC-equipped cars.)
1. When the lane display board (the board above the lane at the tollgate that indicates whether the ETC System can be used) indicates “ETC” or “ETC..” (ETC Only) or “ETC/..” (ETC/Cash), then ETC drivers must confirm that there are operational ETC lanes and enter the lane no faster than 20 kph.
In the lanes with “ETC/..” indication, cars using the ETC System and automobiles which stop briefly to pay the toll charge to the staff on site can drive through. (This applies only to vehicles defined in Article 2. Clause 1 in Road Trucking Vehicle Law but lightweight vehicles are excluded. Hereafter, the same)
2. Drive slowly through the ETC lane.
3. Keep an ample gap between your car and the car ahead, as that car may stop unexpectedly. Be especially careful on lanes marked “ETC/..,” as a car ahead that is not using the ETC System will stop briefly.
4. Observe the roadside display machines, as these will tell the driver whether the lane is usable by showing “.” when usable and “STOP..” when not usable. (“Roadside display machines” herein refers to the machines installed at the side of the lane that display the lane availability, the type of the approaching vehicle, toll charges and the like.)
5. When the roadside display indicates “STOP..,” the ETC gate (hereafter: “the gate”) will not open or close; the driver must stop the car before the gate and follow the instructions of onsite staff. The driver must not get out of the car or drive the car forward or backward.
6. When the roadside display indicates “.,” make sure that the gate on the ETC lane opens, and drive slowly so as not to collide with the gate or other facilities.
7. Do not overtake other vehicles at the gate or drive in the same lane next to them.
2. Those who use the ETC System must observe the following when driving in Smart IC lanes.
1. Proceed slowly, following the guide board at the lane; make sure to stop briefly at the designated position (hereafter: “the stop position”). When the gate does not open, you may start radio communication at the stop position by pressing a button and following the instructions on the guide board.
2. Do not overtake other vehicles at the gate or drive in the same lane next to them.
3. Make sure that the gate opens, and drive slowly so as not to collide with the gate or other facilities.
4. In the event that the gate does not open, stop before the gate and inform the onsite staff of the situation.
3. Those using a two-wheeled vehicle drive in the ETC lane must observe the following, as well as observing each item mentioned in Clause 2.
1. Proceed only after making sure from the guide board and the lane display board that the lane allows a two-wheeled vehicle to enter.
2. When the guide board or the lane display board indicates how to drive through the tollgate, follow that display.
3. Do not zigzag or drive diagonally. Keep an ample gap between your car and the car ahead, and proceed in a straight line.
4. In the event that the gate bar in a lane whose display board indicates “ETC” or “ETC..” does not open or close, those using the ETC system with a two-wheeled vehicle must leave the ETC lane by reversing, after confirming the safety of driving in reverse, irrespective of the rules mentioned in Clause 1, No.5. (This clause does not apply to a two-wheeled vehicle with a side car.) In the case of revering with a two-wheeled vehicle, the driver must immediately go to where parking is not prohibited and after making sure of safety on the road, inform the road administrators on this matter without delay.
5. When driving through the lane, please watch your surroundings carefully, as onsite staff may enter the lane.
(When not using the ETC system in driving through the toll gate)
Article 9. Those who are not using the ETC System may not use the ETC lane or the Smart IC lane whose display board indicates “ETC” or “ETC..”. If accidentally entering these lanes, please stop before the gate and follow the instructions from the onsite staff. Do not get out of the car, or drive forward or backwards.
(Toll charge calculation)
Article 10. For those using the ETC System, the toll fare is calculated based on the usage data recorded by the recording equipment of the Road administrators that manage the ETC system.
Article 11. The Road administrators that manage the ETC system take no responsibility for any loss caused by negligence of an ETC user who does not observe these regulations.
Article 12. If the event that the user needs a certificate of use or needs to apply for a disability discount or other item necessary with regard to use of the ETC System, the user is directed to rules other than these rules.
ETC Detailed Rules of Use
(Use of ETC)
Article 2. On a toll expressway managed by East Nippon Expressway Company Limited, Central Nippon Expressway Company Limited, West Nippon Expressway Company Limited, Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Company Limited or certain public corporations, when entering the expressway through an ETC lane in a car installed with ETC equipment, you must use the same onboard equipment when exiting through the ETC lane at the exit tollgate or the ticket inspection gate. “Tollgate” in this document means any gate where you receive a ticket at the starting point or pay the toll at the end point of the road section. “Ticket gate” in this document means any tollgate where tickets are inspected.
(Passing through a tollgate)
Article 3. In the event that you need a certificate of use for a toll road managed by a road administrator that manages the ETC system, you need to use a cash lane or a mixed lane, stop at the ticket window and ask for a certificate of use after giving the attendant there your ETC card. You cannot receive the certificate when passing through a Smart IC. In this document, “cash lane” means a lane other than an ETC lane and “mixed lane” means a lane with an “ETC/一般” sign.
3.2. In the event that you wish to use ETC discount programs for the disabled for a toll road managed by the road administrator that manages the ETC system, please follow the procedures set out by the road administrator (hereinafter called “the Procedures”). In cases where the Procedures have not yet been completed, an ETC lane cannot be used, or other special circumstances, if you would like the staff to manually process the discount, please proceed to either a cash lane or a mixed lane at the tollgate. Stop your vehicle, present your Physical Disability Certificate or your Mental Disability Certificate to the staff, and hand over your ETC card. Please note: when using Smart IC, be certain to stop your car in front of the gate even if it opens, and call the staff.
3.3 On a toll expressway managed by East Nippon Expressway Company Limited, Central Nippon Expressway Company Limited, West Nippon Expressway Company Limited, Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Company Limited or certain public corporations, when exiting through an ETC lane in a car equipped with ETC equipment, the ETC user needs to stop at the ticket window and give the ETC card to the attendant. When the exit tollgate is a Smart IC follow the instructions of the direction board, the attendant and other instructions.
Driving in Japan can be stressful.
, Getting an ETC card today!