Can Foreigners Register a Seal in Japan?


For foreigners living in Japan, questions about the necessity and process of seal registration are common. This blog provides essential information about seal registration for foreigners.

Eligibility for Foreigners to Register a Seal

Foreigners can register their seals if they meet the following conditions:

  1. Registered as a resident in a ward, city, or town.
  2. At least 15 years old.

Purpose of the Seal Registration System

The seal registration system aims to:

  1. Verify Identity: The holder of the registered seal and seal registration certificate is recognized as the legitimate individual.
  2. Guarantee the Authenticity of Documents: Attaching a seal registration certificate to a document stamped with the registered seal ensures its authenticity.

Usage of the Seal

Seal registration is particularly important in the following situations:

  • Required by law for real estate registration, vehicle registration, and creating notarized documents.
  • Necessary in practice, even if not legally required, such as in inheritance division agreements.

Basis of the Seal Registration Certificate System

The seal registration certificate system is based on ordinances, regulations, and guidelines of each municipality.

Method of Registration

The registration method is the same as for Japanese nationals, but the identity proof can include a foreigner registration certificate, residence card, or special permanent resident certificate. Additionally, foreigners can register a seal under their legal name or an alias.

How to Register an Alias

  1. Foreigner registration certificate, residence card, or special permanent resident certificate.
  2. Proof that the alias is used in daily life (e.g., postmarked mail, medical cards).

For Foreign Nationals Outside the Kanji Sphere

Foreign nationals from non-kanji-using countries can register a seal in Katakana. However, the acceptance of English seals varies by municipality, so it’s advised to check with the local office before creating one.


The process for foreigners registering a seal may vary by municipality. For details, please inquire with the local resident registration division.