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My Number Card

What is My Number Card?

What is My Number Card?

“My Number” is a 12 digit identification number allocated to individuals resident in Japan. People often use “my” to mean “own” in Japan. This is a little creole language in Japanese, and it may be weird for English speakers.

My Number system has been used since 2015. It serves three purposes: the realization of social fairness, improved convenience, and government efficiency. Once you register as a Japanese resident at the municipality, a notification card for My Number is arranged to be sent to your home address. In principle, both Japanese and foreigners use the same 12 digits throughout their lives in Japan. This number cannot be changed at will and can only be changed when there is a possibility that it has been leaked and is being used illegally.

< Here is an example of what you receive by post>

A notification card (Tsu-chi card [通知カード]) is a green paper card that notifies each of the residents of their My Number. After you receive the notification card, you have the option of making My Number Card. My Number Card is a chip card with your face photo issued free of charge upon application by residents. This card can be used as a form of an ID.

< This is an example of Tsu-chi Card >

タイトル: 通知カード見本

< This is an example of My Number Card >

タイトル: マイナンバーカード見本

Why should you get My Number Card?

Having My Number Card makes many things convenient. Things you can do with My Number Card are;

* Application for various certificates such as the copy of the resident card, the tax payment certification, the Family Register Certificate, and seal registration certificate at a convenience store (between 6:30 am to 11:00 pm).
* Issuance of electronic certification.
* Application for administrative procedures by e-Certificate (on MAINA portal site).
* Checking of notifications from administrative agencies by e-Certificate (on MAINA portal site).
* Making a final tax return and tax payment (using the e-Tax system) by e-Certificate.
* Capitalization of the online bank by e-Certificate.
* Swift opening of a bank account.
* Checking your medical expenses and the results of your medical tests.
* Cashless shopping and obtaining points according to your purchase grade (from Sep. 2020).
* Use as a health insurance card (from Mar. 2021).

NB* To access the MAINA portal site and e-Tax service, you need an IC card reader/writer for computers or iPhone models after iPhone 7 for smartphones because it is necessary to read the IC chip of My Number Card when logging in.

[Here is the NFC list of smartphones that are compatible with my number card]

Expiration Date of My Number card

* Printed on the surface of the card as (年/year 月/month 日/dayまで有効).
* For residents under the age of 19, up until the 5th birthday from the date issued.
* For residents over the age of 20, until the 10th birthday from the date issued.

Expiration Date of Electronic Certification
* Up until the 5th birthday from the date issued regardless of your age.
>>Note that the expiration date of e-Certification is not printed on your card, so one has to be mindful.

How to apply for My Number Card?

 There are four ways to apply: by post, via the internet, by ID photo machine, or directly over the counter. If you are applying via post, you have to fill an application form and attach your photo. Double-check the contents of your application form to ensure there aren’t any mistakes and post.

For application over the internet, you can access ( here using either a computer or a smartphone. Fill out the page, attach your photo and send it.

For application using an ID photo machine, please find the following rabbit logo on the ID photo machine.

If you find it, the machine can be used to apply for My Number Card. At the machine, select “application for My Number Card,” put in 700 yen (as from August 2020), read the QR code of the application form, and take a photo. Follow the steps on the screen; then, you are done with the application. Don’t forget to take the receipt.

MAINA Portal Site

  What is MAINA Portal? MAINA Portal is an online portal site operated by the government.

 You can do one-stop administrative procedures such as parenting and nursing care, and check for notifications from administrative agencies. Please note that you need My Number Card to make any procedure on the portal site.

 The specific service provided by the online service is as follows.

* Use the private delivery service to receive notifications from government agencies and private companies.
* Settlement of public money with online banking (Pay-easy) and credit card.
* Search and confirm your personal information held by government agencies.
* Receiving notifications sent by government agencies.
* Search for services related to parenting and online applications such as cash handouts and government supports.
* Check the history of the exchange of your personal information between government agencies.

タイトル: rabbit logo - 説明: ずっと昔から日本に住んでいたシロウサギの妖精のマイナちゃん。マイナンバーが導入されることを知り、マイナンバーのPRキャラクターを買って出てくれました。 全国を行脚してご当地キャラクターと共演するなど、マイナンバーのPR活動をしています。目や耳が「1」なのは、マイナンバーが「1人に1つ」であることを示しています。 また、手に「1」を持つことで、マイナンバーを大切にしていただきたいという願いをこめています。

 This is the top page of MAINA portal site.

 If you have trouble using the site, this webpage will help you.

 We are hoping with the knowledge of My Number and its benefits, your life in Japan has become a bit more convenient and comfortable.

Notes for the readers:

Please use this article only as a reference, not as a legal guideline. Therefore, will take no responsibility or liability, so far as legally possible, for any consequences of your actions. This article was written by Sochi, a SUGEE writer, on 25 July 2020.


[1]マイナンバーカード総合サイト. 地方公共団体情報システム機構 [online] Available at:

[2]マイナポータル. 2017. 日本政府 [online] Available at:

All images are cited from the websites above.

This article is contributed to SUGEE Magazine by Marina Matsuyama then translated by SUGEE.

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