A Certificate of Traffic Accident which is sometimes called a police report or an accident report in English is a Japanese document proving a traffic accident. Without the certificate, you cannot claim payout to insurance companies.
A Certificate of Traffic Accident shows the detail of the traffic accident. It includes the following information.
・Name and address of people involved in the traffic accident
・Cat No. of the car
・ID number of Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance
・Situation at the time of the accident
・Type of the accident
Which organization issues the Certificate of Traffic Accident?
The Japan Safe Driving Center issues the certificate upon submission of a report from the police about the traffic accident. That means, if you don't call the police when the accident happens, you would never get a Certificate of traffic accident, losing a chance to prove it to insurance companies. So, be sure to call the police even if the accident is small. See this article: Is calling the police always necessary when a traffic accident happens?
How to get a Certificate of Traffic Accident
As a first step, go to the police station and get an application form for getting a Certificate of Traffic Accident. Fill in the blank of the form and go to the post office to pay the handling charge of the issuance JPY540. Usually, you'll get the certificate within ten days via post.
However, in most cases, voluntary insurance companies directly request Japan Safe Driving Center to issue the certificate so that they can confirm the accident truly happened. People involved in the accident will not always see the contents of the certificate. However, we recommend checking its content by your own eyes to see whether it includes mistakes or wrong information. Since it is based on the information by the police, there is a possibility to include the wrong information, and that sometimes affects the result of the out-of-court settlement or court.
The occasion you need the Certificate of Traffic Accident
When you get injured in a traffic accident, you will need the insurance payout for medical expenses. If the other party does not purchase voluntary insurance, it's necessary to apply for the payout from Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance of the other party. In this case, you would need the Certificate of Traffic Accident so that you can get the CALI's ID number of the other party.
Also in the case where you have to know the name and address of the other party, the Certificate of Traffic Accident also works.