living in”My Number” is a system launched by the Japanese government to effectively confirming the residents’ information (household data, tax, social security, etc), which is applied to everyone who resides in Japan including foreigners.

The number contains your personal important information, so be sure to not let anyone know your 12-digit My Number, except for in cases that are provisioned by law (any procedures on taxes at the workplace, procedures in government offices (city hall, tax office), any procedure for international remittance at the bank. (As of March 2016)), as mentioned by The Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems

Furthermore, they mentioned that generally, you will be using the same number for the rest of your life, even if you leave Japan and return. In case you were asked to give your My Number, be sure to check the person and their purpose of use and be careful not to allow others to abuse your My Number.

Get My Number Issued

If you just moved to Japan with the legal status of a resident with a period of more than 3 months and register your residencies to the city hall, you will have a 12-digit of My Number issued when creating a resident certificate. After 2-3 weeks, you will get a notice to proceed with the My Number card. Usually, you will be asked to come to the city hall with the notice and your identity card (passport, the zairyu card, etc) to proceed, as you will be needed to register a password to access the”Maina Portal” (マイナーポータル).

Convenient Services With The My Number Card

With the My Number, you can use the “Maina Portal” (マイナーポータル)  which allows you to do an online search and applications, also get notifications from the city hall administrative services, such as childcare, etc.

You will need a card reader to allow the My Number card read by the computer and log in to Maina Portal

For the example case, during a state of emergency from 16 April to 6 May 2020 where Japan paid out 100,000 yen per person to help residents economically, one of the ways to apply for the aid was the application online through Maina Portal limited to those with My Number card, that was led to a crowd at the city halls with people who didn’t issue the original My Number card yet. So we recommend proceeding with the card as soon as possible.

In another case, you can apply your final income tax from the Maina Portal, which is needed to be held every year, without any need to come to the venue and struggling with crowds.

With the original card of My Number with you, you can issue your resident certificate and other resident-related documents at the convenience store easily.

Renewing My Number Card

For foreigners, the My Number card validity period is the same as your visa and you will need to renew the card. When the renewal period comes closer, a notice will be delivered to your registered address. You can choose how to apply by post or simply from the internet. For the internet application, read the QR code or type the link mentioned in the notice and simply follow the instruction. In a step, you will be asked to take a picture of yourself to be printed on the card. However, if you are wearing a hijab or else that covering your head/face, you might be asked to phone the city hall in advance before application (mentioned in the notice) so please read the notice carefully before making an application.

After application, there will be another notice come about 3-4 weeks later for you to come to the city hall to proceed with the card and password. You will need the notice and your identity card to bring to the city hall. The procedure will take about 20 mins if do not crowd.

You will be asked to write an application mention your name and address, and input a password to a designated panel. Your card will be ready with a photo of you (that you submitted online) ready then.