My Number card (Image: Chiba City government)
The Japanese government has been encouraging the public to make My Number card by giving more incentives, including the recent campaign of up to 20,000 points (equivalent to 20,000 yen). If you are interested in getting the benefit but unsure of the urgency behind that, or you just want to know what My Number card is, we’ll explain that here.
What is My Number, and what is the purpose?
My Number (マイナンバー), or Individual Number (個人番号, kojin bangō) formally, is an identification issued by the Japanese government. It is given only once, so each person will use the same number for a lifetime. Even if you leave Japan once and return again, you will use the same number when you make a new resident certificate.
All residents in Japan, no matter what nationality, have this 12-digit number. The principle is that every residence card holder is assigned to the Individual Number system. If you are a new foreign resident, you will receive an Individual Number notice within 2-3 weeks by mail after moving to Japan.
The purpose of My Number is to unify the social security, tax, disaster and medical assistance, and other administrative systems into one identification system. It makes administration smoother and quicker because it only takes one string of numbers to access all information needed. You can also access that information through the official website called MyNa Portal.
MyNa Portal is available in English
According to Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Yasushi Kaneko, the number of My Number Cards issued per May 2022 is approximately 56.11 million, or 44.3% of the Japanese population. The Japanese government has been launching several campaigns to raise the number of My Number Card holders. So, besides getting merits from the card’s various functions, you can also receive money through cashback points. Read more about this information at the end of the article.
What is My Number Card?
The My Number card (マイナンバーカード) or Individual Number card (個人番号カード) is a credit card-sized identification document containing your Individual Number and other information. Even if you are automatically registered to the system once you receive your residence card, you won’t get the actual Individual Number card unless you apply.
The card has two sides. The front side will have your photo, name, current address, gender, birthday, and the card’s expiration date. Your Individual Number, the IC chip, name, and birthday are on the backside of the card.
My Number card front and back side (Image: Genkai Town government)
How to Get My Number Card
Getting My Number Card is easy. You just have to submit the application and get the card from the municipal office in your area. The government will send a mail containing My Number Notice, My Number card application form, return envelope for My Number card application, and instruction booklet.
The My Number Notice is a simple paper containing your name, Individual Number, and date of birth. It’s only for notification purposes. You can’t use it for identification.
My Number Notice
To apply for My Number card, you have to fill out the form and send it using an enclosed return envelope in your received mail. You can also scan the barcode on the form and fill it out online instead. Don’t forget to attach your recently taken photo.
My Number card application form
If your visa category changes and does not match the My Number notice, do not use the application form and ask for a new form at the municipal office. If your visa has almost expired (approximately 1 month away), ask for a new application form after renewing your period of stay.
You will receive a postcard notifying your My Number card is ready after a couple of weeks to 1 month. Bring the necessary documents to the city office before the deadline written on the postcard.
What to bring to the city office:
– the original My Number notice
– the postcard notifying you that the card is ready
– an ID (residence card or passport)
Now, you have obtained a My Number card!
What Can You Do With My Number Card?
The Japanese government is keen to make all Japanese residents use the My Number Card, so they keep adding more functions. Here are some features of the My Number card at the moment:
The primary function of the My Number card is, of course, identification. It has your photo, address, date of birth, expiration date (when your stay ends), and so on. Therefore, it’s important to keep your card safe. Don’t give anyone your card or the number without knowing the intention.
Health insurance card replacement
My Number card holds medical and insurance information, so you don’t need to bring your health insurance card anymore. It makes the reception at medical facilities faster and provides easy access to your medical history, especially useful in times of disaster. However, you need to register first to get this function.
Convenience Store Issuance service
If you urgently need official certificates but can’t go to the city office, the My Number system got you covered. Using the IC chip in My Number Card, you can print the official certificate you need anytime, anywhere.
Printing and copy machine at convenience store (image: Japantoday)
The document you can get:
Copy of the Resident Record
Seal Registration Certificate
Certificate of Items Stated in the Resident Record
Various certificates of tax payment
Certificate of Family Register
Copy of Supplemental Family Register
The availability depends on your municipality’s policy. Per September 2022, there are currently 951 municipalities that provide this service.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan created a campaign called MyNa Points in 2020. Their first campaign offered 5,000 points (equal to 5,000 yen) cashback. The second campaign started in January 2022 and offered 14,500 points. So, in total, you can get up to 20,000 yen.
How to get MyNa Points:
Get 5,000 points by applying for the My Number card
The eligible recipient of this campaign is those who apply for the My Number card by September 30, 2022. After receiving the card, you must connect your My Number card to a cashless payment system. If you use the cashless payment service to buy something, you will get 25% of your total spend up to 5,000 yen cashback points.
Get 7,500 points by registering your My Number card as a health insurance card
First, download the Myna-portal app. Select the option to register My Number card as a health insurance certificate. Follow the steps, and once you complete the registration, 7,500 points will be automatically transferred to you.
Get 7,500 points by connecting your My Number card to a bank account
The steps are similar to the steps above. You just have to select “Register Public Money Receiving Account / 公金受取口座の登録” instead. The 7,500 points will be automatically transferred to you after completing the registration.
Do you need to get a My Number Card?
Despite the government’s pushing the My Number card issuance, there are no penalties if you don’t have one. So it depends on whether you need the card or not. However, if you decide to apply for the plastic card, you already know the functions and benefits you’ll get!
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