Driving in Seoul

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International driver's license

Driving In Seoul Korea is a party to an agreement of the Geneva Conventions. As such, Korea recognizes international licenses from other nations under agreement of the Geneva Conventions. Since January of 2002, international license from the following nations mentioned in the tip box are valid. The countries listed in the Tip Box are under agreement of the Vienna Convention. International licenses are valid during the term of validity. The term of validity is limited to one year and upon expiration, the international license cannot be renewed but instead must be converted to a Korean license.

Nations under agreement of the Geneva Conventions

Nations under agreement of the Geneva Conventions
Asia, Oceania (18) Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan
Americas(15) Argentina, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Paraguay, Republic of Dominica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, U.S.A., Venezuela
Europe(31) Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Vatican City, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Georgia, Turkey, England, Serbia
Middle East, Africa (29) Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Central African Republic, Senegal, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Kingdom of Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, Republic of South Africa, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Niger, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Nations under agreement of the Vienna Convention

Nations under agreement of the Vienna Convention
Asia(7) Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tazakistan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines
Europe(34) Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Macedonia, Ukraine, Armenia
Middle East, Africa(16) Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Tunisia

Exchanging foreign license

Foreigners with a driver's license may exchange their license for a Korean license. There are a few requirements for foreigners to apply for their Korean license.

First, you must be a resident in Korea. Those with a visitor's visa or without a proper residence card cannot apply for a license. Second, you must provide a full license. Those with temporary, provisional, probationary, permit, certificate or motorcycle license cannot exchange it for a Korean license. Those without a proper license must go through the process of applying for a new license in Korea. Lastly, those with licenses issued from a country other than their home country must provide proof of residency in that country for 90 days ormore. You must prepare the following documents to apply for your Korean license.

  1. ① Applicants must hand in their foreign driver's license before being issued a Korean license in exchange.
    When it’s time for you to leave Korea, you can get your foreign driver’s license by showing your passport and airline ticket.
  2. ② Embassy certificate
  3. ③ Translated and notarized copy
  4. ④ Passport
  5. ⑤ Alien Registration Card or Domicile Registration Card
    (*those without a egistration card must wait until they are issued one to proceed with their application for a driver's license.)
  6. ⑥ Three photos (3 cm x 4 cm)
    - Physical exam: 5,000 won
    - License: 6,000 won
    - Simple knowledge test (for those who have a domestic license which hasn't been recognized): 6,000 Won

    * Foreigners can exchange their driver's license for a Korean one at Drivers' License Agency in Seoul Global Center (3rd floor, Press Center. Tel. 02-1688-0120)

States Recognizing Domestic License (May 9, 2011 Notification from the National Police Agency)

States Recognizing Domestic License
Asia(22) Nepal, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Tonga, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taipei
Americas(19) Guyana, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, El Salvador, Uruguay, Chile, Canada, Costa Rica, Columbia, Panama, Barbados, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, [Maryland State(USA), Virginia State(USA)]
Europe(38) Georgia, Greece, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Rumania, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Moldova, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, San Marino, Serbia, Swiss, Spain, the Slovak Republic, Iceland, Ireland, Albania, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Italy, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Cyprus, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Hungary, Austria,
* Austria, For the holders of Korean driver's license issued after 97.1.1 Austria exempt exams, treat Korean license as theirs.
Middle East (10) Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait
Africa(39) Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Namibia, Nigeria, the Republic of South Africa, Niger, Liberia, Lesotho, Rwanda, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Botswana, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Tunisia, Chad, Comoros

*source : www.dla.go.kr(K/E/C/J)

* Source : http://english.seoul.go.kr/lh/residence/driving.php