Foreign Driver's License & International Driving Permit
It is not possible to drive in Korea with a foreign issued license only. However, people with a valid foreign driver’s license granted by the responsible government authority can request for an exchange of their driver’s license as follows.
1. Review of the required documents such as an Embassy Certificate
- During the course of reviewing the submitted documents, the person in charge may request additional documents if any problems arise.
2. Aptitude Test(health check) and Written Examination
- When a driver’s license is issued by the Acknowledged Countries (AC), a written examination will not be necessary.
Click Here for AC
* Notice: Although the US states of Oregon and Idaho are included in the AC, applicants should sit for the written examination
3. Issuance of Korean driver’s license
A foreign driver’s license must be in the form of a valid full license, and the holders of a temporary, learner, provisional, probationary, permit, certificate etc. are not eligible for any exchange.
|All regional driver’s license examination offices|
|※ * As health check venues do not exist in the driving test offices of Gangneung and Taebaek, please complete your health check at the nearest hospital
Note regarding Issuance of Exchange
· Although applicants from the UC can request for the exchange, the following persons & legal partner or children under the age of 19 without child thereof will be exempt from the written examination : A-1 (Diplomacy), A-2 (Official), A-3 (Agreement), D-7 (Sojourning Employee), D-8 (Company Investment), D-9 (Trade Business), E-1 (Professor), E-3 (Research), E-4 (Technology Instruction), E-7 (Special Activity), F-4 (Korean with Foreign Nationality).
· In the case of exchanging a foreign license for the Korean driver’s license, there is a requirement to return the foreign license (ie. Article 84 of the Road Traffic Act)
- One may apply for the return of the foreign license if 1) departing for overseas, 2) canceling the Korean driver’s license upon applicant’s wish, 3) sending a request by diplomatic mission, and foreign licenses over 3 years without any return application will be disposed.
· As the American Embassy / British Embassy / Korean Consulate General in Hong Kong / Finish Embassy no longer issue notarization, please submit the certificate of Apostille regarding a license.
· In the cases of defacement, poor printing quality of a foreign license & notarization certificate or issuance (renewal) of the foreign license during a stay in Korea etc, the person in charge may request for additional documents
· Embassy certificate of license is valid for 1 year from the date of issuance, and if it specifies a period of less than 1 year, it will be applied. No need to notarize the Embassy certificate separately.
· In the case that the issuing date & valid period are not specified in the driver’s license or certificate, one must submit the document such as the “Certificate of Driving History” issued by the relevant issuing authority in order to confirm the date of issuance & valid period
· If it is not possible to confirm more than 90 days stay through a passport or Certificate of the Facts Concerning Entry & Exit, then certificates of school attendance, employment, tax invoice, etc can be utilized, however, any confirmation by another person’s document is not acceptable.
· If your country has not the Embassy in Korea and the Korean Embassy in your country, in addition, isn't a member of the Apostille convention, you can issue the verifying certificate of license from the Embassy of your country in the neighboring country to Korea (ex.: japan, etc.) or from the Korean Embassy in the countries additionally performing the business of your country. Provided that it may not perform the duty of issuing such a document, please contact the relevant Embassy in advance for further information.
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