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Driving in Korea

Driver’s license

International driving permit

As of January 1, 2002, a driver with an international driving permit issued by a Geneva Convention member country can drive in Korea. The period is a year from the date of entry. As Korea is a member of the Geneva Conventions, it’s acceptable to drive for 1 year from the date of entry with an international driving permit issued from other members of the Geneva Convention. Furthermore, driving with a valid international permit issued by members of the Vienna Convention has been allowed from January 1st, 2002 and the valid period is the same 1 year from the entry date.
- It is possible to drive in member countries of the Geneva Conventions, using an international driving permit issued by the Korean authority
- It is possible to drive in Korea, using an international driving permit issued by member countries of the Geneva & Vienna Conventions
 * Members of the Geneva Convention and Vienna Convention can be found on the website of Road Traffic Authority

Exchange of foreign driver's license
Exchange of foreign driver's license
Classification Description
Required documents
(D-8, F-3 holder)
D-8 visa holder

1. Foreign driver’s license

  • ※ Where the effective period stated in a foreign driver’s license (original)
    expires, exchange is not allowed to a Korean driver’s license.

2. Certificate of entry and exit and passport (original; license issuance or renewal date shall be included.)

  • ※ The applicant should submit a certificate of entry and exit issued by an
    issuing authority on the date of the application for license exchange.
    ※ KOTRA’s ICC issues the certificate of entry
    and exit (as of September 2019).
    ※ To inquire about the certificate of entry and exit: Call 1345
    without the area code / Visit http://www.hikorea.go.kr
    - Issuing authority: local immigration office, city hall, district (gu) office,
    community service center
    - When setting the date range on the certificate, set the start date to Jan. 1
    of the applicant’s year of birth.
    ※ For license acquired in a third country, residency of 90 days or longer in
    that country shall be proven.

3. Alien registration card (original) or domicile registration card (original)

  • ※ Short-term (90 days or less) residents cannot use the service but
    can take driver’s license test

4. Embassy confirmation of driver’s license, or APOSTILLE

  • Embassy confirmation of driver’s license shall be effective for one year from the issuance date and, if effective period on the confirmation is less than one year, such period shall apply.
  • APOSTILLE shall be effective for the period designated by issuance LOTTERY.
  • ※For the US, the UK, Russia, Finland, Uzbekistan, and Hong Kong,
    embassy confirmation cannot be issued so only APOSTILLE can
    be submitted.

  • ※The language of embassy confirmation or APOSTILLE shall be limited to
    Korean or English.

5. Three passport-sized color photographs (3.5cm × 4.5cm)

  • ※ The photographs should be taken within the past six months.

6. Physical test sheet

  • KOTRA ICC does not have physical test facility; thus, please take a physical test at designated clinics nearby and then submit physical test sheet.
  • Designated clinic: Nam Jea-hyun Friendoctor clinic (http://www.friendoctor.com/main/main.asp , 02)556-0365)

7. Issuance fee: KRW 7,500

  • ※ Issuance fee changed from October 1, 2019
         - Korean license issuance fee: KRW 8,000 / Korean + English license issuance fee: KRW 10,000

D-8 visa holder and his/her accom-

①~⑦ and certificate of alien registration (original) of D-8 visa holder

  • ※The term “accompanying family members” refers to D-8 visa holder’s
    spouse and unmarried children 18 years of age or above but below 19.

  • ※Certificate of alien registration can also be issued by KOTRA ICC
    (Issuance fee KRW 2,000)


Physical test fee (as decided by clinics), driver’s license issuance fee

  • Exchange issuance of foreign driver’s license: Ordinary driver’s license (Class 2) of Korea issued

  • ※ Exceptions: Member countries of mutual recognition convention

  • Vicarious application is not allowed
  • Home country license shall be collected
  • ※ Shall be returned at time of exit
    (The person concerned shall collect the license himself/herself within three years.)


Method of obtaining Korean driver’s license

The procedure by which a foreigner who has never had a driver’s license in his/her home country is issued a new driver’s license in Korea is the same as that for Koreans.

Procedure for obtaining license
면허취득절차 (첨부파일 참조)

In the case of a traffic law violation or traffic accident, a certain score is imposed according to the degree of violation and extent of damages and, when the total score reaches a certain level, the driver’s license can be canceled or suspended. For penalties from violation of law and from traffic accidents, check KoROAD’s home page.

Traffic accidents

It is advised that a foreign driver, in anticipation of any possible traffic accident situation, shall carry phone numbers of his/her Korean colleagues or attorney, car insurance company, and his/her embassy at all times. It is also important to carry a camera that can record the site of accident. Where an accident occurs, the driver shall immediately park the car on the edge of road near the site of accident. Call 119 (no prefix) to request ambulance vehicles. Report of the accident to the police shall be made within 3 hours in urban areas and 12 hours in other areas. When reporting to the police, the driver can visit a police station himself/herself, call the police, or have another person call the police (call 112 with no prefix). Also, he/she shall immediately notify the car insurance company of necessary information including time and place of accident, degree of damages, the circumstance of accident, evidence, and eyewitness. To avoid any unjustified liability or punishment because of damage to evidence, it is recommended that the driver shall consult the insurance company for advice.

Road Traffic Authority
LEE Ju Young Authority Investment Cooperation Officer

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