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Driver's License for Foreigners

1. Exchanging Foreign license into Korean License

Notice: Nations of Driver’s Licenses Valid in Korea

  • A person with a driver’s license issued from a foreign authority shall submit required documents including the confirmation by the embassy to verify the authenticity of the license. If the license is true, it can be exchanged into Korean license after passing aptitude test or aptitude test and simple written test.
    ⇒ The requirement of simple written test is decided by the issuing nations of driver’s licenses valid in Korea.
  • Foreign licenses are only valid when it is a full license with valid term. No temporary, learner’s provisional, probationary licenses and driver’s permits and certificates can be exchanged into Korean license.

Required Documents

  • 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.
  • Embassy certificate
  • Translated and notarized copy
  • Passport
  • 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.)
  • Three photos (3 cm x 4 cm)

Fee

  • Physical exam: ₩5,000
  • License: ₩6,000
  • Simple knowledge test (for those who have a domestic license which hasn't been recognized): ₩6,000

Notice: Nations of Driver’s Licenses Valid in Korea

Asia
(22 nations)
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
America
(18 nations)
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
Europe
(37 nations)
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, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Italy, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Cyprus, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Hungary

※ Austria, For the holders of Korean driver's license issued after 97.1.1 Austria exempt exams, treat Korean license as theirs.
The Middle East
(9 nations)
Lebanon, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait
Africa
(39 nations)
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
Those, who have a domestic license which hasn’t been recognized, must obtain a driver license as the same way Korean citizens do.

Driver License Testing for Foreigners

  • Bring your foreign driver license or passport.
  • The written test can be taken in English, Chinese, Japanese, German and French. The test is a multiple choice test with 20 problems.
  • Test preparation materials in English and Chinese can be purchased at driver license testing agencies.

2. International Driver License

  • A foreigner with a foreign issued driver license can drive legally in Korea with an international driver license for 1 year. But, the foreign license must not expire during that period.
  • An international driver license is for a foreigner not residing in Korea (visitor). Thus, foreigners registered at the Korea Immigration Service are strongly recommended to convert the existing foreign license to a Korean driver license because they are legal residents of Korea.

Required Documents:

  • Passport
  • Driver's license
  • Color photo (3.5×4.5cm or 3x4 cm)
  • Valid Term: 1 year from the date of issuance
  • Fee: KRW ₩7,000

Notice

  • Even if the term of international driver’s license is valid, according to international conventions or relative laws of the nation, the license may not be valid if the person has stayed in the nation for over 1 year. When driving with an international driver’s license, the person must have Korean driver’s license and passport in possession.
  • In many nations including the United States, a person driving with an international driver’s license must have Korean driver’s license and passport in possession. Otherwise, the person may be punished for unlicensed driving. The person needs to possess international driver’s license, Korean driver’s license and passport when driving.
  • If spellings of English names on international driver’s license and passport are different, or if signatures on international driver’s license and passport are different, the international driver’s license is not valid.
  • If one’s Korean driver’s license is invalid, the person may not drive with an international driver’s license in Korea. (relative regulations: the third clause of Article 96, the Road Traffic Act)
  • Korea is a member of Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. An international driver’s license issued by the nation which is a member of Geneva Convention on Road Traffic is valid for 1 year from the entry date in Korea. Also, since Jan. 1, 2002, an international driver’s license issued by the nation which is a member of Vienna Convention on Road Traffic is valid for 1 year from the entry date in Korea.
  1. Nations in which international driver’s licenses issued by Korea are valid: member nations of Geneva Convention on Road Traffic
  2. Nations of international driver’s licenses valid in Korea: member nations of Geneva Convention on Road Traffic and Vienna Convention on Road Traffic

Notice: Nations under agreement of the Geneva Conventions

Asia Oceania
(18 Nations)
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 Nations)
Argentina, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Paraguay, Republic of Dominica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, U.S.A., Venezuela
Europe
(31 Nations)
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 Nations)
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

Notice: Nations under agreement of the Vienna Convention

Asia
(7 Nations)
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tazakistan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines
Europe
(34 Nations)
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 Middle East, Africa)
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

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