License holders don’t have to obtain a Korean driver’s license (see JW Issue 97) to drive as you can exchange your home country license for a temporary one while here. You can also use an International Driving Permit (IDP) and the procedures for both are introduced below.
Location: Driver’s License Authority Office
1 San 211-4, Sogil-ri, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, 064-710-9200
Directions: Exit the Pyeonghwa-ro 1135 at Sogil Gyocharo (intersection) just west of the horse racing track.
Buses: Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal -> Jungmun Gosok/Pyeonghwa-ro -> Driver’s License Examination Office (45 mins)
Exchanging a foreign driver’s license for a Korean license
You can exchange your home country license for a Korean license and your original license will be stored at the Driving License Authority (DLA) until you leave the country.
●For license holders from acknowl-edged countries, only the health check is required.
●License holders from unack-nowledged countries must take the health test and simplified written exam. (20 multiple-choice questions in English, Chinese or Korean.)
●A full list of acknowledged countries can be found here: dl.koroad.or.kr/license/en/sub/popInterLicArea.jsp.
●Individuals with a history of traffic violations must take the Traffic Safety Training course for suspensions and cancelations.
●Full and valid foreign driver’s license. (Temporary, learner, provisional, probationary, permits, or certificates are not acceptable.)
●A confirmation document from your respective Consulate stating the validity of the foreign driver’s license. (Note: Citizens of Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Po- land, Spain and the UK are exempt from providing this document. (US citizens, see notes below.))
●The document must be in English or Korean and officially issued by the Consulate or Country Representative Agency. No additional notarization is required.
●Original passport with the stamp of most recent entry into Korea.
●Alien Registration Card (ARC) issued by Jeju Special Self-Governing Province.
●Color passport photos x 3
●Processing Fee: 10,000 won. (16,000 won for unacknowledged countries.)
Notes for US license holders
●As of January 1, 2013, the Ameri-can Embassy no longer issues notarization. To have your driv-er’s license Apostilled, please contact the issuing state’s office of authentication. The document must include the issue and expiry date.
●US citizens must take the simplified written exam of 20 multiple choice questions unless from: Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, Virginia, Washington, DC, and West Virginia.
●Further information is available at: seoul.usembassy.gov/acs_drive.html
- If your license is not from your home country, you must provide a letter proving you lived in the issuing country for 90 days. If it is not in English, you must also provide a translated and notarized copy.
- Foreign driver’s licenses will only be exchanged to Level 2 (regular) type licenses, except for license holders from Belgium, Poland, Spain, and Italy who can receive all other levels.
Documents: Driver’s License, color photo x 1, application form, valid ID
Check times: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: 6,000 won
Notes: This simple sight and hearing test takes just five minutes.
Getting your original license back
The license is valid for one year only from the date of issue. Your original license can be obtained at any time by taking your passport and outbound airline ticket to the DLA office.
International Driving Permit (IDP)
Non-Korean license holders must apply - and reapply - for IDPs in their home country. IDPs are only valid for one year after issue.
Obtaining an IDP in Korea
Korean license holders are able to obtain an IDP in Korea.
●Passport, driver’s license, 3 x passport photos and ARC.
●If overseas at the time of application, then you must submit Proof of Departure/Entry, a signed Power of Attorney and the same documents as above except a passport copy is accepted.
Processing fee: 7,000 won
Processing time: 30 minutes
Validity: One year
●IDP holders must carry their Korean licenses at all times for it to remain valid.
●Signature must be identical to the passport signature.
●To see participating IDP countries in which a Korea-issued IDP is valid, please consult the signatories to the Geneva Agreement: dl.koroad.or.kr/license/en/sub/popGeneva.jsp
●IDPs issued in countries of both the Geneva Agreement and Vienna Agreement are valid in Korea. For Vienna Agreement see here: dl.koroad.or.kr/license/en/sub/popVienna.jsp