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How can one abtain a Korean driver's license?

To drive in Korea with your state-issued drivers license, you have to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) in your country before coming to Korea. Be sure to get your IDP before leaving your home as it must be issued in your home country. An IDP is not a license itself, merely a piece of paper that translates your information into the local language. If you are stopped by law enforcement officials here, you must present both your IDP and your state-issued license. The IDP is valid just for one year.

If you are planning to stay in Korea for over a year, it is recommended to change your license into the Korean one. Those holding the license issued from a country that recognizes a Korean driver's license are exempt from all the tests but an aptitude test. But, those having a license issued from a country that doesn't recognize a Korean driver's license are obliged to take the written test as well as the aptitude test. The written test is available in English, Chinese and Japanese as well as Korean

Countries that recognize a Korean driver's license:
* Asia (26): Nepal, Federated States of Micronesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Vanuatu, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Bhutan, Brunei, Samoa, Solomon islands, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Taipei, Thailand, Tonga, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, Afghanistan

* America (12): Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, Uruguay, Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, Guam, Saint Lucia

* Europe (30): Greece, Netherlands, Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Rumania, Luxembourg, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Spain, Ireland, United Kingdom, Czech, Austria, Serbia and Montenegro, Malta, San Marino, Italy, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Ukraine

* Middle East (6): Lebanon, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Sudan, Oman

* Africa (34): Ghana, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Cape Verde, Namibia, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of South Africa, Niger, Liberia, Rwanda, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mozambique, Botswana, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Seychelles, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Comoros, Cote D'ivoire, Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Tunisia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Senegal

Countries that don't recognize a Korean driver's license:
* Asia (12): New Zealand, East Timor, Laos, Marshall Islands, Singapore, China, Australia, Fiji, Palau, Nauru, Kiribati, Tuvalu

* America (23): Guatemala, Mexico, United States, Venezuela, Belize, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Jamaica, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Guyana, Grenada, Common wealth of Dominica, Barbados, Bahamas, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago

* Europe (20): Cyprus, Albania, Norway, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Sweden, Uzbekistan, Slovenia, Slovakia, Kyrgyzstan, Hungary, Georgia, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Latvia, Andorra, Tajikistan, Moldova

* Middle East (8): Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen, Iraq

* Africa (17): Mauritania, Benin, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Togo, Somalia, Guinea-Bissau, Siena Leone, San Tome and Principe, Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Chad, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Required documents
* Driver's license issued in the home country

* English-translated and notarized copy (The issued date and valid period must be written on the translated copy. Exempted for a license written in English)

* Passport or immigration office certificate for the time the driver's license was issued

* Identification card (national identification card, foreigner registration card, etc.)

* Embassy certificate certificate (exempted for those holding the drivers license issued in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Japan and Spain)

* 3 photos (half-business card size)

* Receipt stamp (5,000 won), physical exam (5,000 won)

Drivers License Examination Offices of Korea (26 locations)
* ( There are 4 offices in Seoul.)

Region Driver's License Examination Office Region Driver's License Examination Office
Seoul Gangnam 02) 555-0831 Gangwon Chuncheon 033) 241-8888
Dobong 02) 930-0121 Gangneung 033) 647-7000~1
Gangseo 02) 2661-0357 Wonju 033) 747-8611~5
Seobu 02) 374-6818 Taebaek 033) 553-8811~2
Busan Bukbu 051) 301-0881 Chungbuk Cheongju 043) 297-1883~4
Nambu 051) 627-7044 Chungju 043) 852-1450
Daegu 053) 311-4095 Chungnam Daejeon 042) 272-4780
Incheon 032) 818-2814 Yesan 041) 333-6000
Ulsan 052) 263-2783 Jeonbuk 063) 212-2791
Gyeonggi Yongin 031) 282-7714 Jeonnam 061) 337-3213
Ansan 031) 410-3161 Gyeongbuk Mungyeong 054) 554-9800
Uijeongbu 031) 847-7701 Pohang 054) 285-7571
Jeju 064)799-5600~1 Gyeongnam Masan 055) 271-7866

Drivers License Agency

* Web site: http://www.dla.go.kr/eng/main.jsp

* Tel: (02) 374-0395

* Fax: (02) 374-0080

* Address: Sangam-dong 438, Mapo-gu, Seoul 121-759, Korea

* Transportation:

- Take Subway Line No. 2, get off at Hongik University Station (Exit #2), and take Bus No. 7012 or 7016

- Take Subway Line No. 2, get off at Sinchon Station (Exit #1), and take Bus No. 7011, 7012 or 7013

- Take Subway Line No. 2, get off at Hapjeong Station (Exit #6), and take Bus No. 7011, 7012 or 7013

- Take Subway Line No. 6, get off at Mapo-gu Office Station (Exit #1), and take Bus No. 7011, 7012 or 7013

- Take Subway Line No. 6, get off at World Cup Stadium Station (Exit #1), and take Bus No. 08

PS. Sometimes it is more difficult. Call me up for an assistance.


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