Driving with International Driver's License

Foreigners are allowed to drive in Korea with an international driver's license during its valid period, only for one year from their entry date. Those who want to extend the valid period have to renew their international driver's license from their home country. Otherwise, foreigners have to convert their international driver's license into a Korean driver's license before its expiration date.

Converting into a Korean Driver's License

Those with a valid foreign driver's license issued from an authorized agency can convert their international license into a Korean license by taking a physical examination only. The type of license corresponds to that of the original license. The conversion is available at the Driver's License Agency (DLA), located in Taejeon-dong, Buk-gu. It usually takes 7 to 10 days to receive a new Korean driver's license. The applicants have to visit the DLA office in person. Additionally, required documents and fees can be found in the DLA website.

Acquiring a Korean Driver's License

Foreigners who will stay more than six months can apply for a Korean driver's license at the branch offices of the DLA. Foreigners who want to get a Korean driver's license are required to take the same procedures as Korean citizens for them to obtain a Korean driver's license. To get a provisional license, the applicant has to pass all of the following: physical examination, the written test, the course driving test, and road test. The written test is given in English, French, German, Japanese, and Chinese so that the applicant can choose one of those languages. 

Renewing a Korean Driver's License

A Korean driver's license must be renewed every seven years, usually. Drivers are required to apply for the renewal of their license during the period, which is visibly noted on each driver's license. The renewal application is available at the DLA offices or police stations. Two photos (3cmx4cm), the original driver's license, the application form, and the renewal fee are required.