DRIVING IN KOREA
Please be advised that starting January 1, 2013, the U.S. Embassy will no longer provide notary certifications for U.S. issued drivers licenses. Republic of Korea is a member of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and recognizes apostilles issued by foreign authorities. To have your driver’s license apostilled, please contact the issuing state’s office of authentication for an apostille.
For more information, please visit the Korean Driver’s License Agency’s website. Please note that you must take a written exam before you can obtain a Korean driver’s license except for those who hold driver’s licenses that were issued by a State that has a reciprocity agreement with Korea; namely Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, Virginia, Washington, DC., and West Virginia. This written exam can be provided in English.
Applying for a drivers license in Korea
The Korean Drivers License Agency offers drivers training and tests in English. The application costs KRW 55,000 and can be completed in a single day if the examination office’s driving test schedule allows. The examination office provides a car for the driving test.
A drivers license applicant must:
- Attend a safety training,
- Have their vision checked (or present documentation of a comparable check by a designated Korean hospital or doctor),
- Take a written test,
- Take a driving course test, and
- Take a road test.
International Driving Permits
Although many countries do not recognize U.S. driver’s licenses, most countries accept an International Driving Permit (IDP). An IDP functions as an official translation of a U.S. driver’s license into 10 foreign languages.
How to Apply for an International Driving Permit
You can obtain an IDP at one of the two automobile associations authorized by the U.S. Department of State: