Getting A Driver’s License In South Korea: Complete Guide

South Korea attracts visitors from all around the world. Most of them visit South Korea to see all the famous tourist attractions. These kinds of tourists often stay for some days so they could just travel. But  South Korea is also an economically growing country and a huge number of foreigners try to find a job here. Foreign students also study in universities in South Korea. Also, for all of those people, staying in South Korea, for a long time, getting a driver’s license in South Korea can make life easier. Although, you can also drive on an International permit, or an international driver’s license, getting a driver’s license in South Korea is a good idea, especially for people planning to move here.

Getting a driver’s license in South Korea is easier than it seems. You can get a driver’s license in a short duration. The process doesn’t have any complications.

Continue to read and get to know the whole process of getting a driver’s license in Korea easily.

Exchanging it with your International Driver License 

 If you already have an International Driver’s License of some other country, you are in for a treat! You can easily exchange that and get a Korean driver’s license. If you are aware of the whole Korean traffic rule system, the whole process just takes 2-3 days.

You just need to provide the following documents
  • An original international Driver’s license (of some other country)
  • A certificate from the Embassy stating that your Driver’s license is genuine. The certificate should be stamped and translated into the Korean language.
  • Your original passport
  • Your foreigner registration card
  • An entry/exit certificate from the Immigration Control Centre
  • Three passport-sized photos

After submitting these documents, you will pay the driver’s license fee. You will receive your driver’s license in 2-3 days. 

Learning Traffic Rules To Get The Driver’s License

If you haven’t got an international driving license but you still know the driving rules of South Korea, you can get the driver’s license easily. If you know the answers to 700 theoretical questions of the South Korean traffic system, you don’t have to take driving lessons at any driving school. 

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Follow the following process to get a driver’s license in South Korea, if you know basic driving and the theory of Korean traffic rules. 

  • Visit a Korean examination department. You can easily search for the nearest one. 
  • Tell the management there that you wish to take the exam for the driver’s license
  • Fill an application form, and indicate the type of vehicle you wish to drive 
  • You will get a medical examination. Your eyesight and hearing will be checked. You also have to pay 5,000 won for this checkup.
  • You will then be taken to a lecture hall for a lecture on road safety.
  • A 40 minutes film which prepares you for your test, will be shown to you.

Taking A Theoretical Exam

  • You will then have to take a theoretical exam costing 7,500 won. The exam is held online, in several languages. You will have to answer 40 questions in 50 minutes. 2 points are given on every correct answer. You need a minimum of 61 points to pass the exam.
  • You will be given your result immediately. Furthermore, if you have passed the test, your numbers and pass will be stamped on your application form.

Taking A Practical Exam

  • You will now move to the physical exam. This also costs 7,500 won. This happens on their training grounds,
  • In the test, you will have to drive 50 meters by yourself. You will have to follow the exercises provided. Although the exercises are in Korean, you can easily memorize the sequence before the test, and then do the exercises according to that. 
  • According to the sequence firstly you need to prepare for the test drive by adjusting your seat belt, checking the mirrors, etc. 
  • Secondly, you have to start the engine. 
  • Lastly, you will have to change the automatic lever from the parking mode to driving mode and then return to the parking mode.
  • After this, you will have to drive 15-20 meters and turn a corner as a test. 
  • Once you clear this practice test, you will get another stamp on your application. 
  • You will take this stamp to the application window and get a temporary driver’s license. 
  • The temporary driver’s license has a duration of 1 year. You can only use it with a trainer.
  • Once you think you have practiced enough with the temporary license, you can register for the exam. 

Taking The Final Exam To Get The Driver’s License in South Korea

The final city exam costs 25,000 won. An instructor takes your exam while being in the passenger seat of the car. The navigator in the instructor’s hand gives the driving instructions and you have to follow those instructions. You have to avoid making mistakes like sharp brakes, over speeding, late/early indicators, etc. Once you pass this exam, the last stamp will be put on the application. The application is taken to the examination department. After waiting for half an hour, you can get your complete driver’s license by paying 7,500 won. 

Taking Driving Lessons

If you aren’t aware of even the basics of driving, you should take driving lessons before taking the theoretical exam. There are lots of driving schools in South Korea. You can easily find one around you. Normal driving courses cost around half a million won, They are quite expensive. Moreover, driving lessons are not compulsory in South Korea so you can always avoid paying so much, and learn yourself. 

Know more about the driver’s license process by visiting the website of the International Driving Authority.