Public transport in Korea is great, very efficient and cheap. However sometimes it can be useful to have a car for those all important trips to Costco, oh and those weekend getaways in the countryside. In this article, we explain how foreign teachers can obtain a driving license in Korea, either by transferring their foreign license or applying for a new one. We also briefly go through the registration process for used cars.

(1) Exchanging Foreign Driver’s License for a Korean Driver’s License

People with a valid foreign driver’s license can exchange it for a Korean license if all requirements are met. This process varies depending on the applicant’s license. The Korea Driver’s License Authority already has a list of recognized countries (AC) and states. You can check it here: Click here for AC . If your country or state is unrecognized (UC) your process will be slightly different like having to take the written exam. Note: if your driver’s license is not in English you must have it translated and a notarized copy of license before applying. 

Breakdown of the documents needed for AC and UC application

Note: Your foreign license needs to be notarized to qualify for an exchange


Once you have got everything ready here are the steps to follow when applying:

1) Apply in person at your closest regional driver’s license examination office with all necessary documents.

If your country or state does not require you to take the written test go to the Seoul Global Center

If you don’t know if you need to take the written test call 02 2075-4127 to confirm.

2) If you are required to take the written test you need to go to the Korean Drivers License Authority. All 26 regional offices offer the written test. Here is their contact info if you have more questions.

Contact number: 02 2075-4127


(2) Obtaining a Korean Driver’s License

If you would like to apply for a Korean driver’s license here are the steps:

Application Process for Korean Driving License

To apply for a driver’s license you will need to bring the following:

1) Valid ID
2) Color photo x 3 (designated size)
  • Size : 3.5cm x 4.5cm
  • No hats, no background, upper body, and taken within 6 months

For persons using a representative to apply for the Exam, they must provide the representative’s ID and signed “Power of Attorney”.  Click here to download the document.


>>>You can view the fees and further information here <<<

If you want some help with the whole process of obtaining a Korean driving license the Seoul Global Center offers free classes between March and November to help foreigners. Visit their website for more info here.

Registering a Used Car in Korea


If you purchase a used vehicle from a car dealer, most of the time the dealer will apply for the registration for you. If not, it is important to register a car within 15 days of its purchase. This must be done at the local government office of the district of residence.

(20 days for donation, 3 months for inheritance, within 15 days for other situations or you can be fined up to 500,000 won)


Here are the documents you will need to register your vehicle:

1) One used vehicle transfer certificate (for purchase)

2) Certificate of the owner’s seal stamp and legal seal from the previous owner. (For purchases only, you should write down that the usage of the certificate is for delivery reasons, and you should provide your name and resident registration number.)

If you satisfy one of the conditions described below, you do not need to attach a certificate of the previous owner’s seal stamp them:

※ If an automobile salesperson or an applicant of an automobile auction house sell or help find an automobile.

※ If the transferor and the transferee make a direct deal, and the transferor personally confirms at the Gu (District) office whether the car has been transferred.

– One certificate of presentation (for donation)

– One car registration (except when the previous owner applied for it for you)

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