South Korea Driving Licence or Driver Permit

South Korea Driving Licence : Obtaining a driving license in South Korea allows you the freedom of driving on public roads legally. This comprehensive guide provides all the steps and information you need for getting a new driving license or renewing your license in South Korea.

Overview of South Korea Driving Licence

South Korea issues the following main categories of driving licenses:

  • Regular License – For driving normal passenger vehicles like cars and SUVs.
  • Commercial License – Required for driving heavy commercial vehicles like trucks and buses.
  • Motorcycle License – For riding two-wheelers like motorbikes and scooters.
  • Temporary License – Short term license for foreigners staying up to 1 year.
  • International Driving Permit – Allows driving in other countries along with local license.

Steps to Get a New Driving License in South Korea

Here are the key steps involved in getting a new driving license in South Korea:

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be at least 18 years old for regular license, 20 years for commercial license.
  • Should pass the written test and road skills test.
  • Must clear the physical exam and vision screening.
  • Should have valid residence identification like local ID card or ARC.

Enroll in a Driving School

  • Sign up with a certified driving school for classes and training.
  • Complete the minimum prescribed hours of driving lessons.

Pass Written Test

  • Take the written test on road signs, rules, regulations at the driving school.
  • The test has 50 multiple choice questions. Score at least 45 correct to pass.

Pass Road Test

  • Perform driving test at the school under an instructor’s supervision.
  • Assesses control, maneuvering, parking skills etc.
  • Minimum passing score is 70 out of 100.

Apply for License

  • Visit the local licensing office. Submit documents and application.
  • Pay license fees. Get photo and fingerprints taken.
  • Pass vision and physical exam at the center’s medical desk.
  • Receive new plastic card license on the spot.

Documents Required to Obtain Driving License

To apply for a new driving license in South Korea, you must provide:

  • Completed license application form.
  • Valid ID proof like local ID card, ARC card, passport.
  • One passport-size photograph.
  • Certificate of completion from driving school.
  • Results of written test and road test.
  • Medical examination report and vision screening results.
  • Proof of residence like utility bill.

Types of Driving Licenses in South Korea

Regular License

Allows driving normal passenger vehicles like cars, SUVs and vans up to 10 passengers. Minimum age is 18 years.

Commercial License

Required for driving trucks, buses, vans carrying more than 10 passengers. Minimum age is 20 years.

Motorcycle License

To ride motorbikes, scooters, mopeds etc. Minimum age is 16 years. Engine displacement restrictions apply for ages 16-19.

Temporary License

Issued to short-term foreign residents staying up to 1 year. Valid for 1 year.

International Driving Permit

Along with local license allows driving in other countries. Obtain from local police station.

Renewing Driving License in South Korea

To renew your driving license in South Korea:

  • Licenses can be renewed within 1 year before or after expiration date.
  • Visit the driving license office and submit renewal application.
  • Undergo vision screening and traffic law exam if license expired more than 1 year ago.
  • Pay renewal fees. New license card issued on the spot.

Replacing Lost/Stolen License in South Korea

If your driving license is lost or stolen, here is the procedure to get a replacement:

  • File a report at the local police station regarding missing license.
  • Visit license office and fill form for reissuance along with police report.
  • Also provide valid ID proof and passport photos.
  • Pay replacement license fees.
  • New license will be issued with same details and validity.

Changing Address on Driving License

To change the address on your South Korean driving license:

  • Go to the driving license office nearest to your new address.
  • Fill out the application to modify address on license.
  • Submit proof of new residence address.
  • Pay modification fee.
  • New license will be issued with updated address.

International Driving Permit in South Korea

To drive in another country using your South Korean license:

  • Apply for International Driving Permit at the local police station.
  • Provide valid Korean driving license, passport, passport photos.
  • Pay permit fees.
  • Carry both licenses when driving overseas.
  • IDP is valid for 1 year from date of issue.

Important Traffic Rules and Regulations in South Korea

  • Strict drunk driving laws with maximum 0.05% BAC limit.
  • Speed limits – 60km/hr in cities, 80-100km/hr on highways. Speeding fines.
  • Seat belt use mandatory for driver and all passengers.
  • Use of mobile phone while driving is prohibited, except hands-free devices.
  • Motorbike riders must wear helmets. No triple riding allowed.
  • Yield to pedestrians at crossings or face fines.
  • Harsh penalties like suspension of license, imprisonment for violations.

Traffic Violations and Fines in South Korea

Traffic OffenceFine Amount
Driving without a licenseUp to ₩500,000
Drunk driving₩5,000,000 and license suspension
Reckless driving₩5,000,000 – ₩10,000,000
Overspeeding₩60,000 – ₩200,000
Running red light₩60,000
Not wearing seat belts₩60,000
Using mobile phone while driving₩150,000
No helmet on motorcycle₩100,000

FAQs on South Korea Driving Licence

Q1. How can I schedule my driving license test in South Korea?

You can book an appointment for the written test and road test through your driving school. The school will allot a slot based on availability.

Q2. What is the minimum age to get a motorcycle license in South Korea?

The minimum age to obtain a motorcycle license in South Korea is 16 years. Riders below 19 years have engine displacement restrictions.

Q3. Can I renew my South Korean driving license after expiry?

Yes, you can renew your expired South Korean driving license upto 1 year after the expiration date by paying an additional late fee.

Q4. Is an International Driving Permit required in South Korea?

Foreign nationals can drive using their valid home country license. An IDP is recommended but not mandatory.

Q5. What is the validity period of South Korean driving license?

A new South Korean driving license is valid for a period of 15 years from the date of issue.


In summary, getting a South Korean driving license requires passing written and road tests, meeting age criteria, providing documents and undergoing medical screening. Follow the steps properly for new license, renewal or replacement. Obeying traffic rules ensures road safety.