Getting an International Drivers License in Korea

Before I posted on how to get a drivers license in Korea, here I’ll explain how easy it is in getting an international drivers permit (국제 운전면허증) in Korea as a foreigner.

What you need

  • Korean drivers license
  • Passport
  • 8,500 won / bank card (not sure if they accept credit cards)
  • Passport-sized photo
  • Application form
  • ARC number
  • Registered address
  • Phone number

Where to go

How

  1. Get your Korean drivers license
  2. Get your passport, money and photo
    • You can get your picture taken at the office for 8-10,000
  3. Go to the office nearest to you
  4. Ask/find the proper form for the international drivers permit
    • They all look the same – look at the filled examples for confirmation
  5. Fill out the form following the example provided
  6. Grab a ticket number to the window(s) dealing with the international drivers permit
  7. Wait for the number to be rang up
  8. Go to the window and hand over your
    • Application
    • Passport
    • License
    • Photo
    • Application fee
  9. You’ll be told to sit and wait
  10. Within 10 minutes you should receive your international drivers permit
    • *Note* You should always carry your Korean license along with the international permit as some places require it as such
    • Also be aware of the expiration date as it only lasts a year long

Unbelievably fast, simple and cheap ain’t it?!?!

Renewing after ARC expires

Perhaps you’re like me and still only have your Korean license and want to get an international drivers permit after having left Korea – this is what you need to know.

It is possible to get an international drivers permit even after your ARC has expired and when you’ve already left Korea!

My second time filing for the permit I wasn’t required to do anything outside what I did the first time around. However the 3rd time I couldn’t just follow those steps and be done with it – I had to first file and change my license to reflect my non-residency or non-ARC status (they change the ARC number on your license).

Just explain the situation to them, they’ll give you the form to fill out. I would say you could fill out the same application form as the international drivers permit, but I could be wrong – they all really do look the same… You’ll then go to the window and go through that process before continuing on to file for the international permit. They do charge an application/processing fee of around 8-10,000 won too. BTW I was instructed to use the address and phone number of the hostel/guesthouse I was staying at so take their card or use the info you prepared for the arrival card upon landing at the airport.

Good luck!

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