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To drive a car in Korea, one needs a driver's license or an international driver's license from their own country but if you are a long-term resident, you can obtain a Korean driver's license - this can be done in one of the two ways described below.

International Driver's License: Short-term visitors can use an International Driver’s License which is as valid as a Korean driver’s license during the term of its validity. One must also carry a regular driver's license while using an international driver's license in Korea. However, if you are a long-term resident, you must obtain a Korean driver's license.

Korean Driver's license: Long-term residents can either exchange their driver's license for a Korean one or apply for a local license. If you are given a Korean license by the Korean Driver's License Authority (DLA), your home country license will be held by the DLA and will be returned to you before you depart Korea, on vacation or permanently.

Testing procedures for a driver's license

  • Complete traffic safety education - Traffic safety education takes place in the traffic safety education center at driver’s license test site or at the training institutions.
  • Complete physical examination and written test are available in three languages like English, Chinese and Vietnamese.
  • Required items when taking the written test: Application form (with three photos), a marker for computer paper and an ID card
  • Necessary Documents required after passing the written test are  the application form, Resident form or any other documents proving your Identity. 
  • After passing the test on the driving course, a learner's permit is issued to  complete 10 hours of road training.


The road test is then complete.