SAYUL KC Sinchon Team Neoul Monthly Q&A - Driver’s License in Korea
1. Introduction of driver's license academies in the Seoul metropolitan area
There are many car license specialized academies in the Seoul metropolitan area. Tuition fees are all different, but to get a car license at an ordinary driving academy, it takes 3 hours for basic education, 4 hours for functional education, and 6 hours for driving education. There are a lot of academies that do not include application fees, license issuance costs, insurance premiums, and tuition fees so you should carefully read the regulations carefully.
You can either choose to take driver's license test at the official testing site or at the driving academy following your own convenience.
2. Driver's license test phase
In order to take a driver's license test, you need an application form along with an ID card (alien registration card). The test consists of three categories: academic test, function test, and driving test. You must complete all procedures and pass all tests to obtain a driver's license. The specific process of obtaining a driver's license is as follows.:
1) Traffic Safety Education: Traffic safety education must be booked online or applied for on-site application 20 minutes before training. You can request English translated visual materials while applying at on-site. The training lasts for an hour, and you can choose the time you want depending on your schedule.
2) Filling out application and physical examination (aptitude test):
After completing traffic safety education, application form must be completed following the instructions and physical examination must be done afterwards.Physical examinations are conducted in the physical examination room and participants’ vision, color identification, hearing, and physical impairments are carefully examined. To fill out the application form, you need an ID card (foreign registration card) and an identification photo taken within 6 months. The physical examination fee is 7,000 won for 1/large/special type licenses and 6,000 won for normal/other licenses.
3) Academic test: The contents of the test are knowledge of road traffic (95%), management methods of cars& inspection guidelines for safe driving (5%). Scoring 70 points out of 100 for type 1 and scoring 60 points for type to 2 is required to pass the exam. To take the academic exam, you need an application form, an ID card (foreign registration card), an identification photo, and 10,000 won for application fee. Examination registration is done on-site. The test time is from 9 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. on weekdays, and the Saturday special test time is from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The test will be done via PC. English, Chinese, and Vietnamese are provided, so you can choose the language you want and take the test in that language. The Road Traffic Authority's Safe Driving Integrated Complaints Site (safedriving.or.kr) is available for downloading instructions and sample questions for tests.
4) Functional test: Functional test is an actual practice to drive by testing one’sability to operate a driving device, comply with traffic laws, and make proper judgements while driving. The criteria for passing the exam are 80 points fortype 1, and 90 points or more for type 2. Applications, identification cards, andon-site reservations & applications are required to take exam. The functional test must be passed within a year from the date of passing the academicexam. Otherwise, you will have to scrap the existing application form and apply again from the beginning. When you take a functional test, navigation provides English instructions. The application fee is 20,000 won for large/special types / 22,000 won for 1 and 2 types / 10,000 won for small 2 type and 8,000 won for motor.
5) Issuance of a practice driver's license: A practice license is issued temporarily so that a person who has passed the functional test can practice driving on the road. It has effect for one year from the acquisition date. You can get it by visiting the nearest driver's license test site.
6) Driving test: Driving test examines the ability to operate driving devices and comply with traffic regulations on the road. The acceptance criteria is 70 out of 100. Application form, ID card, on-site reservations & applications are required. The application fee is 25,000 won.
7) License issuance: After you pass all the tests, you will receive a pass message. After receiving the message, you can receive the license at the nearest driver's license test site.
3. Place to apply for an international driver's license
You need an international driver's license if you are about to travel abroad.This is a certificate that allows you to drive a car for a short period of time while staying abroad and manipulate it without having to acquire it separately in each country. If you get an international driver's license, you can use it in 96 countries that sign up for the Geneva Convention.
You can get it right away at a nearby test site or a police station, and request an international driver's license when you apply for a passport. License test sites and police stations across the country, Incheon, Gimhae, and Jejuairports, and 220 local governments that agree with the Road Traffic Authority can be requested for international driver's licenses. In addition, in online you can access the 'Safe Driving Integrated Complaints' site, get certification, click the 'International Driver's License' tab to accept the terms and conditions, select the destination and date of receipt, and register your contact number and photo. After paying it is done and you can receive your license at the selected date and place.
4. International Driver's License Preparations
-If you apply, you need your passport (copyable), driver's license, and one passport photo taken within 6 months (3.5*4.5cm, only passport photoallowed).
- If an agent applies, needs his/her ID card (original), one passport photo taken within 6 months (3.5*4.5cm, only passport photo allowed), an agent ID card (original), and a power of attorney. An additional certificate must be submitted when the agent stays abroad, and if the agent is Korean with a Korean passport, a passport (copy) can be omitted after agreeing to use the administrative information.
Korea is a Geneva Convention country, so in principle, you can drive in Korea for one year from the date of entry with a valid international license issued by the Geneva Convention Bureau.
-You can download the delegation letter from the Safety Driving Integrated Petition website.
5. International Driver's License Issuing Country
-As Korea is a Geneva Convention country, a valid international license issued by 98 countries can be used for one year from the date of entry. However, since January 1, 2002, a valid international license issued by the Vienna Convention Bureau is also allowed when driving in Korea and is equally valid for one year from the date of entry. The first table below shows the status of the Geneva Convention Bureau, and the second table shows the status of the Vienna Convention Bureau. The red mark are the countries that are both themember of the Geneva Convention and the Vienna Convention.
Vietnam is a member of the Geneva Convention, but Korea's international driver's license is currently not available. In addition, China is not part of the Geneva or Vienna Convention countries, but the effect of international license holders issued in Hong Kong and Macau is recognized as the same as before, so it can be used in Korea. Please refer to it!