not that i really want to drive in seoul, where traffic rules are as bendy as the route to get to your destination, but i am now licensed to drive. the driver’s license agency has made it pretty painless for foreigners to drive in korea. since there are few foreigners willing to take the risk of driving when public transportation is so effective, i had virtually no wait once i arrived at their offices.


fill out a form, hand them your valid U.S. driver license, foreign resident I.D., U.S. passport, and 3 small mugshots. they look things over, scribble things and send you to get a physical examination and pay fees (11,000W = $12). everything except for your original license is returned, this will be held hostage, only to be released when you return with an overseas airline ticket. drunk drivers are the reason your original license is held ~ seems gyopos would get one license revoked (Korean/U.S.) and then drive using a second (Korean/U.S.) and maybe even a third (international – no longer honored).

the physical examination has three parts: (1) eyesight – cover one eye and say what they point at; (2) physical – do a deep knee bend on command; (3) color – describe what is on the colored page. it was fun!


note to expats: carry one (driver license) and store the other (foreign resident I.D.) safely.

cut and paste the link below to get to DLA website: