Obtaining and Using an International Driver’s License in Korea

Category : Surviving in Korea
Nov 28, 2014

Using an International Driver’s License in Korea

An international driver’s license is a short-term, temporary option for driving in Korea. Before you leave your home country, apply for one of these licenses. You’ll need to check with your home country’s licensing authority for information on the application procedure.


International licenses are accepted in countries who signed the Geneva Agreement or the Vienna Agreement (see below), which Korea did. This license is ideal if you are traveling within Korean and will be renting a car or taking motorbikes now and again. You can also use this license if you are traveling to any of the Geneva or Vienna agreement countries.


à Note: Although most international licenses have a validity period of one year and can be renewed, it is recommended that you apply for a Korean license if you plan to live in Korea, be a regular driver and own a vehicle. Please see the article Applying for a Korean Driver’s License if you need information on getting a Korean license rather than just using an international license.


Obtaining an International Driver’s License for Travel outside of Korea

This option is for people who live in Korea and already have a Korean license, but who want to use a vehicle while in traveling in a foreign country. You will need an international driver’s license. Keep in mind that although you do need an international license to drive while abroad, they are not always accepted. You must apply in person at the Korean Driver’s License Authority (DLA) near your house (see list below).


Don’t forget to bring:

  • Your passport
  • Your Korean Driver’s License
  • Your Alien Registration Card (ARC)
  • 1 color passport photo (3cm x4cm)
  • 7,000KRW


à Remember!

  1. An international driver’s license is valid for one year.
  2. Some countries, resorts/hotels and rental car services will not accept an international license.
  3. It must be used in conjunction with your home license. Don’t forget to carry both your home license and your passport as well with you at all times when you are driving abroad!
  4. You cannot use your international license if you are Korean or your home country license is suspended, invalid or expired.


à Note: You can get someone to get you an international license as long as they have Power of Attorney to sign on your behalf. They also need all the documents listed above.


If you are a citizen from one of the following countries, you can use your international license to drive in Korea or any of the other countries listed below: 


Geneva Agreement Members

Vienna Agreement Members



Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand

Kazakhstan, Mongol, Pakistan, Philippines, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

The Americas


Argentina, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad Tobago, USA, Venezuela

Bahamas, Brazil, Cuba, Guyana, Peru, Uruguay



Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cypress, Czech Rep., Denmark, England, France, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Luxemburg, Monaco, Monte Negro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Rumania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Vatican City

Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Rep. Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Moldova, Monaco, Monte Negro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Rumania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Yugoslavia

Middle East and Africa


Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Central African Rep., Congo, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, UAE, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Central African Rep., Cote d’Ivoire, Dem. Rep. Congo, Iran, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Liberia, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Tunisia, UAE, Zimbabwe


Korean Driver’s License Authority (DLA) Inquires

  1. Call Center: 1577-1120
  2. For Locations across Korea: website
  3. General Information on obtaining an International Driver’s License: website
  4. DLA Homepage
Tags : Driving. International. Permit. Korea

Lindsey lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years. While there, she dabbled in different areas of work and explored the culture. She spent time teaching elementary students, business English to adults and high school students about college preparation. She also studied Korean, wrote blogs and tasted as many foods as she possibly could including fermented skate fish. Over the years, Lindsey developed a love for Korea and the culture. She is keen to share her knowledge of Korea with others and she will always consider Korea a second home.