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"International Driver's License In South Korea: Rent A Car and Drive Safely "

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IDP is essential when driving abroad

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International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.

documents needed for international driving permit

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world.

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How do I get an International Driving Permit in Korea?

For those living in the US who want to drive in Korea, they need to apply for an International Driving Permit. This is a certificate issued by the Korean government.

If you are interested in getting the International Driving Permit, here is a step-by-step guide on how to obtain one.

1) Get your Korean driver's license

2) Apply for an International Driving Permit

3) Go to the foreigners office and get your International Driving Permit

4) Take it with you when you travel.

But you also have an easier option if you're still in a foreign country like the U.S., for example, you only need to fulfill the following steps:

  1. Fill out the form that is shown once you click "Start My Application."
  2. Choose the type of license you'll need by indicating which motor vehicle you are driving in the country.
  3. Scan and attach a copy of your valid driver's license.
  4. Attach a copy of your passport size photo.
  5. Pay the fee.

Does South Korea accept International Driving Permit?

Yes, the country accepts an International Driving Permit (IDP) if this accompanies your valid domestic driver's license. This document is not a standalone and will be considered illegal in South Korea if you don't have your foreign driver's license with you.

You can drive in the country, whether you're in big cities like Busan, Incheon, Seoul, etc. However, if you're working in this country, you may need to take both a written test and driving test at the Ministry of Transportation. After that will be another practical road test. You need to pass all of these so you can go through an eye exam and pay the required fees before getting your official license.

What is the cost of an International Driving Permit?

It is required to get an International Driving Permit from your country of origin before traveling to this beautiful country. But to get one, you will need to pay the fees before you can pick it up from your home address or post office (in case you're a bit doubtful on giving away your address)

Top Destinations in South Korea

Sitting on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula is the great nation of South Korea. It has become a trendy destination for its remarkable history, fascinating culture, and unique lifestyle that continue to draw attention. Doing an imaginative and innovative way of exploration on this site, obtaining an International Driver’s License for South Korea is necessary. Notable landmarks, mind-blowing views, and unbelievable gems will welcome travelers upon arrival in this gorgeous country.

In writing your plan for your upcoming trip to this nation, consider getting an International Driving Permit (IDP) in South Korea. Know first the requirements needed for the application. To get credible information, add a new tab on your phone and go to the International Drivers Association online site. It’s more convenient and easy to navigate. It will also directly answer your query about the need for an International Driving Permit for South Korea.

Seoul Tower

The well-known Metropolitan city of South Korea is Seoul. Every traveler that steps foot in the mainland town never forgets to visit Seoul Tower. It is an epic observation site that sits at the peak of the mountain. To reach the top, you need to hop in a cable car from Myeongdong, where the tower’s base area is resting. There are also hiking trails to venture into that are only a few minutes away from the city.

After a rewarding tour at the peak, leave some time to wanderlust in Namsan Park. Stroll around the admiring environment of the country. A great time to check out the Seoul Tower is during weekdays. Weekends usually surge with large crowds. The ideal season to go here is autumn or spring. It is perfect when the climate is just average.

Namsan Hanok Village

Once you have a relaxing and soothing excursion at the tower, sneak inside the Namsan Hanok Village. It has an intriguing collection of iconic villages and fascinating medieval Korean streets. Travelers can have an idea of what a hanok or a traditional Korean house looks like in person.

Lotte World

A magical wonderland to visit with the whole family, Lotte World is a fancy play place where everyone can freely indulge in endless treats. Situated in the southern portion of Seoul, this fairy haven also highlights a hotel, movie houses, a folk museum presenting impressive traditional shows, and recreational activities.

Both toddlers and adults can spoil themselves with heartfelt joy by hopping over the thrilling rides. They can also buy gorgeous and cute souvenirs around the shopping boutiques. There are also workshops and exciting performances to catch. Weekdays are the most recommended time of the visit to avoid the surge of crowds. Spring and Fall season is also the best period to go. Admission rates may vary at the time of entrance.


Extend the fantastic journey at another heavenly theme park, which is the Everland. It is widely known as South Korea’s version of Disneyland. It’s only less than an hour away from the city. A large scale of attractions and religious experiences are waiting for travelers in this paradise.

Bulguksa Temple

For explorers who are fond of a consecrated excursion, visiting the Bulguksa Temple is a must. It is highly renowned as one of South Korea’s significant Buddhist temples. Its fascinating history and scenery make it receive recognition from the government. Highlights of this site are the seven of the nation’s precious gems, pagodas, and Buddha figures.

Going to this site is the best when you arrive from April to October. It is the best period to avoid big crowds. Be an early bird on this site. Make it a point that you reach the place around 7 AM. You may also want to try the Seokgurum Grotto by taking a trail connecting to it.

Mount Toham

Mount Toham is known as the ancient capital city of South Korea. It is where the temple peacefully sits. The legendary past story of this site makes it called the “museum without walls’.

History enthusiasts will be the most visitors to this place.

National Museum of Korea

The National Museum of Korea is quite known to be the largest in the country. It is kind of similar to the Met located in New York. A day tour is not enough to fully explore the epic beauty of the site. Three days of exploration in this place can give tourists the chance to witness the extensive display of art, history, and archeology.

Exhibits are impressive. Most of the artifacts inside the museum have been preserving for millions of years. From the Stone Age era to modern generations, visitors can observe Korean artists’ artwork’s evolution. When visiting the National Museum of Korea, try to head on Tuesdays to Sundays. The site is closed on Mondays and special holidays.

Hallyeo Maritime National Park

Hallyeo Maritime National Park is a glorious sanctuary featuring its captivating coastline. There are also trail ways for hiking adventures. Stellar cliff and ocean views will welcome travelers along the way. Another divine highlight is the Hallyeosudo Viewing Ropeway. It is a cable car that has the only dual-cable automatic circulating gondola system in South Korea. Hopping inside can bring its passengers for about 2.4 km. It generally takes 9 minutes to reach the peak.

The main view that will sweep its visitors is the Japanese Island of Daemado. Choosing Hallyeo Maritime National Park as the next destination for a road trip journey is excellent to come from July to mid-August. The warm climate is the perfect weather to soak in pristine beaches around.

Most Important Driving Rules

Being a good driver is crucial when you take to the roads. The first thing to do is to remember the important guidelines, such as the South Korea driving rules. Also, if you're in South Korea, you'll need a Korean translation of your International Driver’s License.

Do not dare to drive under the influence of alcohol

South Korea regularly monitors the motorists traversing the major highways. The nation is firmly against tolerating the drivers who are intoxicated. In 2018, the lawmakers revised the regulations under DUI law. Due to the rapid rise of car crashes from the previous years, the usual 0.05% BAC limit, in the newly revised law, the updated alcohol level limit is now 0.02%.

Once a foreign driver is drunk driving, the patrol enforcer will require the driver to take a BAC level test. Refusing from the trial will be highly subject to questioning in prison. Authorities will most likely request the foreign driver to present their International Driving License in South Korea, local driver’s card, and passport.

Speed limit

The purpose of establishing speed limit signages on the road is to ensure that the traffic will not jam. Acting under the rule is required. For city roads, maintaining a 60 kph to 80 kph should be observed. In expressways, it may go from 100 kph to 120 kph only. As for the open roads, 80 kph is the limit.

Fastening of seat belt applies to all passengers

As a foreign driver, you should know that there is no exemption in wearing a seatbelt. All passengers are requested to have their seatbelts secured around them. It is a safety measure on the road in case of a road traffic emergency. Scaling down the possible casualties and injuries is essential.

Regardless of foreign nationality, owning an International Driving Permit in South Korea is vital. There is an official online website exclusive for getting an International Driving Permit for non-Korean residents of the South Korean nation. The International Drivers Association ensures fast and easy approval processes for foreign drivers who wish to secure an International Driving Permit.

Install a child seat or booster seat for kids under six years old

Children under six years of age must be comfortably seated on a car seat o booster seat. Whether you're a Korean driver or a foreign driver, non-compliance to the law will be subject to punishment. Thinking of neglecting the law, you must cross it out right away.

Using phone while driving is prohibited

Permanently fixate your concentration on the road while driving. Diverting it to any unnecessary things will only lead to road accidents. Control yourself from fiddling on your device. If you urgently need to catch up on a call, a hand-free system is allowed. Be sure to ask your rental car agency to give you a vehicle with that feature.

CCTVs and speed cameras

Detecting road traffic violators is made easier in South Korea. By installing CCTVs and speed cameras on all highways, expressways, and city roads, authorities find it convenient to monitor the situation entirely. You will instantly get a notification from your rental car company then it will immediately charge on your credit card once you disobey the rules.

Adopt the right side of driving regulation

Like American and some European states, South Korea uses the right side of the road as the proper driving side. Other nationals might be confused about this law as they typically used the left side. Try to practice driving on the right. It will help you gain another skill to drive. Plus, you find it hard to adjust when planning to go to other countries.

Learn how to navigate through a Korean GPS

Since only a few locals can communicate in English, a little adjustment for explorers is required. The typical navigation applications online do not work in South Korea. The country has an exclusive system intended to read the routes on their highways. The Korean GPS is a developed program for directing pathways in South Korea. You may ask for an English language GPS device.

Switch the hazard lights on to signal a warning

Most of the Korean citizens express a unique signal to call out a warning for other drivers. When you see them turning on their hazard lights, it means they are facing troubles on the road. Do not get confused on why they often hit the break so hard. It only means an urgent halt.

Ready to check if an IDP is accepted in your destination?

Use the form and find out in seconds whether you need an international permit. Documents vary, based on the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic.

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