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Why carry an IDP while driving in South Korea?

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 – it is understandable to most of the local officials and authorities of the countries you visit.

It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. South Korea highly recommends an International Driving Permit.

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How to get your IDP

We’ve streamlined the application process down by creating a platform that guides you so you know exactly what you’ll need to successfully complete your application

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1. Apply Online

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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.

Driving Directions:

  • If heading from Incheon, hit the Gyeongbu Express road.
  • Turn right to Jeonggak-ro. Upon arriving, make another right at Central Library Jct. to Gajwa IC, Dongnam Station.
  • For about 1 kilometer, turn right at Juwon Jct. to Ganseok Jct.
  • Stay on the left when traversing the underpass at Ganseok Underground Roadway towards Seoul, Incheon Transportation Corporation, Senior Culture Hall.
  • Enter the expressway on the right side upon reaching Songnae IC to Pangyo, Ilsan.
  • Move to the right side at Songnae IC to Ilsan Jungdong. When arriving in Seoun JC to Gyeongjjin Exp, Seoul, Incheon, keep straight.
  • At Seoun JC to Seoul, Bucheon and Sinwol IC to Seobu Arterial Rd. Yeouido, keep on the left side.
  • Proceed to the overpass at Seonyugogachado to Yanghwa Bridge, National Assembly Building, Yeongdeungpo Police Station.
  • Enter the city expressway on the right at Yanghwadaegyo Bridge Northward to Seongsan Bridge, Mapo Bridge.
  • Exit at the Mapodaegyo Bridge to Gongdeok Jct.
  • Make a left turn to Seosomun-ro.
  • Right turn at Jungnimdong Jct. to Seodaemun Station, Seoul Station.
  • After passing the underpass at Namsan 1 Ho Tunnel, make a left at Sopa-ro.

Before starting your rental car reservation, confirm first if you will need an International Driving Permit for South Korea. Find out the requirements that you must possess upon applying for an International Driving Permit for your trip. Getting one will assure your protection and legality of tourist driving in the country.

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.

If you're planning to head to this prestigious site by car, you need to have an International Driving Permit meant for South Korea. Ways on how to possess one are simple. Visit the International Drivers Association's site and fill out the application form with your details and upload the required documents. Within a day or even 2 hours, you will get your International Driving Permit ready. Note that you shouldn't post or share to the public the unique code found on your International Driving Permit.

Driving Directions:

  • From the Incheon area, head at a 2 o’clock direction in a roundabout going to Culture & Arts Center.
  • Make a left turn at City Hall Entrance Jct. Heading to Namdonggu Office, Namdong, IC.
  • Right turn at Gil Medical Center Jct. to Namdong IC.
  • In 1.8 kilometers, move on the right lane of the overpass heading to Incheon International Airport, Namdong IC.
  • Enter the expressway at Namdong IC heading to Seoul, Anyang, Ansan.
  • Pass through the toll gate in S.Incheon TG.
  • Keep on the right side when approaching Iljik to Mokpo, Seongsan Bridge.
  • Turn to the left at Iljik IC to Seongsan Bridge.
  • Exit at the expressway on the right area of Soha JC to Suseo.
  • Enter the toll gates at Geumcheon and Seonam.
  • Make use of the left side heading to Suseo IC.
  • Pass through the underpass at Irwon Underground Roadway to Garak Market, Suseo IC.
  • Stay on the left to traverse the underpass at Garak Market Entrance towards Gildong Jct. Bangi Station.
  • Turn left at Garak Market Jct. To Seokchon Station.
  • Another left turn when arriving at Seok Chon Honsu to Seoul Play Plaza.

To be an eligible foreign driver, you need first to ensure that you hold a valid driver’s card from your home state. The next thing is, learn how to get an International Driver’s License or International Driving Permit in South Korea. Tourists don't need to undergo a driving test to avail of driving permits. You simply have to fill out the application form for an International Driving Permit and submit the required documents, such as a passport size photo of yours.

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.

Driving Directions:

  • Begin your drive by heading on the left side at Sowol-ro.
  • Pass through at Namsan Tour Overpass.
  • Stay on the left while going to the overpass at Hannam Jct. to Gyeongbu Express Hannam Bridge.
  • Use the right lane when passing Hannam IC going to Busan, Apgujeong Station.
  • Enter the expressway heading to Busan, Daejeon, Yangjae IC.
  • Shift to the right side when reaching the Singal JC to Wonju, Incheon.
  • Enter the junction at Hobeop JC.
  • Keep on the right side at Yeoju IC heading to Chungju, Yangpyeong.
  • Turn right when accessing the Nakdong JC to Yeongdeok.
  • Keep on the right while passing Nakdong JC towards Yeongdeok, Young Stream.
  • Shift to the left at Nakdong JC to Yeongdeok Yeongcheon, Sangju JC.
  • Follow the Yeongcheon Junction TG.
  • Exit the expressway by traveling on the right of Gyeongju IC to Gyeongju National Park.
  • Make sure to pass the Gyeongju TG.
  • Reaching the Baeban Jct, turn right, heading to Ulsan, Bulguksa.

As a foreign driver, you should look forward to encountering toll gates when heading to this highway. Prepare exact fees or conveniently pay through a Hi-Pass card. If you're wondering, "do I need an International Driver’s License in South Korea" or "how to get an IDL for South Korea?," consult the International Drivers Association for assistance. When filling out your application form, your zip code and updated address must be included so there wouldn't be any problems when shipping your International Driving Permit.

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.

Driving Directions:

  • Hit the road by turning left on Sowol-ro.
  • Arriving at Noksapyeong-daero, make a right turn.
  • Around 950 meters, make a left turn at Jaejeong Gwallidan to Noksapyeong-daero.
  • Enter the underpass at Itaewon Underground Roadway heading to Seoul Arts Center, Yongsan-gu Office.
  • In 1.3 kilometers, turn right at Han River Middle School towards Dongjak Bridge, National Museum of Korea.

When you get full detailed information about your frequently asked question, which are "do I need an International Driving License in South Korea" and "do you need an International Driving Permit for South Korea?" Plus, the "what are the requirements to get an International Driving Permit exclusive for South Korea?" you are now ready to bid goodbye from the hustle and bustle of public transport.

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.

Driving Directions:

  • Start by taking a left in Sowol-ro from Yongsan-gu.
  • Enter the overpass at Namsan Tour Overpass.
  • Make a u-turn at Hannam Bridge, Sungnyemun.
  • Keep left to the overpass at Hannam Jct. to Gyeongbu Express, Hannam Bridge.
  • Use the right lane side at Hannam IC to Busan, Apgujeong Station.
  • Traverse the expressway to Busan, Daejeon, Yangjae IC.
  • After the Seoul Toll Gate, stay on the right at Cheonan JC to Gwangju, Jeonju, Sejong.
  • Follow the Pungseha TG and S. Nonsan TG.
  • Head straight using the right lane at Nonsan JC to Gwangju. Iksan.
  • In Iksan JC, go to the right, heading to Jangsu, Wanju. Suncheon.
  • Turn left at Suncheon JC to Jinju.
  • Exit at the right on Hadong IC to Hadong, South Sea.
  • Pass the Hadong TG. Turn left at Gyecheon Jct. To Sangju, South Sea.
  • Straight ahead at the roundabout at Domagyocharo to Mijo, South Sea.
  • Enter the overpass at Murim Jct. to Mijo, Sangju.

Since you are now informed about the need to have an International Driver’s License in South Korea, updating your information, zip code, passport size photo, and application requirements is another step. Be sure to get in online via the International Drivers Association. It is more comfortable and convenient to own an International Driving Permit.

Most Important Driving Rules

Cruising the elegant cities and enchanting towns of South Korea is impeccable when you choose to drive a car as a foreign driver. Of course, there are legal practices to follow, especially on the road. Being a competent driver is essential whenever you hit the highways. Learning the valuable reminders is the first step. A Korean translation of an International Driver’s License in South Korea is required. A foreign driver’s license alone is not accepted in the country. Though you don't need to go through a tedious application process and driving test, acquiring an International Driving Permit is a must in the country.

Acquiring an International Driving Permit (IDP) is one of the essential items that a foreign driver should have. An International Driving Permit officially translates your local driver's license in a foreign nation. South Korean government enforces strict monitoring of the road law. Compliance is not only a requirement but an obligation, especially when you're a foreign driver. Worry not; the application process for an International Driving Permit has been made convenient for a foreign driver like you by the International Drivers Association.

Store your domestic driver’s license and International Driving Permit in a safe place

A legal holder of a driver’s license is usually the qualified ones to drive a four-wheel vehicle. When planning to experience driving in a foreign territory, getting an International Driving Permit is necessary. In South Korea, hitting the highways without a valid license is a severe offense. High charges and extreme penalties await the violators.

Non-Korean citizens are required to apply for an International Driving Permit as a foreign driver’s license is not enough. Properly keeping it is a must. Never misplace these two essential documents. You will be in big trouble if you lose it. To know how to secure one legally, check the official website of the International Drivers Association. See the accurate details for applying for an International Driving Permit.

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.

Adhere to the 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.

Before you get inside the vehicle, see your body bag first if you already possess your International Driving License in South Korea, your real driver’s license, and passport.

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.

Now, if you are curious whether you need an International Driving Permit in Korea, check the advisories on the International Drivers Association page.

Holding your 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.

While looking for a car, list the specific offices and companies that will require an International Driving Permit in South Korea. Sending an email to the official International Drivers Association's website will guarantee a legit response.

Be vigilant of the 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.

Your International Driver’s Permit in South Korea will have a high chance of getting revoked. Korean authorities have the right to invalidate your license if they find you neglecting the road rule.

Adopt the right side of driving regulation

Like American and some European states, South Korea uses the right portion 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.

As you start your application for an International Driving Permit in South Korea, you should verify if the website is legit. To make sure of legitimacy, simply go to the International Drivers Association page. You will find an appropriate website link address for getting an International Driving Permit in South Korea.

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. Also, driving with an International Driving Permit is required.

When searching online, remember to list down the rental car agencies and their website that offer an English GPS device and oblige clients to present an International Driving Permit for South Korea.

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.

If you get involved in road rage, it is vital not to panic. Check your essential documents, including your International Driving Permit for South Korea, local driver’s license, and passport. Validate as well if a unique code is on your International Driving Permit. With this, it is clear enough that you do need an International Driving Permit when driving on South Korean roads.

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