Legal Documents

Converting Driver’s License in Korea

Seoul, South Korea —

Whilst scrolling through my drafts, I found this post which was languishing there for over a year since I got my license last December 2015. My oh my, how time flies! I guess I have so many things to write about but, so little time. haha. Anyway, driving in Korea is probably the most convenient way to travel to another county or city. But, if you opt to drive around Seoul only, I highly suggest you take the public transportation to avoid hassle and expensive parking fees. The public transportation is efficient and affordable, too. Plus, Seoulite drivers are unreasonably aggressive. 

This post is mainly about converting your driver’s license, particularly the Philippines’, to Korean driver’s license in detail.

phil embassy certkorean drivers license

Step by Step Process:

1. Include in your Philippine itinerary trip a visit to Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

2. Secure your license certificate from the LTO. This can be process within the day. Fee: Php110
The license certificate indicates the following information:
• kind (prof or non-prof) and license number
• D.I.R. number
• date issued
• amount paid
• agency
• expiry date
• driving restrictions
• restriction codes
• date of birth
• holder of license since

3. Once secured, proceed to the Department of Foreign Affairs to get it red-ribboned or authenticated. If you are not from Manila, an accredited agency (i.e: DHL) will have to send it to DFA Manila. So, you should wait for at least 15 to 30 working days and expect a much higher amount to pay.

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4. Bring all the original documents and authentication back to Korea with you.

5. Go to the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, with you, the complete requirements.

6. Upon arrival, go to the second floor, secure a priority number, wait for your number to be called at counter 2.

7. The officer-in-charge will then give you an application form after checking the requirements thoroughly. He MAY ask for some additional documents.

8. Fill up the form and give it back to the officer-in-charge.

9. Pay ₩33,550 at the cashier and give the receipt to the officer-in-charge as well.

10. The officer will give you a claim stub, if you decide to pick it up. But, you may also opt to have it delivered to your home. Minimum waiting period for the certificate is 2 working days.

11. Once you have the document, go to the nearest driver’s license office.

12. Since the Philippines is included in one of the acknowledged countries (link here: http://dl.koroad.or.kr/license/en/sub/popInterLicArea.jsp), an aptitude test is unnecessary.

13. Proceed to the international driver’s license counter, get a priority number and wait for your number to be called.

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14. Submit the requirements and 1pc photo. The officer-on-duty will then give you forms to fill up.

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15. After filling up, proceed to the physical exam room. Pay ₩5,000 for the medical test.

16. Go back to the international driver’s license counter with the filled-up form and pay ₩7,500 for the Korean driver’s license.

17. Wait for at least 40 minutes for your Korean driver’s license.

18. The driver’s license office will hold your country license until you leave Korea. Just bring your confirmed plane ticket upon claiming. Else, they’ll dispose it if you won’t claim it within 3 years.

19. Done! You may now drive around the country provided that you follow ALL the road rules and regulations.

20. Validity of Korean driver’s license is 10 years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • My driver’s license is about to expire this month. Should I renew it?

Answer: No. As long as it has not passed the expiration date, it is still considered valid.

  • What’s the Certificate of Entry and Exit about?

Answer: It reflects your entry and exit dates to and from Korea.

  • Where can I get the Certificate of Entry and Exit?

Answer: You may get it at any local immigration or district offices for ₩2,000 in 5 minutes.

  • How much does everything (documents and processing) cost?

Answer:

LTO certificate — ₱110
Authentication (Red Ribbon) — ₱200
Certificate from the Philippine embassy — ₩33,550
Certificate of Entry & Exit — ₩2,000
Medical Examination – ₩5,000
Korean driver’s license ID card — ₩7,500

  • When is the best time to go to the Philippine embassy in Seoul?

Answer: Sundays 9:00-16:00, Mondays to Thursdays 9:00-15:00

For more information, please visit http://koroad.or.kr

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