British Driving License to Korean Driving License Guide

As the title suggests this post details the process of how to “Exchange a British Driving License for a Korean License”. For many people being able to drive is a necessity for many reasons and although the public transport system in Korea is very good and reliable it doesn’t always match up with everybody’s day to day lives.

Firstly the process is not easy and/or simple, although it’s possible to do it in a day you would need the whole day. However it does mean that you won’t have to take any driving tests and seeing as in the UK the road system is different and most people drive manual cars not automatics it’s maybe a less stressful way forward.

Guide to Exchanging a British License for a Korean License


Here is the 5 step process:

1 – Make sure that you have both your photo driving license and paper counterpart, without both it may not be possible to complete the process. You also require to have an ARC or Alien Registration Card.

2 – You need to visit the British Embassy in Seoul and get a letter confirming that your license is real. This letter will cost you ₩81,000 or £45 (price may change). At the same time you’ll need to complete a Drivers License Certificate Form.
*tip* Book an appointment before visiting and remember you can only go between 9am and 1pm weekdays (no weekends or holidays)

3 – The next step is to visit your local DLA, this can be a difficult step as the language barrier may become an issue at times. Also most of the forms are partly in Korean so if possible take a Korean speaking friend with you. You need to produce your British Licenses, Letter form the Embassy, application forms, Passport Sized Photos (at least 3) and fee around ₩4,000.

4 – You are then required to take a standard eye test. Cost around ₩3,000.

5 – If everything checks out you’ll have a Korean License in hand 5 minutes later.
*Note* You are exchanging your British license and if you want it back you’ll have to give back your Korean license. Then go though the whole process again if you wish to exchange for a second time.

The total cost is around ₩90,000 not including transport costs and time.

When you go to the DLA you need to visit this desk:

Foreign License Desk at Korean DLA

The Korean Driving License

Here is the finished Korea license which I received on the day.

Korean Driving License for Expat

We obviously blanked out a lot of the information for privacy and data protection reasons. To example the blanked out spaces we have color coded them:

Blue Frame = Key Numbers and Codes
Red Frame = Name
Yellow Frame = Address
Orange Frame = Dates
Black Frame = Photo


When going though this process I found these links very helpful:

* British Embassy Seoul Link

* Korea4expats Link


If you have any questions please feel free to let us know and we’ll try our best to answer. Please note however that me don’t know if the process is the same for other European nations but we do know that other nations such as the USA have a different system.
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Thank you and have a nice day.

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