Life in Korea – International Driving Permit

Posted on August, 12, 2015

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If you are a foreigner intending to drive in Korea with your International Driving Permit, below are a few things to keep in mind.


Even though there is time remaining on the International Driving Permit validity period, depending on changes in the Agreement between countries, the issued International Driving Permit may or may not be valid.  Validity could be terminated without notice.

Countries which are members of the Vienna Agreement

  You can drive for 1 year from the latest entry date to Korea within the expiry date of you international driving permit.

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Countries which are members of the Geneva Agreement

 You can drive for 1 year from the latest entry date to Korea within the expiry date of your international driving permit.

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Requirement while driving:

Even though you have an International Driving Permit, you must carry original Driver’s License and passport with yourself when you drive overseas.

If you drive without your Original Driver’s License and only have your International Driving Permit, then depending on the case, you might be viewed as driving without a license and be prosecuted accordingly.


Countries which are non-members Of Geneva or Vienna Agreement

International Driving Permit can be used in Korea only if issued by member countries of Geneva Agreement or Vienna Agreement.

As China is not a member of the Geneva or the Vienna Convention, International Driving Permit from China cannot be used in South Korea. But as followed by Chinese policy of one country two systems, the International Driving Permit issued by Hong Kong, returned from UK to China (on 1997. 7. 1.), can be used in South Korea same as before.


If you a citizen of any of the member countries of the Vienna or Geneva Convention, you must have a valid  "International Driving Permit“ to be able to drive in South Korea

An "International Driving License" cannot be used to drive in South Korea.

For more information, kindly visit at


Korean Driving Lisence

If you have a valid ‘International Driving Permit’ and you choose to convert it to a Korean Driving license, COENS can help. To know more, please email


The information provided in this article is valid at the time of publishing the article. The validity may change with time. Readers must confirm the information from official sources.