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International Driver's Permit with a Korean License?

 
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absane



Joined: 24 May 2011

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:07 am    Post subject: International Driver's Permit with a Korean License? Reply with quote

Can I rent a car in the US with a Korean driver's license? Can I obtain an International Driver's Permit in Seoul with a Korean license? The answer to the the first question is "yes, as long as there is English on it" according to a lady that works at Enterprise Rent-a-car...

I don't have a Korean license yet but I am going to need one for my trip back home in the US in February. My home state recently changed some laws regarding license renewals in that I will have to go to the DMV instead of doing it online or by mail like I have been able to do in the past. However once I apply for a renewal, it will take 14 days just to process my application. In other words, I won't have my US driver's license until I come back to South Korea.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Re: International Driver's Permit with a Korean License? Reply with quote

absane wrote:
Can I rent a car in the US with a Korean driver's license? Can I obtain an International Driver's Permit in Seoul with a Korean license? The answer to the the first question is "yes, as long as there is English on it" according to a lady that works at Enterprise Rent-a-car...

I don't have a Korean license yet but I am going to need one for my trip back home in the US in February. My home state recently changed some laws regarding license renewals in that I will have to go to the DMV instead of doing it online or by mail like I have been able to do in the past. However once I apply for a renewal, it will take 14 days just to process my application. In other words, I won't have my US driver's license until I come back to South Korea.


Yes, you can get a Korean license and yes, you can get an IDP to go with it.

There are some hoops to jump through before they hand it to you and one of them is a trip to YOUR embassy to authenticate your US license.
You also need a quick medical, written and eye test.

.
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absane



Joined: 24 May 2011

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Re: International Driver's Permit with a Korean License? Reply with quote

ttompatz wrote:


Yes, you can get a Korean license and yes, you can get an IDP to go with it.

There are some hoops to jump through before they hand it to you and one of them is a trip to YOUR embassy to authenticate your US license.
You also need a quick medical, written and eye test.

.


Thank you for the reply.

But you said I need to go to my embassy (the US Embassy) to authenticate my US license. Again, I don't have a US license because my state changed the laws on license renewal which prevents me to obtaining one while I am in S.K.. Can't I just get an IDP with a Korean license and then be able to drive in the US?

Maybe you are referring to the process of trading in a US license for a Korean license?
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Ruthdes



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So if you don't have a current US licence, you'll need to get a Korean licence from scratch (do the driving test, etc). There have been some other threads on this in the past about how to do this. There's a Google page for searching Dave's that's useful, maybe someone still has a link for it? If you PM Crikey Korea he may be nice enough to give you some tips too.

Once you've done that you can get your IDP, which should allow you to rent a car in the States. It's very easy to get once you have your Korean licence - you just go to the Road Traffic Authority with a passport photo (or maybe 2, I can't remember) and I think it cost 8,000 won and took about 15 minutes. The hardest bit is that they don't speak much English.
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruthdes wrote:
So if you don't have a current US licence, you'll need to get a Korean licence from scratch (do the driving test, etc). There have been some other threads on this in the past about how to do this. There's a Google page for searching Dave's that's useful, maybe someone still has a link for it? If you PM Crikey Korea he may be nice enough to give you some tips too.

Once you've done that you can get your IDP, which should allow you to rent a car in the States. It's very easy to get once you have your Korean licence - you just go to the Road Traffic Authority with a passport photo (or maybe 2, I can't remember) and I think it cost 8,000 won and took about 15 minutes. The hardest bit is that they don't speak much English.


And that's not even a big problem. They process so many of these for foreigners of every possible level of competence in Korean, it's still a quick and easy process. Heck, lady at that office I go to has been working there for years and so she always recognizes me whenever I return to apply for an international driver's permit.
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giraffe



Joined: 07 Apr 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you dont have a valid US license from your own country then You'll have to get a korean driver license from scratch and then apply for a IDL.

The whole process is QUICK It takes 1-2 days minimum to do. I did mine last month and spread it across the month of november because my time was limited but in the end it only took 3 half days to finish everything ( day and half total time) and 45 k won total. I dont have an IDL but you apparently just have go to the licensing place and pay 7k won or something like that. I passed everything on the first try so its really easy.

As for the license process from Scratch. THe process is a bit different starting this month! THe final driving Test is actually graded by computer and you have to follow a GPS voice instead of instructors directions.

1. go to the the nearest DLA office , fill out some forms, make sure you have a bunch of passport sized pictures, Decide if you want to drive automatic or manual car ( this will determine what kind of car you do your test in) watch a 1 hour safety video in korean with english subtitles. The subtitles are pretty good. ( make sure to check what time they play this because they only play it at certain times).

2. Take a quick medical /eye test

3. Take the 40 question computer test. Theres a 50 minute time limit. You can do this in korean or english. The english on the test is actually OK. it's pretty clear but sometimes the english is very Konglish so youmight have to guess. THe questions are common sense. There might be a few weird questions you probalby wont know. You can study if you want but you dont really have to. The safety vid will have alot test answers so listen to the safety vid well. You need 60 or 65 points out of 100 to pass

1,2 and 3 took me about 4 hours to do with all the waiting time and what not. + add travel time and it ended up taking me half a day.

4. Apply for the function/closed course test. If you have time you can do this the same day you did the computer test. If not, go to front office at the DLA and book a time/day to do this test. This one is easy if you know how to drive. This test takes about 10 minutes to do But theres alot of waiting around for your turn. Before you do the test they show a video to everyone. THe video has english subtitles and basically tells you how to pass the test. Essentially when its you're turn. You get in the car , fix your mirrors, tie your seat belt. Theres a GPS screen there and it will give you intructions ( in english). Just read the screen and follow the instructions. It will test you on the car funtions. You need to do what it tells you AFTER the timer starts ticking. You have 10 seconds for each thing. Basically it will ask you to start the car, turn on the high/low beams, use the flashers , wipers and if you can put the car in Drive. After that it tells you to drive the car 50 meters straight no faster than 20km/hour. Out of no where there will be an emergency alarm. You have to immediately stop the car ( break only no need to turn off car or put arm break or anything) and turn on the emergency 4 way lights within 3 seconds. Then you wait until it tells you to keep moving forward to the finish line. IF you pass they give you a pass stamp. If you fail anything major they kick you out of the car even before you finish the test and you have to wait 3 days before trying again. You need 80% to pass

5. Book your final road test. You can do this all in the same day if the times match up. However chances are youll have to come back an other day to do this... Driving test is easy. Show up at the time you booked. Go inside a classeroom and watch a video in korea ( english subtitles) about the driving test. Once video is done listen to korean ajossi give some tips ( korean only). Then they sort you into cars. I only did the automatic license Most people tend to do the manual license test. We were 3 people in the car. First you go do the parallel parking test. If you're second/third person to go you might have to ride in the back of the car as an observer. WHen its your turn you do the parallel parking. You have 3 minutes to park the 4 wheels between the white lines. ONce everyone parks they drive you to the start of the road test. Again if you're second in line they make you sit in the back of the car to observer the first students drivers test. This is great because we all do the same course and you can see where they did mistakes. The only down side to this is that if the student really doesnt know how to drive you might get KILLED! I was scared for my life because the driver before me was really really inexperienced and we almost had 3 accidents. Oddly enough I think he passed his test anyways....

As i mentioned earlier, The driving test is now graded by a Galaxy tab that the instructor hooks up in the car. The galaxy tab gives out commands and you have to follow them. ITs actually pretty awesome because you can do the test in english and the english is extremely clear. Tells you which lane to be in and gives you 3 warnings before doing something .. for example Turn left in 300 meters , turn left in 150 meters , Turn left coming up... My Test was an easy 5.5 km course. Drive Straight, U turn, Turn right 4 times , drive on a big road , uturn and then drive to the finish. road test takes 15 minutes.

only tip i would say is that YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO PUT THE CAR IN NEUTRAL AT EVERY SINGLE RED LIGHT/ LONG STOPS ( WAITING TO DO UTURN and what not ) YES EVEN IN AN AUTOMATIC CAR!!!! If you dont do this you will lose 3 points per times you didnt do this. I knew about doing this in a manual car but this is NOT somethign they teach you to do in automatic cars in Canada. So basically i lost 20 points just because of this. I "failed" the test however the ajumma bumped up my score to a passing grade because she knew we dont do this in canada and thats pretty much the only thing i screwed up with... You will absolutely fail the test if you dont shift to neutral in an automatic car during the test. Drive however you want outside the test but on test day make sure you keep shifting. If you dont pass the test because of this I sure hope you have an intructor that's in a good mood to pass you anyways =). dont ask me why you need to do this. They teach this in Driving hagwons in Korea now and i think the gov thinks that it saves gas and its "greener". Either way just do it on test day wether or not its good/ helps with gas consumption. its part of the test so just do it. I learned the hard way because no one told me and i didnt go to a korean driving hagwon. you need 70 points and above to pass. they aren't really strict during the test but they will take out points if you do anything wrong. ( in my case i lost 20 points for not shifting to neutral at red lights in my automatic car and then i like 12 other points on a few other little stupid mistakes. If i knew about the neutral thing I would have passed the test with an 88%)

ONE MORE THING. DO NO CHECK YOUR BLIND SPOT OVER THE SHOULDER EVER DURING LANE CHANGING! THEY WILL FAIL YOU. THIS IS A BIG NONONONO in korea during the test. check your blindspots on your own time but not during the test. They expect you to only use your mirrors.

once you pass the test you bring your paperwork to the front DLA desk with a passport picture. You pay the money for the license and 10 minutes later they have a printed license for you. If you want to apply for a IDL you can do it someone int eh same building. You just need to fill out the forms.

Good luck...
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jvalmer



Joined: 06 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

giraffe wrote:
ONE MORE THING. DO NO CHECK YOUR BLIND SPOT OVER THE SHOULDER EVER DURING LANE CHANGING! THEY WILL FAIL YOU. THIS IS A BIG NONONONO in korea during the test. check your blindspots on your own time but not during the test. They expect you to only use your mirrors.

I found this weird when I heard this, so I started to investigate. Supposedly it's a growing trend to use your mirrors because it's believed you should keep your eyes looking in the forward direction. I question this logic, but it's part of the 'new wave' of driving. Kind of like hands at 10-and-2 vs 9-and-3.
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"only tip i would say is that YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO PUT THE CAR IN NEUTRAL AT EVERY SINGLE RED LIGHT/ LONG STOPS ( WAITING TO DO UTURN and what not ) YES EVEN IN AN AUTOMATIC CAR!!!! If you dont do this you will lose 3 points per times you didnt do this. I knew about doing this in a manual car but this is NOT somethign they teach you to do in automatic cars in Canada."

Actually, that's not quite true. You'll have to do it if you learn to drive any wheeled vehicle in the Canadian Forces. It has something to do with preventing your vehicle from lunging into an intersection if you're rear-ended. Don't put the handbrake on and then forget to anticipate the green light like so many people do here. Annoying as heck for those behind you.
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giraffe



Joined: 07 Apr 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12ax7 wrote:
"only tip i would say is that YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO PUT THE CAR IN NEUTRAL AT EVERY SINGLE RED LIGHT/ LONG STOPS ( WAITING TO DO UTURN and what not ) YES EVEN IN AN AUTOMATIC CAR!!!! If you dont do this you will lose 3 points per times you didnt do this. I knew about doing this in a manual car but this is NOT somethign they teach you to do in automatic cars in Canada."

Actually, that's not quite true. You'll have to do it if you learn to drive any wheeled vehicle in the Canadian Forces. It has something to do with preventing your vehicle from lunging into an intersection if you're rear-ended. Don't put the handbrake on and then forget to anticipate the green light like so many people do here. Annoying as heck for those behind you.


Not sure which part of my quote you're referring to not be "quite true". If you're talking about switching an AUTOMATIC car to neutral... No they dont teach this to the general population in canada ( which is what i was refering to)... And my dad was in the army for 30 years... he does not do it and I've never seen him do it in an automatic car ever. ONly when driving standard.... I actually asked him about it recently and he's never heard of having to do it in an automatic car.... Anyways the reason they teach it here in korea has nothing to do with preventing the vehicle from lunging... In korea they think its "green" to do so.. They have this whole "eco driving" agenda now. They think it saves gas....
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giraffe



Joined: 07 Apr 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://sdwebs.blog.me/30138855920

heres a blog post on some "eco driving" tips..

if you scroll down.. its written in korean " if you stop for more than 5 seconds change drive to neutral"

theres probably some information here somewhere althought i havent checked...

http://www.ecodrive.co.kr/index.php

again, nothing to do with lunging ( at least here in korea... )
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

giraffe wrote:
12ax7 wrote:
"only tip i would say is that YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO PUT THE CAR IN NEUTRAL AT EVERY SINGLE RED LIGHT/ LONG STOPS ( WAITING TO DO UTURN and what not ) YES EVEN IN AN AUTOMATIC CAR!!!! If you dont do this you will lose 3 points per times you didnt do this. I knew about doing this in a manual car but this is NOT somethign they teach you to do in automatic cars in Canada."

Actually, that's not quite true. You'll have to do it if you learn to drive any wheeled vehicle in the Canadian Forces. It has something to do with preventing your vehicle from lunging into an intersection if you're rear-ended. Don't put the handbrake on and then forget to anticipate the green light like so many people do here. Annoying as heck for those behind you.


Not sure which part of my quote you're referring to not be "quite true". If you're talking about switching an AUTOMATIC car to neutral... No they dont teach this to the general population in canada ( which is what i was refering to)... And my dad was in the army for 30 years... he does not do it and I've never seen him do it in an automatic car ever. ONly when driving standard.... I actually asked him about it recently and he's never heard of having to do it in an automatic car.... Anyways the reason they teach it here in korea has nothing to do with preventing the vehicle from lunging... In korea they think its "green" to do so.. They have this whole "eco driving" agenda now. They think it saves gas....


It isn't quite true, you admit it yourself. They do teach people to put it in neutral in Canada. Did your father have his 404s? On which vehicles. I drove nearly every wheel-based vehicle they had when I was in, anything from the dinky Iltis to the HLVW. I was taught to put it in neutral at the stop light. We did it with the "panel vans", too.

It might save gas, but it they really were concerned about saving gas, they'd put sensors on lights. It's ridiculous that they make people waste 5 minutes at stop lights in the middle of nowhere for a pedestrian to cross the road or a car to make a left turn when you're the only one on the road.
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

giraffe wrote:
http://sdwebs.blog.me/30138855920

heres a blog post on some "eco driving" tips..

if you scroll down.. its written in korean " if you stop for more than 5 seconds change drive to neutral"

theres probably some information here somewhere althought i havent checked...

http://www.ecodrive.co.kr/index.php

again, nothing to do with lunging ( at least here in korea... )


Saving gas or not, it doesn't change the fact that it's safer if your car is in neutral. We were also taught not to wrap our thumbs around the steering wheel because you can get them broken if you're in an accident and the steering wheel suddenly spins out of your control (I know someone who it has happened to). Rest your thumbs on the outside of the steering wheel, instead. Takes a little while to get accustomed to it.
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giraffe



Joined: 07 Apr 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dude, dont hold me against it. I'm just passing along the info to others who want to take the driver license here in korea. REgardless of you learning/ thinking its safer to go to neutral.... in korea it ONLY has to do with this "eco driving" agenda. Nothing to do with safety. We live in korea so logic doesnt exactly count...

either way, I'm not here to debate with you but I can play your game too.. If shifting to neutral is really safer you would think someone would have made it mandatory in every country and they would have somekind of automatic neutral gear shift in cars everytime you stop at a red light =p. because you know.. its "safer" =). Its actually illegal to shift to neutral in many states and I'm pretty sure most canadian driving instructors would fail your ass if you ever pulled that during a test...
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

giraffe wrote:
dude, dont hold me against it. I'm just passing along the info to others who want to take the driver license here in korea. REgardless of you learning/ thinking its safer to go to neutral.... in korea it ONLY has to do with this "eco driving" agenda. Nothing to do with safety. We live in korea so logic doesnt exactly count...

either way, I'm not here to debate with you but I can play your game too.. If shifting to neutral is really safer you would think someone would have made it mandatory in every country and they would have somekind of automatic neutral gear shift in cars everytime you stop at a red light =p. because you know.. its "safer" =). Its actually illegal to shift to neutral in many states and I'm pretty sure most canadian driving instructors would fail your ass if you ever pulled that during a test...


Not disagreeing with you, but you're missing my original point, which is that it's not always the case that shifting in neutral isn't taught in Canada. That's all.
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Ruthdes



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The not checking your blind spot thing is pretty funny. I was driving with my Korean friend a few weeks ago and he asked me why I was doing head checks before I changed lanes. I told him that it was because of my blind spot and that was how I'd been taught. His opinion was that it was less safe to not be looking forward. I do have those magnifying mirrors on my side mirrors, but personally I hate using those.

Not doing a head check is weird to me. It hadn't occurred to me that you'd be penalised for doing it here. For the record, I'm from Australia, and I've never heard about having to put the car in neutral at the lights, whether it's a manual or an auto.
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