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Do I need a Korean driver's license by law?

 
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jonhan



Joined: 28 Feb 2011

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:56 am    Post subject: Do I need a Korean driver's license by law? Reply with quote

I am trying to get a clear answer about this and it is not easy!

I believe the international driver's permit is valid for one year without any question......but then it gets complicated. I am being told that if I am a long term resident I should (never MUST so far) get a Korean license.

I argued with the driver's office that as Korea never permits us to stay longer than a year at a time (we have to ask permission to extend), that should mean we do not need the Korean license by law as technically no-one is a long term resident.

Even the driving license lady had no answer to that.

I just want to know which law (if any) says we must exchange our licenses for if I do not have to, I won't. (I have been here 3 years now)

My main fear is if I do have an accident, my insurers will try to invalidate the insurance as I have the International license.

Anyone know?
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are RESIDENT (have an ARC) then you need to get a Korean license.
It is not that difficult to do.

IF you are non-resident (do not have and are not required to get an ARC) then you can use your IDP for your stay(s) even if your stay is longer than 90 days (Canadians as an example get a 6-month tourist stamp and do not need to get an ARC during their stay and can use their IDP for the duration).

.
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jonhan



Joined: 28 Feb 2011

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks TTompatz - I think I will go ahead and exchange my license, although I will get a friend to phone my insurance company also as when all is said and done, they are the only ones to worry about here.

You are right in that exchanging is not so difficult, but now you need a letter from your embassy (more expense) and for me a day off work to get it done.

But yes, it certainly will cover all bases getting it done.
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonhan wrote:
Thanks TTompatz - I think I will go ahead and exchange my license, although I will get a friend to phone my insurance company also as when all is said and done, they are the only ones to worry about here.


If you were to be involved in an accident, one that the police had to respond to, and you do not have the proper license, you'd have a lot more to worry about than your insurance company.
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jonhan



Joined: 28 Feb 2011

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CentralCali wrote:
jonhan wrote:
Thanks TTompatz - I think I will go ahead and exchange my license, although I will get a friend to phone my insurance company also as when all is said and done, they are the only ones to worry about here.


If you were to be involved in an accident, one that the police had to respond to, and you do not have the proper license, you'd have a lot more to worry about than your insurance company.



I agree but a police officer told me the IDP was fine......then a bureaucrat said it wasn't.......when I ask for a Korean law link, nobody has one.

Will exchange asap and let people know here the costs Smile
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sammykorea



Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttompatz wrote:
If you are RESIDENT (have an ARC) then you need to get a Korean license.
.

In the law it just says foreigners. No residents or non-residents are mentioned.
Here is the law.
http://www.facebook.com/carinsuranceinkorea/posts/534677399898193
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Translated excerpts (incomplete) from the various "Acts" posted on Facebook by an insurance salesman focused on selling plans to foreigners are not the law nor are they going to be recognized as an authority in a competent (having jurisdiction) court of law.

You can take your chances or you can do it the right way
(but we all know foreigners under 30 don't need to follow the laws... the laws are merely a suggested set of guidelines for them to follow.)

.
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sammykorea



Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, i think it is the same content with the following.
http://oneclick.law.go.kr/CSM/OvCnpRetrieveP.laf?csmSeq=504&ccfNo=1&cciNo=4&cnpClsNo=1
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