South Korea Vehicle Registration Process, Documents & Procedures
Import taxes for vehicles brought into South Korea range from around 20% up to 35%, with most cars from the U.S. falling into the 27% to 35% range. Some larger vehicles are not eligible to be imported into South Korea; for example those that weigh over 3.5 tons or those that carry 10 or more passengers.
Vehicle Registration Documents
Just like shipping a car to South Korea, getting it registered involves a process and submitting the appropriate documents. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Proof of ownership
- Vehicle registration application
- Vehicle import certificate
- Vehicle safety inspection certificate
- Proof of registration payment
- Driving permit
If you’d like to know more about how to ship a car or other vehicle to South Korea, visit our international shipping page! Important information is covered there, such as expected shipping costs, necessary paperwork, and popular shipping destinations.
Applying For A Driver’s License & Driving In South Korea
You will need to get a local license in order to operate a vehicle in South Korea, though it is easier if you’re coming from certain U.S. states (see link below). Driving in South Korea can take some getting used to so we also share some of the key points you’ll need to know.
Getting A South Korea Driver’s License
You are not allowed to drive in South Korea with a foreign license, though you can “exchange” your license for a local one through a simple procedure. There is a written test and health exam for those applying for a license from another country, though a handful of U.S. states are exempt from this.
Driving In South Korea
There are some key differences that may take some getting used to when initially driving in South Korea. Though it’s certainly not true of all drivers in the country, the general flow and predictability of traffic can be more erratic than you’re used to, especially is you’re accustomed to driving in the U.S. It does some getting used to and, by the same token, you should also be very cautious as a pedestrian.
You may notice that the police in South Korea have their lights on when they’re on duty, not just when pulling someone over. This can be a little unnerving for American drivers the first few times, but you’ll get used to it. Just like in the U.S., South Korean police do target speeding drivers in certain areas and they also have regular DUI checkpoints.
For more information about driving in the country, see the Driving Tips section under resources heading below.
South Korea Vehicle Registration & Driving Resources
Vehicle Inspection Information - A resource from e the Korea Transportation Safety Authority that details the different types of vehicle inspections and what’s involved in each. Very helpful information to know beforehand to make sure you have all your bases covered.
South Korea Driving Tips - Some good information about what you’ll need to know when driving in South Korea, including tips about local law enforcement, driving habits of locals, and what to be careful of as a pedestrian. Definitely a recommended read.
If you’re shipping a vehicle to South Korea, or even just considering it, call or email us today to find out how we can help! Our staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we’re happy to provide answers to your questions and offer FREE cost estimates for any type of vehicle being shipped to South Korea! Call today to learn more!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.