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  • Relax, take a drive through the streets of Seoul.

    One of the benefits of living in Korea (as opposed to other countries in the region) is the ability to drive. While for many expats the freedom to drive a vehicle is a fact of life at home, in many Asian nations, local regulations and road conditions are very restrictive, making it very difficult for foreigners to get behind the wheel. For those expats lucky enough to be based in Seoul, it’s all open roads. Of course, you still need to be licensed – nobody wants unlicensed maniacs tearing around central Seoul. Fortunately, if you already have a valid driving license from a recognised country (see table below), then your strategy should be simple – you’ll need to register and exchange your existing licence for a Korean one. Note that you don’t have to do this at all if you’re only here short-term, but if that’s the case, then you’ll at least need an international driver’s license as well as one from your own country. If you’re not merely passing through and plan to be here for a while, you do need a Korean licence. To exchange your home license for a Korean one, drop in to the local Driver License Office Agency with the following on your person: If your license is from somewhere other than home, or if your passport and license are from different countries, you will also need to provide a letter stating that you lived in the country that issued your passport for more than 90 days. You’ll also need to undergo a check-up at a designated clinic, which will cost 5,000 won. In some cases, you may need to sit a short written test (in English) – to find out if this is going to be necessary, call (02) 2075 4127 and ask for the driver license issuing desk.

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