Over 130,000 English driver’s li­censes is­sued

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Bahk Eun-ji [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

Over 130,000 peo­ple have re­ceived new driver’s li­censes with their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion writ­ten in English on the back in just a month since the ser­vice was launched, the road traf­fic au­thor­ity said Fri­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the Korea Road Traf­fic Au­thor­ity (KoRoad), 136,755 English-lan­guage li­censes were is­sued be­tween Sept. 16 and Oct. 14, ac­count­ing for 41 per­cent of all li­censes is­sued. Dur­ing the pe­riod, 196,755 Korean-lan­guage only li­censes were is­sued.

Not only peo­ple who re­newed or newly ob­tained their li­cense but those whose Korean-lan­guage li­cense had not ex­pired changed to the new ones, KoRoad said.

The new li­cense car­ries the driver’s name, ad­dress and gen­der printed in Korean on the front and in English on the back. As a sub­sti­tute for an in­ter­na­tional driver’s li­cense, it can be used in 35 coun­tries in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, Sin­ga­pore and Canada. Types of ve­hi­cles that can be op­er­ated by the li­cense holder are also dis­played.

Be­fore the new ser­vice, Kore­ans who wanted to drive abroad had to get an in­ter­na­tional driv­ing per­mit from li­cense test sites, po­lice sta­tions or the is­su­ing cen­ter at In­cheon In­ter­na­tional Air­port. The in­ter­na­tional li­cense is valid for a year and costs 8,500 won ($7.20).

In 67 coun­tries, Kore­ans were not al­lowed to drive with­out the in­ter­na­tional li­cense when they only pos­sessed the Korean lan­guage one. They had to get a no­ta­rized trans­la­tion of the li­cense at the Korean Em­bassy in the coun­try they were traveling in.

The English-lan­guage driver’s li­cense is is­sued at 27 test sites na­tion­wide and po­lice sta­tions, and can also be ap­plied for at the KoRoad of­fi­cial web­site.

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