Read 490 times

Exchanging driverís license (date of issuance)
« on: May 06, 2021, 10:40:23 am »
Hi everyone!

Iím planing to get my US DL exchanged for a Korean one this weekend, and while I was reading up on the different threads, I saw that the original license had to have been issued before coming to Korea.

I have never left Korea since coming here but my DL expired two years after coming. I renewed it online last year and got it mailed to me.

Would this be an issue since the new DL has an issued date thatís after the date I came to Korea?

Sorry if this was asked before and thank you in advance!


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 3152

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Exchanging driverís license (date of issuance)
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2021, 02:54:56 pm »
Hi everyone!

Iím planing to get my US DL exchanged for a Korean one this weekend, and while I was reading up on the different threads, I saw that the original license had to have been issued before coming to Korea.

I have never left Korea since coming here but my DL expired two years after coming. I renewed it online last year and got it mailed to me.

Would this be an issue since the new DL has an issued date thatís after the date I came to Korea?

Sorry if this was asked before and thank you in advance!

Not sure on that.  I renewed my Canadian one in 2009 and finally switched it to Korean in 2010.  I was in Korea for 3 and a half years before I got my Korean license.  It had original licensed date as before I came to Korea.  Does your license have the original licensed date on it?  I am surprised you can renew online though.  My province would not allow that.  I have to take a pic every 4 years.  I can renew for up to 2 years after expiration with no penalty.  I still maintain my Cdn one even though I am prob not suppose to at the same time

I do hear now you have to include the driver's extract or driving record from home and then go to your embassy here and get them to say it's real or looks real and then the local Korean DMV will give you a license.  Not sure if some folks have a written test or not or other things to do with it now.  I didn't have to do all this crap.  Just an eye test maybe I had. 


  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 746

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Exchanging driverís license (date of issuance)
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2021, 04:14:16 pm »
Hi everyone!

Iím planing to get my US DL exchanged for a Korean one this weekend, and while I was reading up on the different threads, I saw that the original license had to have been issued before coming to Korea.

I have never left Korea since coming here but my DL expired two years after coming. I renewed it online last year and got it mailed to me.

Would this be an issue since the new DL has an issued date thatís after the date I came to Korea?

Sorry if this was asked before and thank you in advance!

This happened to me.  I renewed it online and picked it up while I was in Hawaii visiting my family.  Got back to Korea and when I tried to exchange it they said the issue date of my license was while I was in Korea and they could not exchange it.  I was pissed and actually slammed the door on my way out since there were other hoops I had to jump through only to be told no.  I had to wait until I visited America again and physically went to the DMV to get my license, and only then was I allowed to exchange it.

TL;DR:  What you read is correct and they won't let you exchange it.


Re: Exchanging driverís license (date of issuance)
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2021, 11:56:08 am »
This happened to me.  I renewed it online and picked it up while I was in Hawaii visiting my family.  Got back to Korea and when I tried to exchange it they said the issue date of my license was while I was in Korea and they could not exchange it.  I was pissed and actually slammed the door on my way out since there were other hoops I had to jump through only to be told no.  I had to wait until I visited America again and physically went to the DMV to get my license, and only then was I allowed to exchange it.

TL;DR:  What you read is correct and they won't let you exchange it.

I was afraid this was the case. I guess I'll have to get my license again when I get back. I had to get it renewed online though cuz I wouldn't be able to drive immediately when I come back to the states (can't wait neither cuz no one in the house would have the time to drive me anywhere), ㅠㅠ
Thank you so much!


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 2185

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Exchanging driverís license (date of issuance)
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 12:59:51 pm »
You could also just bite the bullet and go through the process of getting your Korean Driver's license.
I did it a month or two ago. It's not as easy as it was a few years ago, but still very possible.

This has the added advantage of not having to turn in your home countries' card, which makes driving during vacations back home a lot simpler.


  • AvecPommesFrites
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1050

    • September 04, 2017, 02:19:33 pm
    • Incheon International Airport Immigration Office Detention Facility
Re: Exchanging driverís license (date of issuance)
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2021, 01:52:46 pm »
I did the same as Leaponover and had no problems. Worth a shot if you have all the stuff ready.

Soggy undergarments


  • Nokcha
  • Super Waygook

    • 359

    • August 22, 2012, 02:37:27 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Exchanging driverís license (date of issuance)
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2021, 10:44:44 am »
Um, kind of a little twist, but when I was planning on visiting the US and needed my US license, I went to exchange it, and they just gave it to me without taking my Korean license. Now, I have both and no hassle about exchanging.


  • Lazio
  • Expert Waygook

    • 536

    • January 27, 2018, 03:56:10 pm
    • Gyeongi-do
Re: Exchanging driverís license (date of issuance)
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2021, 10:55:07 am »
Um, kind of a little twist, but when I was planning on visiting the US and needed my US license, I went to exchange it, and they just gave it to me without taking my Korean license. Now, I have both and no hassle about exchanging.

I never even gave them my license from back home. Had an old e-ticket in my mailbox which was in Word.doc format so I could just edit it. Changed the departure/arrival cities and the dates and printed it. Showed it to the officer and told them that I'll visit my home country soon and I'll need my license there.
So I got to keep both.


Re: Exchanging driverís license (date of issuance)
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2021, 12:28:34 pm »
You could also just bite the bullet and go through the process of getting your Korean Driver's license.
I did it a month or two ago. It's not as easy as it was a few years ago, but still very possible.

This has the added advantage of not having to turn in your home countries' card, which makes driving during vacations back home a lot simpler.

This is honestly the plan when summer vacation hit. I don't think it's a bite the bullet thing though? I just think it's more time consuming but yeah, it's a safe bet option.