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  • Bunk
  • Adventurer

    • 25

    • May 29, 2011, 10:24:37 pm
    • Seoul, South Korea
Transferring ownership of a motorcycle - how to?
« on: May 25, 2012, 02:11:38 am »
Hi guys.

I'm purchasing a used 125cc motorcycle from a fellow foreign teacher here in Korea.
He has all of the papers for it, so it is legal. It's not a scooter. It is a motorcycle with
manual transmission.

The teacher is going to sell it to me, then leave Korea soon after. He is
trustworthy, etc.

I have my Korean driver's license already and I hope to get the motorcycle
insured, registered, plated, etc.

I have not bought a used vehicle here before, nor have I done the above mentioned things
in Korea up to this point, so my question is this:

How do I go about making sure that this transaction of ours is legally
watertight and recognized by the Korean authorities so I can be certain
I will have no problems getting the cycle registered and plated, insured, etc.?

I have heard various and conflicting stories from other foreign
workers on this same process. Some make it sound very easy, as if all you had
to do was hand over the papers and no involvement from the previous owner
of the motor bike was necessary.

In contrast, I've also heard other stories about Korean authorities asking for proof of the purchase,
even the actual presence of the previous owner in the office to do the transfer, etc.

As you can see, I don't really know what to expect.

So, please, if anyone has actual recent experience with this very process in Korea, can you reply
and let me know what you did and if the previous owner had to do anything special
to ensure that you got the bike handed over to you legally and subsequently got
it all legally registered, plated, etc.?

If you have done the same thing with a car purchase, I'd like to hear about it too.

And please, only people who have bought their vehicle from an individual owner,
not a dealership or shop. The dealerships are easier to buy from, I know.

Additionally, I realize in the old days before they became more adamant about having
everything registered, insured, etc.,  it was a much simpler process. But now it is
more complicated, so it would be good to hear from someone who has gone through
the actual transfer and registering, etc.

Thanks for any help.




« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 02:14:41 am by Bunk »


  • dansk
  • Veteran

    • 163

    • March 13, 2012, 12:26:55 pm
    • Inje-gun, Gangwon-do
Re: Transferring ownership of a motorcycle - how to?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2012, 06:34:10 am »
You'll need four things to get plates for your bike:

- The motorcycle's registration paper with its serial number, model name, etc. etc.
- A transfer of ownership paper with the previous owner's signature/stamp on it.  It doesn't actually have to be filled out until you get to the office, as long as it's been made official by the previous owner's signature.
- A photocopy of the previous owner's driver's license (or ARC card if he doesn't have a license).
- Proof of purchase of an insurance policy.  Should cost you about 250,000/year for a 125cc bike.  You pay up front for the entire year, but in my experience Korean insurance companies are quite happy to refund any unused portion of the year if you should sell the bike before it's up.

To get insurance, all you need to bring to the office is the registration paper and your driver's license.  (As for finding a good insurance company in your area, ask a Korean friend.  I can't help you with that.)

There will also be a tax assessment based on the purchase value of the bike and the size of the engine.  With my first bike, I had to pay the tax on the spot before I was allowed to get plates.  The second time around, they mailed me a bill.  You don't need any proof of purchase for the tax assessment.  Both times I registered a motorcycle here they took my word about the purchase price of the bike at face value.  (The first bike was 700,000/125cc - tax was 14,000 - and the second was 2.8 million/400cc - tax was 140,000.  It goes up exponentially with the size of the bike.)

Unless you speak Korean at a fairly high level, I strongly recommend bringing a local friend with you when you go to register it.  The process is pretty straightforward, but wading through bureaucracy is difficult in ANY language, let alone a foreign one.

Happy riding!
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 06:47:05 am by dansk »


  • dansk
  • Veteran

    • 163

    • March 13, 2012, 12:26:55 pm
    • Inje-gun, Gangwon-do
Re: Transferring ownership of a motorcycle - how to?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2012, 06:39:43 am »
One more thing I should mention: when you want to sell the bike, you have to complete the process in reverse.  Bring your license plate in to the office and hand it to the registration guy, grab a transfer of ownership sheet while you're there and sign it, then go to the insurance company and ask to cancel your policy.

Easy as pie when you know what you're doing, but it's hard to get clear answers about this stuff online.  I had to wade through the same pile of conflicting information the first time around.


  • Bunk
  • Adventurer

    • 25

    • May 29, 2011, 10:24:37 pm
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Transferring ownership of a motorcycle - how to?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2012, 09:21:52 am »
Can't thank you enough, Dansk. That was very clear.

I appreciate it.

I hope Waygook makes this info a sticky, if it isn't already somewhere.


  • dansk
  • Veteran

    • 163

    • March 13, 2012, 12:26:55 pm
    • Inje-gun, Gangwon-do
Re: Transferring ownership of a motorcycle - how to?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2012, 09:52:18 am »
Glad to help!

If there's one thing that I really, truly love about this country, it's the utterly phenomenal roads for riding.  Hardly a straight line anywhere, just curve after curve.  As far as I'm concerned, a free motorcycle should be issued to every Korean on their 18th birthday.  (And one for each English teacher, too.)


  • Bunk
  • Adventurer

    • 25

    • May 29, 2011, 10:24:37 pm
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Transferring ownership of a motorcycle - how to?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2012, 10:00:47 am »
Yes. And the hills will teach you how to use those gears. They don't forgive a misstep, I've learned.

Coming from a very flat place originally, I had to get used to that.

Thanks again for the info.