Korea to Clamp down on Driving-License Tourism

      December 09, 2019 13:04

      Only foreign visitors staying for more than 90 days will be able to get a driving license here in the future. The new policy aims to prevent foreigners, especially Chinese, from coming here on license tourism because the test is easier than in their home country.

      The National Police Agency on Sunday said a revision of relevant laws is expected to be passed at the National Assembly.

      Korea is a popular destination among Chinese who want to get a driving license. According to the NPA, a total of 5,997 foreigners who stayed here for less than 90 days obtained a driving license from January to November this year, 90.2 percent of them Chinese.

      In China, aspiring drivers must attend 63 hours of compulsory driving lessons, but here only 13. In their own country, Chinese also have to wait 10 days if they fail their driving test before they can try again, but in Korea only three days.

      But a Korean driving license is valid in China for a year and can then easily be replaced with a local one.

      Some travel agencies are even promoting package tours for a five-day stay on Jeju Island to take intensive driving lessons and obtain a license.

      Chinese authorities complain that an increasing number of Chinese holders of Korean licenses are causing accidents there and in third countries. Since this threatens the credibility of the Korean license, the government here would rather see fewer Chinese tourists than risk the embarrassment and inconvenience for Koreans abroad.

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