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Driving in Korea

 

USFK's online driver's training and test are mandatory. This change allows sponsors to assist authorized troops and families and set them up for success before they arrive. You may not go straight to the test and skip training. You must take the training first before you will be allowed to take the test. A passing score on the test is required to receive a POV license and/or a military/GOV license.

Training and testing for the USFK Driver's License (USFK 134EK) is conducted at the Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) website. The training and testing are open to all Service Members, DoD Civilians, and their respective dependents. Personnel with a CAC should log into JKO with their CAC and register for training. Personnel without a CAC must first create a JKO account using a user id and password and then take the training and the test. Do not take the training and test using your sponsor's CAC. To receive credit for the training and the test, you must log onto JKO with your own account credentials.

The training is a pre-requisite to the test and individuals may not take the test without first completing all the training modules.

Note: Test scores are good for 60 days. Licenses will not be issued to personnel that have taken the test more than 60 days prior to applying for a license.

 

Click here to go to Training Module USFK-US002 - USFK License Training Course

 

Click here to go to Testing Module USFK-002-B - USFK License Test

 

Click here to go to Training Module USFK-US002-C - Personal Transportation Device (PTD) Training Course

Driver Licensing Procedures

 

USFK Driver Licenses are issued at the service installations in Korea. Once you have completed the driver training and pass the test on JKO, go to your installation driver licensing facility and present your DoD identification card (CAC or dependent ID) and a valid driver's license.

Please allow 48 hours following your taking of the test to allow for system processing. The test facility personnel will look up your test score online to validate that you meet licensing requirements. Following test score verification, a USFK Driver's License (USFK 134EK) will be issued. Training certificates will not be accepted as a proof of passing the online JKO training. Note: Procedures and service specific requirements may vary slightly. Check with your installation licensing office for specific details.

Driver Licensing Matrix

Requirements Valid U.S. License USFK 134EK Insurance Safety Inspection Registration License Plate Earbuds Allowed MSF Training PPE
POV
Motorcycle Helmet, Gloves, Eye Protection, Protective Clothing
Motor Scooter (<125cc) ✅* Helmet, Gloves, Eye Protection, Protective Clothing
PTD PTD or POV Helmet
Bicycle Helmet
Play Vehicle Helmet
*Proof of MSF training is required for service members operating motor scooters and motorcycles. Proof of MSF training for non-service member motorcycle operators is not required.

General Training, Testing and Licensing FAQs

My spouse (command sponsored) is from a foreign country. Is my spouse authorized a USFK 134EK Driver's License to be able to drive in Korea?

Yes, as long as their foreign driver's license is valid at the time of requesting for the USFK 134EK.

 

I'm an invited US Contractor. Am I authorized for a USFK 134EK Driver's License?

Yes, but for vehicle registration purposes only. Invited Contractors are required to maintain a valid and current International Driver's Permit or a Korean driver's license in order to conform to Korean law.

 

I wasn't able to take the course prior to transferring. How long can I legally drive in Korea?

USFK Regulation 190-1 allows you to drive the first 30 days after arrival on your state side driver's license. Beyond the first 30 days, you must have a valid International Driver's Permit, a Korean driver's license or a USFK Driver's License (USFK 134EK).

 

I plan on using a gas powered motor scooter under 125 CC's. Do I need a motorcycle endorsement and Motorcycle Safety Foundation course?

No, but you must have a valid USFK 134EK Driver's License to operate it, it must be registered and you must have insurance that is recognized in Korea. USFK does not require a motorcycle endorsement nor Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) training for motor scooters 125 CC's and below. Note: All service components currently require MSF training as part of their accident prevention program for all motor scooter and motorcycle operators regardless of engine size. Check with your driver license office or your installation safety office.

 

My name and test score is not showing up at on the testing report at the licensing center. Can I just bring my training certificate to receive my license?

No, training certificates will not be accepted as a proof of passing the online JKO training. Please allow 48 hours following your taking of the test to allow for system processing.

 

What are my requirements for receiving a military/GOV diver's license?

All personnel not in possession of a Korean national driver's license must complete the JKO hosted online U.S. Forces Korea Drive Licensing Course and pass the course exam prior to being allowed to drive in Korea. All other requirements are service specific. Please check with your service component licensing office for further guidance. 

 

I want to purchase a motorcycle but I do not have a state motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license. Can I attend an approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) training course and receive a motorcycle endorsement on my USFK Form 134EK, Motor Vehicle Operator's Permit.

Yes, you may receive a motorcycle endorsement on your USFK Form 134EK, Motor Vehicle Operator's Permit by presenting a valid MSF course completion certificate at the driver licensing centers. This endorsement is only available in Korea. Operators must ensure that they meet the requirements for operating a motorcycle in their state or in another country.

 

My home of record Driver's License is expired and I wasn't able to renew it prior to transferring. Can I still be issued a USFK 134EK Driver's License?

No, you must have a state-side driver's license that is valid when you are issued the USFK 134EK.

 

Military, DoD Civilian, Dependent License will expire prior to leaving Korea. Does that mean they will lose their driving privileges?

No, as long as your Driver's License was valid upon the date the USFK 134EK was issued, then the USFK 134EK Driver's License will remain valid in Korea for five years from the date of issue.

 

If my U.S. Driver's License has already expired, but was valid at the time of the original issue of USFK 134EK, can I go to the Licensing Facility and get an updated license if they originally issues it for less than 5 years?

Yes, the USFK 134EK has always been valid for 5 years. Some licensing offices limited the duration of the license based on DEROS or state-side license expiration. This practice was incorrect and individuals affected by this practice may have a new license issued with an expiration date of 5 years following the original issue date.

 

 

Personal Transportation Devices

 

Personal transportation devices (PTDs) are defined as those vehicles designed to transport personnel but not registered as a motor vehicle, motorcycle or motor scooter that propels the device at a maximum speed of no more than 60 KPH on level ground. For a list of examples, click here for the glossary.

Korea requires operators of PTDs to be licensed to operate a PTD on or off installation. Korean traffic laws apply to persons operating or riding PTDs while on a public roadway, bicycle lane, bicycle path, or any right-of-way under Korean or USFK jurisdiction. Operators are required to comply with every rule and regulation on the road, understand the characteristics of the PTD correctly, and ride it cautiously to ensure it is a safe means of transport. Above all, operators should be prepared to deal with the risks posed by cars and pedestrians.

 

PTD FAQs

Do I need a license for any electric or gas-powered Personal Transportation Device (PTD)?

Yes, all personnel operating a PTD on a Korean or USFK right-of-way require a PTD Operator's License or a PTD in Korea. To receive a license, personnel must take the U.S. Forces Korea Driver Licensing Course and pass the driver licensing exam. Operators must also take the USFK Personal Transportation Device (PTD) Training Course and pass the exam. Both courses are available on JKO. Note: Service component approved PTD licensing training may be substituted for the online USFK Personal Transportation Device (PTD) Training Course. Additionally, active duty service members must be counseled on safe PTD operations by their chain of command.

 

What age requires this license?

All Service Members, DoD Civilians, and/or their respective dependents must be at least 16 years of age to be licensed and to operate a PTD in Korea. 

 

Do I need a license for a skateboard, unicycle, hoverboard or other play vehicles?

No. These vehicles are considered play vehicles and are not allowed on USFK installation or host nation roadways; therefore, a license to operate these vehicles is not required. Note: Play vehicles may not exceed 20 KPH.

 

Do I need a license to operate a bicycle in a bike lane or on the roadway?

You only need a USFK license if the bicycle is motorized. You do not need a license for non-motorized bicycles.

 

I saw an electric PTD in town that goes faster than 60 KPH. What do I need to get licensed?

Electric devices as depicted in the picture to the right that exceed 60 KPH are not classified as PTDs. They are classified as motor scooters. All motor scooter licensing and registration requirements apply to these type devices (e.g. approved helmets for motorcycles, license plates and registration, MSF training, etc.). See the definition of motor scooters in the glossary below.

Image of a Modern Electric Motor Scooter capable of exceeding 60 KPH
Example of a modern electric motor scooter capable of exceeding 60 KPH

 

Can I wear earbuds or headphones while riding my PTD?

No. Wearing earbuds, headphones, earphones or other listening devices while operating a PTD is prohibited.

 

Do alcohol and driving under the influence laws apply to PTDs?

Yes, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.03% for motor vehicle and PTD operators. Operating either type of vehicle with a BAC greater than or equal to 0.03% is prohibited and strictly enforced. Be aware that passengers on PTDs where the operator exceeds the BAC limit have also been cited by Korean law enforcement officials for allowing operators to drive the vehicles while intoxicated.

 

Is it legal to operate my PTD on public sidewalks?

No. This practice is not authorized under Korean law. Although you may not see this law actively enforced, in the event that you are injured, you injure a pedestrian or cause property damage, you may be found guilty under Korean law and/or held civilly and criminally responsible.

 

Is it mandated under Korean law that I get insurance if operating a PTD either on or off installation?

​No. Not at this time, but Korea is currently looking at revising laws as they pertain to PTDs and this could change in the future.

 

I am a KATUSA. Do I need to take the USFK Personal Transportation Device (PTD) Training Course?

No, the USFK Personal Transportation Device (PTD) Training Course applies only to SOFA designated personnel. Korean national employees and KATUSAs must have a Korean driver's license or a special driver's license to operate a PTD. KATUSAs are required to complete the PTD counseling prior to being allowed to operate a PTD on installation. All personnel, regardless of the national origin, operating a PTD on a US military installation must also register their PTD in DBIDs.

 

What will happen if I cause a major accident ($10,000 in damages or death) on or off installation with my PTD?

You may be held criminally and/or civilly liable under Korean law for the accident and reparation costs. 

 

USAA and AIG are the primary auto insurance providers in Korea. Will these insurance companies insure my PTD for on or off installation use?

Probably not. Since most U.S. states and nations have not fully addressed PTDs in their traffic supervision laws, most insurance companies still have not defined PTDs as motor vehicles and do not provide operator insurance coverage. Contact your insurance provider for more information.

 

Can I go off installation with my PTD?

Yes, as long as you have a PTD Operator's License or a PTD endorsement on a USFK Motor Vehicle Operator's License and follow Korean law.

 

Can I get a license plate for my PTD without insurance?

PTDs do not require a license plate or insurance at this time. PTDs must, however, be registered in DBIDS.

 

 

Glossary

BICYCLE

[Bicycle Sample Image]
Any two or three wheel device having operative capability by human propulsion (pedals). When a bicycle is operated by a child under the age of 13, the bicycle is considered a play vehicle and may be operated on a sidewalk. Persons age 13 and older shall operate bicycles in bike lanes, on bicycle paths and on roadways when operating the bicycle on any USFK military installation. If a bicycle is motorized, it is considered a Personal Transportation Device. ​​


MOTOR SCOOTER

[Traditional Motor Scooter Sample Image] • [Electric Motor Scooter (>60KPH) Sample Image]
Any powered two or three wheeled vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider having an engine size less than or equal to 125 cubic centimeters or equivalent size electric motor and capable of exceeding speeds of 60 KPH or greater on level ground. A motor scooter must be registered with the Korean vehicle registration office and must have a Korean license plate fixed to the vehicle. A motor scooter must also be registered in DBIDS. 


Motorcycles.MOTORCYCLE

[Touring Motorcycle Sample Image] • [Sports Motorcycle Sample Image]
Any powered two or three wheeled vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider having an engine size greater than 125 cubic centimeters or equivalent size electric motor and that can exceed 60 kilometers per hour on level ground. A motorcycle is larger and heavier than a motor scooter and its engine lives in the frame. The driver’s feet sit on pegs on the outside of the motorcycle. A motorcycle must be registered with the Korean vehicle registration office and must have a Korean license plate fixed to the vehicle. A motorcycle must also be registered in DBIDS.


Personal Transportation Devices (PTD)PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION DEVICE (PTD)

Any powered two or three wheeled vehicle designed to transport personnel but not registered as a motor vehicle, motorcycle, or motor scooter that propels the device at a maximum speed of not more than 60 kilometers per hour on level ground. Personnel must be at least 16 years old to operate a PTD and a PTD must be registered in DBIDS.
These devices include: 

eScooter (known as Kickboards in Korea)

[eScooter/Kickboard Sample Image] • [eScooter/Kickboard Sample Image]
A powered device with two or three wheels, handlebars and a floorboard that can be stood upon while riding, which is solely powered by an electric motor, gas driven motor, and/or human power. 

Moped 

[Modern Electric Moped Sample Image] • [Traditional Moped with pedals Sample Image] 
A powered device with two or three wheels that has a small electric or gas driven motor having a seat or saddle and a top speed of 60 KPH (35 MPH) or less. Traditionally, a moped has pedals; however, many newer models no longer have pedals installed. 

NOTE: Some vehicles sold as PTDs may exceed speeds of 60 KPH on level ground. These vehicles are considered motor scooters and must comply with all motor scooter training, licensing, registration, and operating requirements. Additionally, Personal Transportation Devices do not include a device that is designed for and intended to be used as a means of transportation for a person with a mobility impairment, or who uses the device for mobility enhancement. 
[Electric Motor Scooter (>60KPH) Sample Image] • [Mobility Impairment Device Sample Image]

Play vehicles.PLAY VEHICLE

[Motorized Child Play Toy Sample Image] • [Motorized Big Wheel Sample Image] • [Motorized Skateboard Sample Image] • [Motorized Unicycle Sample Image] • [Segway-style Hoverboard Sample Image] • [Hoverboard Sample Image]
Any motorized or non-motorized unicycles/monocycles (Ryono, Airwheel or Mobbo), powered or motorized skateboards, hoverboards, and other powered or motorized devices not equipped with a hand-operated steering device. Other items include but are not limited to: motorized small-scale vehicles designed to transport children, be operated by children or to be remotely controlled by another person; motorized and non-motorized roller blades, roller skates, shoes with retractable wheels; and children's bicycles, tricycles, and Big Wheels not intended for use on public roadways. Play vehicles may not exceed speeds of 20 KPH. Play vehicles are intended for use on sidewalks and are not authorized for use on any public roadways (or bike lanes) located on or off U.S. military installations. 


Private Motor Vehicles (POVs).PRIVATE MOTOR VEHICLE (POV)

Any motor vehicle designed for highway use which is not owned, rented or leased by DoD or service components. This includes individually owned vehicles, corporate owned vehicles and commercial vehicles (e.g. cargo trucks, buses, taxis, etc.).

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