Washington State and South Korea reach driver license reciprocity agreement

South Korea traffic.

On May 24, Washington state entered a driver license reciprocity agreement with the country of South Korea. The agreement was signed by Licensing Director Liz Luce and South Korean Consul General Young-wan Song at a ceremony attended by Governor Chris Gregoire.

The agreement recognizes that, based on similar driver license testing procedures, drivers from both places are similarly qualified to drive. Director Luce said this creates an opportunity to streamline a process.

“When a licensed driver from our state is planning on moving to South Korea for a few years, the last thing they want to worry about is retaking their driver license tests, Luce said. “Now, they won’t have to.”

Likewise, South Korean citizens with driver licenses who come to live in our state will be allowed to get a Washington license without retaking driving tests here.

Gov. Gregoire pointed out that South Korea is our state’s fourth largest export market and said this agreement will strengthen our state’s bond with this important international partner. Washington state has similar driver license reciprocity agreements with British Columbia and Germany.

5 Responses to Washington State and South Korea reach driver license reciprocity agreement

  1. James says:

    Hi. Matthew. I’m Korean and live in Seattle now.
    I usually use rental car, because I have the international drive license.
    It has a year period.
    I agree with your opinion. 🙂
    Some traffic sign and symbols, but I can recognize it. 🙂
    Anyway thank you for concern Koreans.
    ps.Sorry some wrong grammar.

  2. Jon says:

    Doesn’t the fact that we have a reciprocity agreement with Canada automatically mean we have an agreement with the Canadian province of British Columbia? If not, then why are the rest of the provinces of Canada not listed as well?

    • DOL Blog says:

      Hello Jon. Washington state only has a reciprocity agreement with one Canadian province: British Columbia. That was written in a confusing way and we will fix it.

      • Ens says:

        I wish Washington had a reciprocal agreement with all of Canada. Or at least with Ontario. It would make things much easier for me and my family, for the same reasons outlined above for South Korea.

  3. Matthew says:

    On the surface this “Drivers License Reciprocity Agreement” sounds Good However, The problem that I see with this is that Over time… seasoned drivers form Bad Habits on the Road and SHOULD in my Opinion Refresh their Training Especially in a NEW enviorment whereas a Different country might have different symbols for Road signs and so-on.
    In addition to that, I feel that If the Actual Drivers Test here in Washington State was thorough and strict, There would not only be less accidents… but less traffic. An example would be Germany. I recently returned from Asia after spending a month there, watching the seemingly chaotic traffic where the people outnumber the population here, I was Amazed how their system works with few accidents and no speed limits. something to think about, Are we really safer drivers with our road rules and Laws in this civilized country ? sometimes, I wonder.

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