Y me to Ansan to exchange my driver’s license today! Woo hoo!
We went to Ansan because that was the license office she knew how to get to. Fortunately, there was hardly anybody there and it only took about twenty minutes. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anybody there who spoke any English. Fortunately, Young-a was there to translate for me (even though she was toying with me and wanted to see how far I could get without her there – the result was, not very. Although, I have never used the phone translation service for foreigners, so that supposedly is always an option to call that and hand the phone to whoever I’m trying to talk with)
Yayy! So even though my U.S. license expires next year, the Korean government realizes that it’s nothing to renew it. Therefore, this license is good for nine years. All I had to do was give them my U.S. license and show them my passport and alien registration card, give them (3) 2cm. x 3 cm. photos, (they also had a photo booth there for 5,000 won) give them 5,000 won and purchase another 6,000 won stamp and take an eye exam. I just have to return to Ansan to get the original back when I leave Korea. Now, I can rent a car whenever I want and drive all over Korea.
All the rules of driving are the same as in the states, and the only difference is turning left has its own traffic light, so traffic continuing forward must sit through another red and also a yellow light during that time.