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Mandatory Vehicle Inspections

Mandatory Vehicle Inspections

Korean Law requires that car owners have their cars inspected regularly for both roadworthiness and emissions checks. The following information applies to non-commercial vehicles; if you are using a regular passenger vehicle for commercial purposes, the inspection rules are different.  Foreign car owners have the same responsibilities as Korean owners regarding inspections. 

If you buy a new car, one of the first things you have to do is bring it in for an initial inspection. The next one will have to be done 4 years later. After that periodic inspections are required every two years. Because these inspections ensure that your car is road-safe, if you do not get them done you could receive a substantial fine.

Types of 'Roadworthiness' Inspections:
1. New Inspection: Required for the initial registration of a vehicle. Cost: ~W29,000.
2. Periodic Inspection: Required after initial registration. If the car is new and underwent an initial inspection, the periodic inspection can be done after 4 years; other cars must undergo the periodic inspection every 2 years. Inspection cost: ~W20,000. Failure to ge the inspection done can result in a fine of up to W500,000.
3. Structural Modification Inspection: Required when modifying the structure or equipment in a vehicle. Cost: ~W29,000.
4. Temporary Inspection: Irregular inspection implemented under the Vehicle Maintenance Act or as ordered by the Vehicle Maintenance Act or upon request by the owner of the vehicle. Cost: ~20,000.

Late fees: The inspection should be done within 30 days of the expiration date of the inspections period. (The late fee is W20,000 after the 30 days with W10,000 added on every 3 days to a maximum of W300,000.

Checking Expiratation Date:
Car owners can check their car's expiry date by input the car's plate number + their personal/cooperation identification number on this Korean-only website. 
Note that the site is in Korean only but foreign residents should be able to use their ARC number as only the first 6 digits (birth date) are need be inputed.

Emissions Inspections:
These are intended to reduce air pollution, espcially in large urban areas such as Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, the Gyeonggi-do area, etc.
For vehicles less than 10 years old, an emissions inspection is required every 2 years while those over 10 years must have it done yearly.  Failure to get this inspection done can result in a fine of up to 1,000,000 won.

Inspection stations in Seoul:
There is an inspection station near Sangam World Cup Stadium called Seongsan Geom-sa-so (성산검사소). There are are also inspection stations in a number of different areas of Seoul including Guro, Nowon, and Gangnam. The hours of operation for these stations are Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm (lunch break from 12 to 1pm), and Saturdays 9am to 1pm. You can check with the Seoul Global Center or with your local Global Village for directions in English to one of the Seoul stations. 
Yongsan-gu Vehicle Inspections Departments:02-710-3480.

There are also directions and contact information to inspection stations all around Korea on this website (Korean only). For more information, visit the Korea Transporation Authority's website. There is some information available in English, but it is limited. 

Booking appointment:
You can book an inspection appointment by putting your plate number and cell phone number (in Korean) via this Korean-only website.

K4E Editor: We try to make the information on Korea4Expats.com as complete and accurate as possible, so if you notice any errors or omissions in the content above, please let us know at info@korea4expats.com. If you live outside Seoul and have information on inspection stations in your area, please let us know. We'll be happy to add other cities to the list above.

Photo by PollutionProbe - Canada


Last Updated on 2015-03-20

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