Iowa DOT News Release

Iowa reaches driver’s license reciprocity agreement with Republic of South Korea

Posted on: October 29, 2012

AMES, Iowa – Oct. 29, 2012 – Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino III and the Honorable Chul Huh, consul general of The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago, will be signing a special driver’s license reciprocity agreement between the State of Iowa and Republic of South Korea on Tuesday in Iowa City. The agreement is expected to assist students, travelers and business people in both the Republic of South Korea and Iowa.

Other members of the Republic of South Korea delegation planning to attend the formal ceremonial signing event include Deputy Consul General Joonho Cheon and Deputy Consul Jong Wook Han.

A representative of the Korean-American Society of Iowa, as well as Korean pastors, students and others living in Iowa also plan to attend. Others representing the Iowa DOT will be Motor Vehicle Division Director Mark Lowe and David Stutz, executive officer within the Office of Driver Services.

“This agreement serves the flow of commerce and economic prosperity between the Republic of South Korea and State of Iowa, while building continued collaboration,” said Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino III. “We value the contributions made by South Korean businesses here in Iowa and are very pleased to partner with them to assist our Iowa business leaders now living and working in that country.”

Under the agreement, which goes into effect immediately, South Korean citizens over the age of 18, who are lawfully present in the United States and have established residency in Iowa, will be able to exchange their valid noncommercial South Korean driver’s license for an Iowa noncommercial driver’s license.

The applicant will have to pay the requisite fees and pass a vision test, but will not be required to submit to a knowledge or drive test. Similarly, Iowa drivers, age 18 or older, who are residing in the Republic of South Korea and who possess a valid Iowa driver’s license, will be able to exchange their Iowa driver’s license for a South Korean driver’s license without being required to pass a knowledge or road test.

The Iowa DOT carefully examined driving skills and qualifications required in South Korea and established they were comparable to those required in Iowa.

South Korea is the United States’ seventh largest trading partner and has a strong economic presence in Iowa. The State of Iowa also has driver’s license reciprocity agreements with France and Germany.

Event details

Date:               Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 

Time:               10:30 a.m.

Location:         Old Capitol Museum
                        21 Old Capitol
                        The University of Iowa
                        Second Floor, Senate Chambers
                        Iowa City, Iowa
                        Link to map

The media is invited to attend the signing ceremony and should arrive no later than 10:20 a.m.


Media contact: Mark Lowe, director of the Motor Vehicle Division, 515-237-3121 or


Iowa highway in the evening