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How to Buy and Register a Motorcycle in South Korea

This article gives a step-by-step on how to buy and register a motorcycle or scooter as a foreigner in South Korea. Includes necessary paperwork, agencies involved and some tips on selecting a bike.

When buying a bike be sure that it has all the necessary paperwork (see step 3). Also, be sure to check the bike for oil leaks or seaping around the engine seals. Crooked handlebars are a tell-tale sign of an accident or wrecked bike. I recommend getting a bike or scooter with a center-stand. This will help you learn to ride and makes repairs easier.

Expect to pay between W700,000 and W1,300,000 for a used Daelim or Hyosung 125cc cruiser bike and W500,000 to W900,000 for a used scooter.

Obtain the minimum liability insurance from a Korean insurer like Samsung, Hyundai etc. This can be easily obtained for roughly $120 per year. This can sometimes be transferred from the previous owner. The insurer will send you a document certifying that you have coverage - getting this before the bike will prevent delays in registration.

Get the following paperwork when buying your bike or scooter (not necessary for new bikes or scooters under 50cc). 1. Certificate of Ownership (ingam jeungyeongso), 2. Title Transfer Form (yangdo jeungyeongso) and 3. Release of Ownership Letter (sayong peji jeungyeongso).

Take the above 3 documents, along with your passport, foreigner ID card and proof of insurance and International Driver's Permit to your local city hall's "Department of Traffic Administration." Bikes 125cc and below are taxed at 2% of their sale value. 250cc and above are taxed 3% and scooters below 50cc may not be taxed at all.

You will receive a new title for the bike after registering. If you are registering a bike in a different jurisdiction than the one you purchased it in, you will receive a new plate as well. Now you are ready to ride legally!

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