|On Aug. 8th, Consul general Kang-Ho Park (left), and Registrar of RMV, Rachel Kaprelian, are signing the Agreed Reciprocal Exchange Arrangement for exchanging driver’s licenses.|
By Myong Sool Chang
Translated by SeungYoun Woo
Koreans who are international students and working visa holders staying in MA over 1 year do not need to take a written test and a driving test in order to get a MA driver’s license.
On August 8th, 2011, the Korean consul general in Boston, Kang-Ho Park, and the Registrar of the Registry of Motor Vehicles(RMV), Rachel Kaprelian, signed the unofficial reciprocal arrangement for exchanging driver’s license of Korea and that of MA at the RMV office.
The arrangement allows Koreans, who are over 18 and living in MA legally, to get their MA driver’s license at the RMV with a fixed fee by bringing their residency verification, Korean driver’s license, English translated version of the license, and social security card.
Until now, Korean driver’s license holders had to go through a complicated process which involved taking a written test and a road test in MA again in order to get a MA driver’s license.
This arrangement is between the Korean National Policy Agency and the RMV in MA; thus, it allows Korean-Americans and Americans in MA to exchange their MA driver’s license to a Korean license, when they live in Korea for more than a year.
“I signed the agreement for exchanging Korean and MA driver’s license on August 8th, at 10am. This contract is effectuated right after the signing. I think that this will give a lot of benefits to many Korean students and workers in MA,” said consul general Park.
Kaprelian said, “It’s been a pleasure working with members of your government for this historical moment, where we are arranging a reciprocity agreement with Korean drivers and Massachusetts drivers. There is precedence for this kind of an arrangement. We’re going forward living in a global village, and the more that our two countries can share resources and help one another’s economy and quality of life, the better. Doing so is very much in our interest.”
Consul general Park once signed the arrangement for exchanging Korean and English driver’s licenses in England. Based on his experience, Park started to promote the agreement between Korea and MA since he was newly appointed as a consul general in Boston. Park had a meeting with Jeffrey B. Mullan, the former secretary of the Mass. Department of Transportation(MassDOT), on March 31st, and he received a positive reply from the secretary.
The arrangement is effectuated right after the signing; however, the real exchange of driver’s licenses will begin after 1-2 weeks. The staff in charge are still in the process of discussing details of the arrangement.
The vice consul general, Eun-Chul Lee said, “We are now discussing where to locate the specific and only branch, where people can exchange their licenses. And the Watertown branch is one of the favorites since it is near the Korean Consulate General. In addition to this, we are also conferring about other details.”
When a driver’s license is exchanged, a Korean driver’s license has to be submitted at the RMV and it is kept in the Korean Consulate General. Also, a Korean license can be received back from the Consulate General when its holder is visiting Korea, but the holder’s MA license must be left.
The RMV initially suggested discarding a holder’s Korean driver’s license when a MA license is issued, due to concern about security problems. However, the Korean Consulate General preferred custody and its opinion was successfully upheld.
International students, workers and permanent residency holders first need to visit the Korean Consulate General with all required documents. At the Consulate General, they have to receive a notarized English translated version of their Korean driver’s license.
When all these documents are ready and submitted to the RMV, a MA driver’s license is finally issued. The Consulate General will publish the Korean driver’s license translation on the Korean Consulate General website so that the document can be filled out right after downloading it.
The Korean - MA arrangement of exchanging driver’s licenses is the fourth agreement in the U.S., following Maryland, Virginia, and Washington.
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지