CONTRIBUTED BY CHRISTINE BRUNS
There are many things that need to be done to “in-process” and feel settled in Korea – the list sometimes seems endless! If you shipped your vehicle from overseas, one of those steps is picking up your privately owned vehicle (POV) from the Vehicle Processing Center (VPC) at Camp Kim, which is just across the street from Yongsan Garrison in Seoul. It’s a one-stop shop for getting you car ready and approved for driving in Korea, and then you will gain some much needed “freedom” – as in, you can make a large grocery shopping trip without worrying about how many bags you can drag behind you to the bus or from the taxi!
Prior to picking up the car, be sure to get a USFK Driver’s License. The exam takes about 15-30 minutes, and there will be a 40 minute safety video to watch when you pass. Reading “A Guide to Safe Driving in Korea” is a must to prepare for the exam; it includes helpful illustrations and is available on the Yongsan Garrison web page here. As I was getting ready to take the test, I read through the guide a few times and it was pretty straight forward. Some important differences to keep in mind when you are driving: the rules for unprotected left turns, the need to stop for ALL stopped buses on base, and the meanings of all those traffic signs.
Once the sponsor receives notification that your POV has arrived and is ready for pick-up, be sure to gather the necessary documents. Required forms can be found on the Yongsan Garrison website here. A dependent can pick up the POV, but will need a few extra items.
Items you will need in order to retrieve an IMPORTED car (shipped POV’s):
- ALL PAPERWORK from when you dropped off your POV – including the inspection diagram with its condition before shipment, proof of insurance, and a Title of Ownership.
- IMPORT DOCUMENT (given to you at the VPC when you pick up your car)
- USFK DRIVER’S LICENSE (or US Driver’s license within 30 DAYS from ARRIVAL DATE to KOREA)
- PROOF OF INSURANCE – Current, for South Korea, and under the owner’s name.
- MILITARY ID CARD
- COPY OF THE SPONSOR’S ORDERS
- SAFETY INSPECTION – can be done at AAFES Car Care Center at Camp Kim 2010-2012 VEHICLEs DO NOT NEED http://www.army.mil/article/117543/
- USFK FORM 31EK – Application for Registration of USFK POV
- EAPB FORM 32 – Single Vehicle Registration Verification
- If a dependent is picking up the POV, a copy of your Power of Attorney, and make sure all forms are completed/signed ahead of time.
- $20 for the Inspection at the AAFES Car Care Center (a quick 10 minutes if it passes, longer and more $$ if it needs anything fixed due to a rejection).
- $7.50 for the Registration/License Plates at the Camp Kim Vehicle Registration Office.
- Car seats/booster seats, if you are picking the car up with kids in tow.
- An extra $5 if you want the AAFES Car Care Center to mount your license plates.
Now I know that looks like a lot, but it amounts to just a small stack of paper – along the lines of most things we deal with when moving to Korea! Once you have everything done (and they’ve put the registration button and base entry tag on your car), don’t forget to make a stop at the AAFES gas station on post – your car only has that 1/4 tank of gas to get you started. THEN you can go get those groceries!
Happy POV retrieving and drive safe out there!
PS Wanna get your car washed? Check out this post.