중앙데일리

Buttons? Who’s got the buttons?

There’s a reason for those license plate markers

Feb 23,2003
The following is a tip on traditional Korean language and customs in response to a query from a Mr. Hendrick, who wrote to us from Seoul:

Q. Mr. Hendrick:
Why do all Korean cars have their rear license plates fixed with two buttons; one is always white steel and the other reflective plastic?

A. IHT-JAD:
All motor vehicles in Korea require license plates issued by the Vehicle Registration Office.

After buying or importing a car, an owner submits an application to this office. Regulations in Korea are strict: The owner must prove his identity and submit proof of a designated parking space. Imported vehicles face stricter regulations than domestic ones.

When the car is registered, the office issues two license plates and four buttons. The rear plate gets a metal seal bearing a rose of sharon, Korea’s national flower, in relief. Drivers also get three reflective plastic buttons, which are simply screws.

A car without the metal seal or with a broken one is invalidated. Driving such an unauthorized car in Korea can bring a jail sentence of up to two years or a 5 million won ($4,200) fine, according to the law.


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