Korean Law Demystified!

Legal Age Laws in South Korea

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In Korea, the age of majority is 19 (int’l age, not Korean age). You’re an adult once you turn 19. In law, this means you can act independently (e.g., enter into contracts w/o parents’ consent).


Below are some other legal ages worthy of note (in Korea):

1) Age of criminal responsibility: 14

2) Age of civil/tort responsibility: 14-15 (according to case law)

3) Age of (sexual) consent: (technically) 13

4) Legal drinking age: 20*

5) Minimum driving age: 18

6) Marriageable age: 18

7) Legal working age: 18

8) Minimum (mandatory) enlistment age: 18

9) Voting age: 19

10) Age of candidacy: 25 (lawmaker); 40 (President)

*19 if the year in which you turn 20 has already commenced.


Many feel the age of (sexual) consent should be 16. The age of criminal responsibility, meanwhile, could be lower. 12 or 13.

DID YOU KNOW? In Korea, you have to be 15+ to play Overwatch. I recently read the authorities were cracking down on PC bangs for allowing kids to play this game. (It seems a few people found those kids too loud and obnoxious and reported the PC bang.)

Thanks for reading!

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