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New 5-Digit Postal Code System for South Korea

New 5-Digit Postal Code System for South Korea


On August 1, 2015, The Korea Postal code system changed from a 6-digit postal code system to a 5-digit postal code system. This means you should use the new 5-digit postal code instead of the old 6-digit code when you send your visa documents to South Korea.

Some courier service may still use the old 6-digit postal code system and demand you the old one when you try to send your documents. We have been told that the courier service say that the postal codes our visa processing staff sent were wrong. Our visa staff tried to explain the new changes but it has not been so successful as the system they use returns an error for the 5-digit postal code as wrong or a missing digit.

Currently, it’s verified that Fedex upgraded their system to accept the new Korean postal code(March 2016).

Why the Change is Necessary?

While most local Koreans are highly doubt the change is necessary, this change is based on the Article 19(3) of the Road Name Address Act. The State Basic District number is given to each State Basic District.

Article 19(3) states:

[Article 19(3) of the Road Name Address Act] District numbers publicly notified pursuant to Article 18(3) shall constitute basic units of various districts publicized for the general public under other Acts, such as statistical districts, postal districts, and jurisdictions, unless particular reasons exist to the contrary.

Each State Basic District code is used as the basic unit of various districts controlled by public authorities for the purposes including statistics, firefighting, public order, mail service and so on. So the Korean Government believes that the new system will provide more effective service in various areas in many ways.

How It is Reformed?

Simply put, 6-digit to 5-digit. It appears to be simpler dropping one digit. Actually, it has more than what it appears. The announcement says, “the 5-digit district number assigned based on the geographic features (roads, rivers, railroads, etc.) and assigned to each State Basic District will replace the existing 6-digit postal code created based on the administrative units (Eup, Myeon and Dong) and districts assigned to each postman.”

For example, digits 01~09 are assigned for Seoul-si. As Jongro-gu uses 03, the new 5-digit postal code for the area starts with 030~032. The last two digits are serial number which is designated to each postman who actually delivers mail to each house.

Image from the Korea Post Announcement

 

It is not necessary to understand the new system thoroughly for native teachers even to Koreans unless they are working for the Post Office. So I will not go further. But the following is useful links you might be interested.

 

Busan U1 Post Office by hyolee2

 

Useful Links

Link to the official notice of postal code reform into the state basic district system by Korea Post:

http://www.koreapost.go.kr/notice/eview.action?contId=e3010000&agencyCode=kpost&order=regDt%20desc&page=1&pagesize=10&notiIdx=24114

Postal Code Finder:

http://www.epost.go.kr/roadAreaCdEng.retrieveRdEngAreaCdList.comm?cmp=EMC-1003277-1-11-200-1000000-APAC-KR-EN-PRDSVKREN160330&ET_CID=19741&ET_RID=14442884&LINK=http%3a%2f%2fwww.epost.go.kr%2froadAreaCdEng.retrieveRdEngAreaCdList.comm

 


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