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Old 22.12.2010, 11:15
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Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

I have a UK drivers license but understand I need to get a Swiss one within a year of living here. I have heard that you must relinquish your UK drivers license in order to get the Swiss one and that you can't keep both. Is this true and if so what happens if I go back to the UK for a holiday and want to drive there? Thanks for any advice from those that have been through the process already.
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Old 22.12.2010, 11:20
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

The same as if you go on holiday anywhere and want to drive. Your swiss license covers you to drive elsewhere as your british one covered you to drive elsewhere
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Old 22.12.2010, 11:22
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

You have heard correctly -- exchange one for the other. Your new Swiss licence will cover you to drive in the UK (as anywhere else, where it's recognised).
Before I moved here 10 yrs. ago, I "lost/misplaced" my UK one in packing, so applied for a replacement UK one (the picture type had just been introduced - so I got one of these). Miraculously, on arrival I "found" my old one and submitted this for my Swiss one, so I am still in possession of the replacement, although the picture part has now expired. And as the UK address is no longer valid, I doubt if the licence is either -- but I have it for prosperity.
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Old 22.12.2010, 11:23
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

hi

yes you do have to relinquish your Uk driving licence when you hand over your application form to the gemeinde. i was given a photocopy of my UK licence back. my swiss licence has a reference number on the back which i believe relates to my uk driving licence. i have had several hire cars in the Uk and been put on my mothers insurance and have had no problems and no questions were asked so dont worry...........
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Old 22.12.2010, 14:18
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

If my husband doesn't get a Swiss license, and keeps the UK one - can he use the UK one to hire a car in switzerland after the one year period? We are keeping a flat in the UK and will have a car in the UK (with insurance, registration all paid there) and don't intend to buy a car here - only rent a couple times a year for travelling so to me it makes more sense to have a UK license.
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Old 22.12.2010, 14:33
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

You will find it very hard to get insurance on a UK car in the UK without being a UK residence. This obviously doesn't apply to hire cars but applies to if you want to be put on your parents car for a week or something.
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Old 22.12.2010, 15:00
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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You will find it very hard to get insurance on a UK car in the UK without being a UK residence. This obviously doesn't apply to hire cars but applies to if you want to be put on your parents car for a week or something.
My parents didn't have any trouble putting me on their car insurance
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Old 22.12.2010, 15:10
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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My parents didn't have any trouble putting me on their car insurance
Which company is it?

They may have not told the insurance company you aren't a UK resident. After all how would they find out?

If they did tell the company then I'd be interested to know who they are insured with. You can PM me if you don't want to post on the forum.
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Old 22.12.2010, 15:16
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

WE are letting our niece have the car while we are away and just use it for the weekends we go back to scotland. Directline wouldn't let us put her as the second driver - because of the time spent out of the country but let us do it the other way around - she is now the primary driver. This was a change to our existing policy. when we have to renew in August I don't know what they will allow - but we may decide to ditch the car if we move into Edinburgh.
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Old 22.12.2010, 15:21
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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Which company is it?

They may have not told the insurance company you aren't a UK resident. After all how would they find out?

If they did tell the company then I'd be interested to know who they are insured with. You can PM me if you don't want to post on the forum.
My friends add me to their insurance whenever I return to the UK, declaring me as a Swiss Resident with a Swiss Licence. So far Tesco and Sheilas Wheels have both done so without problems. But it is expensive at around £60 per week each time. (Fully Comp Car in Insurance Grp 17)
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Old 22.12.2010, 15:21
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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If my husband doesn't get a Swiss license, and keeps the UK one - can he use the UK one to hire a car in switzerland after the one year period? We are keeping a flat in the UK and will have a car in the UK (with insurance, registration all paid there) and don't intend to buy a car here - only rent a couple times a year for travelling so to me it makes more sense to have a UK license.
He will be breaking the law by driving on his UK licence. Therfore, if he is involved in an accident he won't be insured!
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Old 22.12.2010, 15:42
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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My friends add me to their insurance whenever I return to the UK, declaring me as a Swiss Resident with a Swiss Licence. So far Tesco and Sheilas Wheels have both done so without problems. But it is expensive at around £60 per week each time. (Fully Comp Car in Insurance Grp 17)
That's not too bad for such a high insurance group car
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Old 22.12.2010, 15:58
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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If my husband doesn't get a Swiss license, and keeps the UK one - can he use the UK one to hire a car in switzerland after the one year period? We are keeping a flat in the UK and will have a car in the UK (with insurance, registration all paid there) and don't intend to buy a car here - only rent a couple times a year for travelling so to me it makes more sense to have a UK license.
If your primary residence is Switzerland than your husband has only 12 months to exchange his UK license to a Swiss one. Beyond that he will need to pass a Swiss driving test to gain a Swiss license. Apart breaking the law by driving without a valid license, in case of an accident his car insurance will also be invalid and therefore not covered.
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Old 22.12.2010, 16:26
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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Which company is it?

They may have not told the insurance company you aren't a UK resident. After all how would they find out?

If they did tell the company then I'd be interested to know who they are insured with. You can PM me if you don't want to post on the forum.
I've no idea of the company or what questions my parents had to answer. It was also a few years ago as I usually come over with the kids now and rent a car at the airport
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Old 22.12.2010, 17:16
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

I had to swap my UK license for a Swiss one in 2006. I then left CH and worked elsewhere for 2 years using my Swiss license. Back in the UK in 2010 I had a temporary job in the summer...driving. And yes, my Swiss license was good in that job for up to 3 months.
The Swiss traffic dept. return your UK license to DVLC and they keep it until you move back and apply fot it.
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Old 22.12.2010, 17:21
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

Girlfriend had to request her Swiss Licence last month ,that included going over to the office, signing papers and handing over the German Licence she had.

Without it, the form would not be posted , nor would a new licence be issued.

That is what the kind lady behind the counter told us, this way they try to block people from still driving when banned on one licence yet still using the other.

For this privelege of "having to get a Swiss Licence ", you pay something around 80 Chf too.. grmbl
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Old 22.12.2010, 18:01
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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If my husband doesn't get a Swiss license, and keeps the UK one - can he use the UK one to hire a car in switzerland after the one year period? We are keeping a flat in the UK and will have a car in the UK (with insurance, registration all paid there) and don't intend to buy a car here - only rent a couple times a year for travelling so to me it makes more sense to have a UK license.
If your primary residence is CH, then after 12 mths a foreign licence is no longer valid and needs to be exchanged for a Swiss one. As mentioned, several times already, there is no problem using this in UK. Is this such a problem?
If Scotland is technically still your place of residence, then there should be no reason why you can't use a UK licence for renters, here, when you visit, with no time constraints -- however I think this isn't your situation(?). You may well end up, "upsetting" one authority or the other. And in the eyes of the law, I believe driving with an invalid licence is seen as the same as having no licence, with whatever penalties that may carry.
I made a reply to the OP of this thread (2nd reply/3rd post, above), that may offer a clue to a possible compromise (albeit possibly fraudulent).
In order to have a valid UK licence you need a registered place of residence.
Whatever course you decide on, tread very carefully, as in the worse case scenario of having an accident, insurers will look for the smallest reason/technicality, of getting out of coughing-up, and you could find yourselves liable.
After all, a licence is only a piece of paper/plastic and should only be seen as providing a legal entitlement to drive, where ever it is issued.

Last edited by TiMow; 22.12.2010 at 18:05. Reason: addition
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Old 22.12.2010, 18:28
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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Which company is it?

They may have not told the insurance company you aren't a UK resident. After all how would they find out?
I finally converted my UK license to a Swiss one at the end of November (yes, I had to give the UK one back and the new one cost me 200CHF).

I'm now back in the UK for a holiday and driving my mum's car as I'm on her insurance as a 'named driver'. She has Tesco's insurance and she called them to inform them of my new married name, Swiss residency and Swiss driving permit. They changed it all without a problem and at no extra cost!
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Old 22.12.2010, 18:31
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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I finally converted my UK license to a Swiss one at the end of November (yes, I had to give the UK one back and the new one cost me 200CHF).

I'm now back in the UK for a holiday and driving my mum's car as I'm on her insurance as a 'named driver'. She has Tesco's insurance and she called them to inform them of my new married name, Swiss residency and Swiss driving permit. They changed it all without a problem and at no extra cost!
It seems Tesco are lenient with this. Thanks.
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Old 17.09.2015, 01:39
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

Apologies for digging up an old thread...but... What??? Give up my UK licence?

I have a home in the UK, and a car. Which I use to commute to the airport, to come out to Zurich Monday to Friday. I might stay here occasional weekends, when the lovely wife will come out to see me.

I've no plans to get a car here, but we have an office pool car I can borrow.

How does the licence thing work for me then? 4.5 days here, 2.5 at home.

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