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Old 02.03.2015, 00:19
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Confused about converting US driver license to Swiss for non-US citizens

Hello everyone,

I have read several threads on this topic on EF, and am still confused, so I decided to post a new thread. My situation is as follows. I live in Lausanne, VD. I have had a US driver license (Pennsylvania) for 8 years, expiring on March 31st, 2015. However I'm not a US citizen. I entered Switzerland last August, so I still have a few months before the one-year deadline. Many posts on EF suggest that a US driver license which is more than 3 years old can be exchanged for a Swiss one without any test, at least for US citizens. I read at this link that only US citizens are exempt from the test (but it doesn't mention which test), so it seems I must take some test. However, according to some posts on EF, even non-US citizens didn't need to take any test. To make the matter more confusing, this link from Vaud seems to state that (by Google translate) only EU drivers are exempt from all tests, all US driver license holders must take the "course de contrôle" (I guess the road test).

Perhaps the regulations have been changed recently? I'm confused. If you have had any recent experience, please share. Thanks!
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Old 02.03.2015, 02:26
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Re: Confused about converting US driver license to Swiss for non-US citizens

My girlfriend's sister had to do the Kontrollfahrt to get her license converted. Hers was also non-EU. It is a very simple and short test apparently. Much easier than the usual test.
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Old 02.03.2015, 04:19
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Re: Confused about converting US driver license to Swiss for non-US citizens

I was in the same situation as you 3 years ago when we arrived. Eu citizens living in us for many years. Both my wife and I converted our us license with no issues or tests.
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Old 02.03.2015, 08:54
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Re: Confused about converting US driver license to Swiss for non-US citizens

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Hello everyone,

I have read several threads on this topic on EF, and am still confused, so I decided to post a new thread. My situation is as follows. I live in Lausanne, VD. I have had a US driver license (Pennsylvania) for 8 years, expiring on March 31st, 2015. However I'm not a US citizen. I entered Switzerland last August, so I still have a few months before the one-year deadline. Many posts on EF suggest that a US driver license which is more than 3 years old can be exchanged for a Swiss one without any test, at least for US citizens. I read at this link that only US citizens are exempt from the test (but it doesn't mention which test), so it seems I must take some test. However, according to some posts on EF, even non-US citizens didn't need to take any test. To make the matter more confusing, this link from Vaud seems to state that (by Google translate) only EU drivers are exempt from all tests, all US driver license holders must take the "course de contrôle" (I guess the road test).

Perhaps the regulations have been changed recently? I'm confused. If you have had any recent experience, please share. Thanks!
I changed a Pennsylvania license to a Swiss one in Luzern with no written or practical test (I am a US Citizen though).

At the PennDOT website, you can print out a driver's history which will show the date you were first licensed (8 years ago). Your current license probably only has a date from two or three years ago.
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Old 02.03.2015, 10:04
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Re: Confused about converting US driver license to Swiss for non-US citizens

The determining factor is the country of origin of the foreign driver's license, not of the driver.

For example, if you are non-EU but have a driver's license issued by one of the EU countries, you do not need to complete a road test to exchange your license for a Swiss one.

In your situation, since you have a US driver's license, you would not need to complete a road test. It doesn't matter what nationality you are; your driver's license is US, that's what matters.

By the way, your link applies to diplomatic and international organisations. Do you work for such?
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Old 02.03.2015, 12:17
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Re: Confused about converting US driver license to Swiss for non-US citizens

I don't work for diplomatic or international organizations. I work for EPFL. I guess the best way is to go to the office and ask about the conversion procedure. Hope it will be easy without any test.
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