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Old 27.04.2015, 22:28
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Driver license exchange strategy

An acquaintance has asked me, wrongly presuming I am the font of knowledge in this area, the following question:

"I expect to be transferred to Switzerland. I have driver licenses from an EU country and from a US state. Which should I offer for exchange?"

The point is this: Both were obtained after theory (written) and practical (road) tests. I think that an EU license would be retained by the cantonal authorities and turned back to the relevant issuing country whereas a US license would be given back to the driver.

On the other hand, I think that exchanging the US license involves taking a new theory test but no Kontrollfahrt.

Am I wrong?
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Old 27.04.2015, 22:33
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Re: Driver license exchange strategy

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An acquaintance has asked me, wrongly presuming I am the font of knowledge in this area, the following question:

"I expect to be transferred to Switzerland. I have driver licenses from an EU country and from a US state. Which should I offer for exchange?"

The point is this: Both were obtained after theory (written) and practical (road) tests. I think that an EU license would be retained by the cantonal authorities and turned back to the relevant issuing country whereas a US license would be given back to the driver.

On the other hand, I think that exchanging the US license involves taking a new theory test but no Kontrollfahrt.

Am I wrong?
Yes you're wrong about the test for exchanging a US licence but right about the rest. A US licence can be exchanged without any test at all and the licence will get returned with a sticker/ stamp saying 'not valid in Switzerland'. It will still be valid for driving in the US.( and other countries too I guess)
The EU licence will be retained and returned to the country of issue.
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Old 27.04.2015, 22:35
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Re: Driver license exchange strategy

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...Am I wrong?
Partially. An EU license goes back to the issuing country. The U.S. license goes back to the driver, with a sticker or stamp stating it is not valid in Switzerland. However no new Kontrollfahrt is required.

Make sure your friend has a license that was issued at least 3 years ago, or has an expired license or driving record to show he/she has been driving that long. Otherwise the authorities issue a provisional license. They use the date the license was issued as the original date you started driving.

edit - Belgianmum types too fast.
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Old 28.04.2015, 11:12
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Re: Driver license exchange strategy

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An EU license goes back to the issuing country.
I always thought that was the case, but discovered recently that I still have (well, actually it needs renewing, since 2010) a theoretical UK driving licence despite exchanging it for the Swiss one >12 years ago. Anyone who did the same can check their details and renew their licence at https://www.viewdrivingrecord.servic...licence-number

I can't see any reason I'd want to, as it wouldn't technically be valid even in the UK as I'm resident here, but it does look like I could do if I so desired. I suppose it might be useful if I were banned in Switzerland but wanted to drive in France or elsewhere, although probably that's technically not allowed either.
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Old 28.04.2015, 11:19
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Re: Driver license exchange strategy

Looks like yours got lost in the post on the way back - I tried that and it correctly tells me:

"You do not hold a current GB driving licence, a licence has been issued by another licensing authority"
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