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Old 08.08.2015, 20:16
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My UK License is still Valid !

I just thought I would check the status of my UK License which was exchanged for a Swiss one over 20 years ago. Over 10 years ago DVLA acknowledged the license was returned by the ZH STVA.

https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence

I entered my driving license no, NI no & old postcard & voila my license is valid till my 70th Birthday.

I know Swiss licenses issued more recently have the original UK driving license no written on it, mine does not.

Could someone who transferred more recently please check to see what is the status of their UK license.

Man thanks FMF
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Old 08.08.2015, 21:24
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

Yes, i mentioned this a while back, and was surprised myself. Mine was exchanged 13 years ago or thereabouts and i always assumed the UK one would have been cancelled. Mine is actually not valid, as I'd converted to a photo card one which need renewing every ten years, but shows up still and just needs a renewal to be "valid".
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Old 08.08.2015, 21:59
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

I always wondered if the UK had the legal right to cancel UK driving licences that were valid and paid for.
Seemed strange to me especially as they never refunded any of the licence fee?
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Old 08.08.2015, 22:12
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

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I just thought I would check the status of my UK License which was exchanged for a Swiss one over 20 years ago. Over 10 years ago DVLA acknowledged the license was returned by the ZH STVA.

https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence

I entered my driving license no, NI no & old postcard & voila my license is valid till my 70th Birthday.

I know Swiss licenses issued more recently have the original UK driving license no written on it, mine does not.

Could someone who transferred more recently please check to see what is the status of their UK license.

Man thanks FMF
OH's UK license remained valid outside Switzerland when he swapped it 35 years ago, it wasn't until several years after that that the swiss started registering (and I think for some countries retaining or stamping) licenses.

He recently swapped the paper version for the photo card one without any problems as he needed to change the address (it was still registered to his parents address but they've now died and the house sold).

He's used it to hire cars in the UK without problems too, with no difficulty in obtaining the code number you now need for the car hire companies.
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Old 08.08.2015, 22:56
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

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I always wondered if the UK had the legal right to cancel UK driving licences that were valid and paid for.
Seemed strange to me especially as they never refunded any of the licence fee?
The fee for at UK license was £5 iirc, hardly worthy of an refund
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Old 08.08.2015, 23:05
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

It is not the value of the refund; it is the principle of reducing the licence term without consequent fee reduction.
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Old 09.08.2015, 10:17
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

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It is not the value of the refund; it is the principle of reducing the licence term without consequent fee reduction.
It's been exchanged for another one, & as you can't in theory have more than 1 EU License. I believe a Swiss license is included in that definition. You are free to reapply for it during it's validity.
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Old 09.08.2015, 10:28
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

Just checked ..


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


Edit : For what it's worth. When I travel back to the UK I find it easier to hire a car with the swiss license. First few times i went back before changing I had problems because the hire companies at the airport wanted UK proof of address to match my UK license so I had to lie.. Now they just look at the swiss license, no other ID required.

Last edited by John_H; 09.08.2015 at 10:32. Reason: added a bit
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Old 09.08.2015, 12:17
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

When we exchanged our UK licenses for Swiss ones in 2012, our UK licenses were retained for sending back to UK for cancellation.

Last year, my wife received the 10-yearly photocard renewal letter from DVLA and renewed her UK license (£14) without trouble, even explaining that she did not could not surrender her old UK license as it had been exchanged.
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Old 09.08.2015, 13:22
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

Argh.... quotes system down again.

Referencing posts #8 and 9, I suspect the answer lies in how long ago the license was exchanged; as both of these posters are relatively recent arrivals and would have swapped their UK licence for a swiss one within the past five years or so their UK licenses were retained and sent back to the DVLA to be cancelled/suspended.

When OH swapped his the swiss just looked at it and handed it straight back, no noting of the number as far as he can remember, nothing.
The UK hadn't been in the EU that long, Schengen certainly didn't exist and computers were still basically glorified filing cabinets.... they certainly didn't speak to computer systems in other countries!
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Old 09.08.2015, 13:25
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

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Just checked ..


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


Edit : For what it's worth. When I travel back to the UK I find it easier to hire a car with the swiss license. First few times i went back before changing I had problems because the hire companies at the airport wanted UK proof of address to match my UK license so I had to lie.. Now they just look at the swiss license, no other ID required.
Thanks John H, thats exactly what I wanted to know.

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When we exchanged our UK licenses for Swiss ones in 2012, our UK licenses were retained for sending back to UK for cancellation.

Last year, my wife received the 10-yearly photocard renewal letter from DVLA and renewed her UK license (£14) without trouble, even explaining that she did not could not surrender her old UK license as it had been exchanged.
Thats really weird, do your Swiss licenses have a reference to the UK ones no.?
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Argh.... quotes system down again.

Referencing posts #8 and 9, I suspect the answer lies in how long ago the license was exchanged; as both of these posters are relatively recent arrivals and would have swapped their UK licence for a swiss one within the past five years or so their UK licenses were retained and sent back to the DVLA to be cancelled/suspended.

When OH swapped his the swiss just looked at it and handed it straight back, no noting of the number as far as he can remember, nothing.
The UK hadn't been in the EU that long, Schengen certainly didn't exist and computers were still basically glorified filing cabinets.... they certainly didn't speak to computer systems in other countries!
My UK license was retained & sent bank to the UK 'in theory', so I was surprised to see it was still valid.
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Old 09.08.2015, 13:53
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

@fmf, the difference between 20 and 35 years perhaps?
Certainly more recently exchanged licenses are cancelled/suspended.

PS; get a new one before they notice!

Last edited by Anjela; 09.08.2015 at 13:54. Reason: PS added
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Old 09.08.2015, 13:54
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

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When we exchanged our UK licenses for Swiss ones in 2012, our UK licenses were retained for sending back to UK for cancellation.

Last year, my wife received the 10-yearly photocard renewal letter from DVLA and renewed her UK license (£14) without trouble, even explaining that she did not could not surrender her old UK license as it had been exchanged.
That sounds very odd. What address did she give when she renewed her licence?
They shouldn't issue a new UK licence to somebody who is not a UK resident.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 09.08.2015 at 14:37.
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Old 09.08.2015, 14:08
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

I exchanged 7 years ago - exact same response as John H:

"You do not hold a current GB driving licence, a licence has been issued by another licensing authority"
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Old 09.08.2015, 14:11
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

Here's a related question for anyone out there:
My son will be heading off to Uni next year in U.K.
Will he be able to get both a Swiss licence (for riding about on a 125CC motorbike) and a UK licence in UK, for driving a car?
Any unambiguous advice appreciated.
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Old 09.08.2015, 14:24
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

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@fmf, the difference between 20 and 35 years perhaps?
Certainly more recently exchanged licenses are cancelled/suspended.

PS; get a new one before they notice!
I was about to get an EU license again on Monday by exchanging my CH one, I was going to mention my UK driver no as I lost small lorries during the transfer.

If I get a new UK one I need to provide an address, also it will expire in 10 years rather than aged 70.
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Old 09.08.2015, 14:30
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

Still waiting on my new one from the French, but my ex did his months ago, just looked, still valid the UK one. He had 2 since he had a new one done when he lost the one, my neighbour has 3, the old french one has the oldest photo, they never update them I guess.

New UK licenses are a mint from start to finish with the fees for testing etc.
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Old 09.08.2015, 14:32
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

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Here's a related question for anyone out there:
My son will be heading off to Uni next year in U.K.
Will he be able to get both a Swiss licence (for riding about on a 125CC motorbike) and a UK licence in UK, for driving a car?
Any unambiguous advice appreciated.
No he can only have 1 license & can only add groups where he is resident.
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Old 09.08.2015, 14:38
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

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It's been exchanged for another one, & as you can't in theory have more than 1 EU License. I believe a Swiss license is included in that definition. You are free to reapply for it during it's validity.

Did some googling around.
So far as I can see the Swiss changed (harmonised) their laws so it is not legal in Switzerland to have both a Swiss licence and an EU licence (individual EU country licences issued before the common EU licence was available are valid until 2033).


I could not find any evidence that the EU changed their laws to make it not legal to have both a Swiss licence and an EU licence in the EU.
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Old 09.08.2015, 14:55
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Re: My UK License is still Valid !

Same question as BM, which address did you use? This is clearly illegal. Even if you used a UK address, you can't legally have both a Swiss and a UK licence- believe me, we tried- as I had kept my car at our property in the UK and wanted to insure it- but couldn't.

But yes, if we go back to UK, we can exchange our licences again as UK DVLA is holding our old ones. However, with OH being 70 early next year- what happens then, he we return to UK to live. Would he have to take his licence again? (he got his in 1964!).
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