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  #241  
Old 14.08.2007, 11:49
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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The theory exam can be done in English until the end of 2007. From 1.1.2008 it is not possible to do the theory exam in English or any other language different from the official Swiss languages (German, French and Italian) anymore.
I think this varies from canton to canton?
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  #242  
Old 14.08.2007, 12:21
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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I think this varies from canton to canton?
The truth is that today already some cantons have restricted the available languages. This is a bit awkward, considering that you will do the theory exam on a PC with a exam software called CUT and which allows you to choose the language when starting.

For a demo version of CUT containing just 16 questions (instead of the 50 questions you will have), check out:
http://www.asa.ch/cut-demo/
The demo version does not offer English though.

However, as the ASA (association of the road traffic offices) have decided in 2006, that from January 1st, 2008 only the three official Swiss languages German, French and Italian will be allowed to do the theory exam. This has to do (as usual) with costs reduction:

Medienmitteilung - 24. November 2006
http://www.asa.ch/de/aktuell.htm


The bottom line is (to speak it out):
- as non-German/French/Italian speaker, you will have to hurry, if you want to do the theory exam in English or in one of the languages your cantonal road traffic office offers today
- after the 1.1.2008 you will be forced to learn the language good enough, if you want to do a driver's license
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  #243  
Old 14.08.2007, 21:11
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

HELLO.
i'm so glad i found this forum.... cause i'm actually suffering this huge hassle right now.

I'm a canadian chinese currently studying in Lausanne, holding a B permit. But as i lived in Hong Kong, now a part of China, i got the Hong Kong drivers license. As I will be studying in Lausanne for the next 3 and a half years or so, i want to get a car. But my problem is, i have No idea what i have to do or who to contact. I read the posts from before, got a lot of information already, but because I'm not from south africa.... i think i have a different case.

Do i have to do the practical test too? Does all optical shops have the right to help me do the eye test? If i have to do the practical, will it be super hard and intensed? Where can i get the switzerland traffic sign booklets??

To be so honest, i'm not that confident on my driving, but its not too bad. I dont know, i've never droven in Switzerland before because i'm 19, and i'm not old enough to rent a car to practice. How long will the whole process take? I'm plannign to buy the car in february, and i want to make sure i get my liscense before that.
Can any one help me & give me some suggestions on what to do??
im' so stressed out. I NEED MY DRIVERS LICENSE!!!

thankss.
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  #244  
Old 14.08.2007, 23:02
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

your country of issue is not on this list so........you need to do a test.

See here: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions
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  #245  
Old 14.08.2007, 23:23
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

There are other countries in the EU which will exchange your Hong Kong licence for a local one which may be usable in CH. Belgium and UK will if you can demonstrate residency.

Then when you return to CH it's exchangeable.

If you're already here more difficult then you must do the test within a year.
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  #246  
Old 14.08.2007, 23:44
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

thank you very much for the replies, still waiting more comments from others : )

so, does that mean if i fly over to UK, which i sort of have a home there, ( my uncle lives there), i can just exchange my hong kong drivers lisence into a UK one without taking ANY TESTS?
if so, how long will that process take? because i can only afford a week of holiday over....
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  #247  
Old 15.08.2007, 09:37
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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thank you very much for the replies, still waiting more comments from others : )

so, does that mean if i fly over to UK, which i sort of have a home there, ( my uncle lives there), i can just exchange my hong kong drivers lisence into a UK one without taking ANY TESTS?
if so, how long will that process take? because i can only afford a week of holiday over....
have you registed in Switzerland?
if so, your chances of chopping in a newly-chopped licence are low.
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  #248  
Old 15.08.2007, 10:45
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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thank you very much for the replies, still waiting more comments from others : )

so, does that mean if i fly over to UK, which i sort of have a home there, ( my uncle lives there), i can just exchange my hong kong drivers lisence into a UK one without taking ANY TESTS?
if so, how long will that process take? because i can only afford a week of holiday over....
The strasseverkehrsamt will not exchange licences that are less than a year old. I have heard stories that people have managed to exchange expired licences, but this is the exception to the rule and I would count on luck stories.

I was asked to provide proof that my South African licence (which was new as I had just had it renewed) was older than a year.

Short story, they do actually check the date of the licence. It might be less hassle to take a few valuable lessons and do the control test.

Last edited by gooner; 15.08.2007 at 10:46. Reason: add on info
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  #249  
Old 15.08.2007, 12:38
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Do i have to do the practical test too?
thankss.
Most probably yes. Information for the canton of Vaud can be found (in French) here:
http://www.san.vd.ch/permis/etranger.htm

A list of driving licenses from countries that can be converted to a Swiss licenses is availavle here:
http://www.san.vd.ch/permis/document...xam_070322.pdf

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Does all optical shops have the right to help me do the eye test?
That depends on the canton. Some cantons want to support their local economy and therefore have a list of opticians on the application form. Other cantons are more down-to-earth and don't give restrictions (since all opticians in CH have done the same studies, certification etc.)

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If i have to do the practical, will it be super hard and intensed?
If you mean the control exam, make sure you get a few driving lessons before you get to do the exam. There are a few things which the expert wants to see in his way and if you go blue-eyed in to such a test without knowing these things you will most likely fail - no matter how good you believe you are. Find a good intructor for this (ask around friends, coworkers etc). Otherwise try the following websites:
www.fahrlehrervergleich.ch
www.fahrlehrer.ch

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Where can i get the switzerland traffic sign booklets??
Order the English version here. Costs CHF 25.80, which includes shipping.
http://www.autofahrenheute.ch/html_d...llformular.php

In addition to this book, I recommend one of the many CD-ROM programs (not all of them support English!) which will help you to test your knowledge in both interactive or exam mode. Costs ca. CHF 69.- (MediaMarkt has sometimes offers for 49.- or so).

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How long will the whole process take? I'm plannign to buy the car in february, and i want to make sure i get my liscense before that.
Some people believe they can do their license within 1 month from scratch. That's an illusion. I believe for someone who really starts from scratch it will take at least 2-3 months, some need more than 6 months. These days usually you do double-lessons (1 lesson = 50 min), twice a week and therefore you can be ready to do your practical exam even within 2 months. Of course that is very individual and it also depends on the amount of private lessons someone takes besides the ones with the driving instructor.


A word of advice concerning seasons in CH: Since you probably have never been driving on snow, make sure you drive carefully in winter, even if there is no snow (icy roads!). Also, here in CH you change your tires: For summer (ca. April - November) you have summer tires, for winter (Okt/Nov-April) you have winter tires. Some people change their tires in winter too late (when the first snow falls) or too early (we have sometimes even in May snow!) and cause therefore lots of accidents on the roads. Same for new drivers who have done their license with an instructor during summer and suddenly face themselves alone on icy roards during winter.

Depending on the car and the style () and how often you'll be driving, one set of tires may last for 1 or 2, rarely 3 seasons. Keep in mind that you will need to store the unused tires somewhere. If you don't have a parking garage for your car with enough space for the spare tires, many tires dealer offer you to store your tires there at some fee.
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  #250  
Old 15.08.2007, 12:49
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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If you want to do the driver's license in Switzerland you need to do the following steps in that order:

1) do an official First Aid course (recognised by ASTRA, the Swiss department for roads)
2) apply and do the theory exam (you can try as many times as you need)
3) you will receive the learning driver's license after passing the theory exam
4) with the learning drivers license, you can take driving lessons (usually with a driving instructor). You are not allowed to drive on your own. Private lessons are allowed if the person being with you during the lessons is at least 23 years old and has had the license since at least 3 years.
5) while taking lessons, at some point you will need to do a VKU course (Verkehrskunde-Unterricht)
6) you do the practical exam (you can try 3 times)
7) if you passed the practical exam you will receive a trial license for 3 years
8) you will need to do 2x1 day courses (WAB) during those 3 years
9) after those 3 years, if you haven't had issues with traffic laws (speeding, accidents etc.) you will receive the final license, if you have done the 2 days courses.

In your case 1) 2) and 3) will apply if you want to "just" take driving lessons.

You can do the First Aid course in English. If you need help to find such a course, let me know.

The theory exam can be done in English until the end of 2007. From 1.1.2008 it is not possible to do the theory exam in English or any other language different from the official Swiss languages (German, French and Italian) anymore.

For 1) you don't need to be Swiss resident.
For 2) and 3) you need to be (as it was mentioned before) Swiss resident.
For 4) As you said, it is not an issue to find a driver instructor who give driving lessons in English.
For 5) this is tricky, you most probably won't find anyone offering this in completely English. At least I haven't the last 2 years

My advice to you is to speak to the authorities and find out, if they would give you permission to do the license in Switzerland. Then you would need to find out, if the Swiss road traffic department (in your case in Zurich www.stva.zh.ch) would allow an exception to do the license even when not having residence in Switzerland.

The other possibility to do the driver's license in you home country might not work out, depending on what the rules apply in Germany. In Switzerland you can convert your license only within 12 months after you moved to Switzerland. I don't see how going back into your home country (let's say for 2-3 weeks vacation) and do a quicky license will work, since your are already registered as resident where you live.

There is a 3rd option, but I don't want to mention it here and be bashed...

RE: NO.5:- You don't need to speak German. You just have to turn up, do your 10 hrs. Then you get the stamp on your form. There is no writing or speaking involved unless you want too.
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  #251  
Old 15.08.2007, 14:30
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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RE: NO.5:- You don't need to speak German. You just have to turn up, do your 10 hrs. Then you get the stamp on your form. There is no writing or speaking involved unless you want too.
The traffic offices can send their experts from time to time to check if the instructors follow the requirements given by ASA (amount of space and people, correct equipment, valid learning driver's license etc.).
One of the requirements is that the students must be able to follow and understand the topics discussed during this course (as it also is the case with the First Aid course).

If an instructor handles this differently, then it is on his own risk.
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  #252  
Old 15.08.2007, 18:22
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Just to convert my UK license, just seen that I better get a check up at the doctors, if not I will loose the categories C1E,D1E and C1. Was convinced I would get the paperwork in today, I don't want to loose the minibus option and van and trailer, so it will be next week now.
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  #253  
Old 15.08.2007, 19:11
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

thank you everyone for the useful information.
I already planned to take few driving lessons here with a English speaking instructor. But the problem now is that where can i find an english speaking instructor in LAUSANNE?
People only speaks french here, and i'm not too good in it. I cannot speak any Swiss language except english and chinese.

Oh, how much will the lessons cost? and is it useful or necessarily to buy the driving booklet??
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  #254  
Old 16.08.2007, 02:18
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Anyone know if a non-EU, on a 12 month trainee permit can exchange their licence and get a Swiss licence? Rent or buy a car?
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  #255  
Old 16.08.2007, 09:54
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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thank you everyone for the useful information.
But the problem now is that where can i find an english speaking instructor in LAUSANNE?
Normally, on those 2 websites you have prices, languages, what car, courses etc. the driving schools offer.
It seems thought that in the French speaking part it's not well maintained.
www.fahrlehrervergleich.ch
www.fahrlehrer.ch

Check out also this thread:
English Speaking Driving Instructor in Lausanne


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Oh, how much will the lessons cost?
In the German speaking part of CH and in the cities where there is lots of competition, usually between CHF 80 to 90 per lesson (45-50 min). Usually it's more expensive if you live on the country side.


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and is it useful or necessarily to buy the driving booklet??
It's not necessary. It's also not necessary to have one single lesson to go to the exam. But if you want to make sure you know most of the major traffic signs AND the traffic rules, I recommend it. It's not just about the round traffic signs, it also contains the rules for round abouts, overtaking, lines/signs on the roads etc. The rules and signs in the booklet are numbered.
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  #256  
Old 16.08.2007, 14:03
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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The traffic offices can send their experts from time to time to check if the instructors follow the requirements given by ASA (amount of space and people, correct equipment, valid learning driver's license etc.).
One of the requirements is that the students must be able to follow and understand the topics discussed during this course (as it also is the case with the First Aid course).

If an instructor handles this differently, then it is on his own risk.

When I did mine last year there were a few 'auslander' in my group of which at least two had no german at all. I was translating for one guy as he spoke a little english but the other woman was turkish so she was left to try and understand everything by herself. She got here stamp at the end of the course.
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  #257  
Old 16.08.2007, 15:40
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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I would advise attending a driving school (preferably one with an English speaking instructor) and doing a test "test". He/She should be able to help you avoid failure, as failure is an expensive option.

Starting from scratch here will cost you hundreds if not thousands of fränkliiis, hours and humiliation, including First aid course.
True.

I did the "test" for converting my license. I failed.
I was banned from using my license in Switzerland and Lichtenstein. I was charged 150 chf for the ban (they put a stamp in my license)

I have recently done the theory and I am currently doing the "cours de la sensibilisation". Then I need to practice a bit with professional trainers, (out of practice due to license ban) and then re-apply for the practical test.

The driving teacher assures me that this time it will be really strict because I failed once. This is stressing me out.

So avoid all this and make sure that you take a few good lessons, pass the "test" and get your license converted.

P.S. - My friends assure me that I got a really terrible inspector for the driving test. I could not speak french at the time, that made a negative effect as well.
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  #258  
Old 16.08.2007, 19:28
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Does anyone happen to know how long it will take to 'line up' for the practical exam? As in, if i feel like i'm ready now, and i go register for the practical exam, how long will i have to wait till the day i actually 'take' the practical driving exam?

I want to start planning my lessons and know when i should start register for the practical. I dont speak french, would i have the instructor a bad impression? oh noooh!
Thanks!
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  #259  
Old 16.08.2007, 19:43
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Does anyone happen to know how long it will take to 'line up' for the practical exam? As in, if i feel like i'm ready now, and i go register for the practical exam, how long will i have to wait till the day i actually 'take' the practical driving exam?

I want to start planning my lessons and know when i should start register for the practical. I dont speak french, would i have the instructor a bad impression? oh noooh!
Thanks!
It usually takes 2-4 weeks, depending on the season. Usually after vacation it's peak hours, because people coming back from vacation want to do the exam.
Normally, your instructor will register you for the exam (after discussing it with you), but you can apply yourself up to two times. If you failed twice the exam, an instructor must apply for you the third time and confirm that you are ready for the exam.

Therefore an instructor won't do it unless he has the impression that you really are ready. The driving instructors have a "success rate" and if they perform bad on practical exams they will have issues with the traffic office. So, it's in their own interest to bring you through the exam.
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Old 16.08.2007, 20:49
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Just to convert my UK license, just seen that I better get a check up at the doctors, if not I will loose the categories C1E,D1E and C1. Was convinced I would get the paperwork in today, I don't want to loose the minibus option and van and trailer, so it will be next week now.
Went to the Doctors today to make an appointment to have an Artziche Untersuchung, Doctor asked me what I wanted examining, no explanation on the Form. Another trip to the Strassenvekehrsamt.
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