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  #341  
Old 18.02.2008, 23:12
JudyR
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

"You need to have had your licence for a minimum number of years before they will swap it over. Not sure if it is 1, 2, 5 or 10 years."

Right. But the person I spoke to wasn't sure about the minimum and I can't find it written anywhere (at least not in english). Does anyone at this forum know (for Zurich Canton)??

Again, thanks in advance.
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  #342  
Old 18.02.2008, 23:23
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

I should have read your post more closely!

Are you getting your information from the Gemeinde in Horgen?

I did mine at the Strassenverkehrsamt in Zurich and had no problems. My wife's went through the Horgen Gemeinde and she ended up having to get a letter from home.

The Strassenverkehrsamt should also be able to answer a question like that.
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  #343  
Old 19.02.2008, 18:51
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

I can find no mention of a requirement that the foreign license must have been valid for a certain period of time. This most probably is a misunderstanding or misinformation.

You can find a summary of the rules in German here.
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  #344  
Old 20.02.2008, 09:50
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Here is the answer to my question about how long a US drivers license must be valid before it can be exchanged for a Swiss license. I emailed the Strassenverkehrsamt. God love 'em, they responded promptly and in english!


Besten Dank für Ihre kürzliche Email-Anfrage.

The license should be issued before your entry into Switzerland. If this is not the case, we need a confirmation of your DMV, that your practical examination (or at least your last license) was issued earlier.

Important is as well, that you can prove, that your first license (or again the last license issued) was made before 01.12.2005.

We hope those information are usefull to you.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen
Strassenverkehrsamt Zürich
Backoffice
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  #345  
Old 21.02.2008, 17:09
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Eye test - Cost me 15 CHF at the optician across the road from the Strassen Verkhersamt in Steinhusen, Zug. No appointment, just walked in.

As noted by many here the rules, regs etc are pretty much spot on, but....

In my own case I got slack and never did the license change thing untill 5 years after I got here. Converted my expired Aussie lic and current Turks and Caicos Islands licence to a swiss lic. the Lady at the strassen verkhersamt grumbled a fair bit, and 3 days after i left it in their hands I got a call asking me where Turks and caicos was (Caribbean if your wondering). 4 days later my swiss licence arrived in the mail.
True story folks.

My wife changed her valid aussie to swiss 4 years after she should have. (Before me even). I have friends with similar experiences

Now then, what I learned from this is that it all depends on who you deal with at the Strassenverkhersamt on the day, how nice you are to them and how apologetic your appear when grumbled at .

The Swiss love thier rule book, no denying it, but they also get a small kick out of bending the rules from time to time too I think . Its thier way of being naughty
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  #346  
Old 03.03.2008, 10:13
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Question about Swiss driving license

Hi, everyone! I searched for an answer for this in the forums so if it has been addressed before I am sorry to bring it up again.

I just got my Swiss permis de conduire suiise in the mail today. I had thought it would be for life (no expiration) but it is not.

I have a permis de conduire suisse a l'essai and must take 16 hours of formation (cours de formation complémentaire). It is 300 swiss francs per day. It is a two day course.

I was under the impression that I would get mine with no expiration as my French husband did. I would wondering if it is because my Ohio driving license was for only 4 years and no date listed when I first began driving or if this is standard? I can easily get my driving history from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicules if it would get me out of taking this two day course. I have had a drivers license for 20 years.
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  #347  
Old 03.03.2008, 10:41
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Re: Question about Swiss driving license

My wife converted a Texas driver's license to a Swiss license in January and she got an unrestricted / unlimited one.

Maybe they issued a wrong license to you? I assume you didn't have to take a written or driving test ...
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  #348  
Old 03.03.2008, 10:47
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Re: Question about Swiss driving license

I just called and asked about it. It is because I have an Ohio license which shows only the date it was issued as the date I renewed it. In Ohio, you must renew every four years. So, he had to go from the date listed on the Ohio license which puts me in a new driver category.

I was told that if I get proof that I had the license before then I can reapply and get the Swiss license with no experation. No problem.

I have contacted the Ohio Bureau of motor vehicles to demand a list showing all the years I had a license.
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  #349  
Old 03.03.2008, 11:37
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Re: Question about Swiss driving license

Do you have an old copy somewhere, or is it printed anywhere when the license was first issued? That helped me in a similar situation.
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  #350  
Old 03.03.2008, 11:49
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Re: Question about Swiss driving license

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Do you have an old copy somewhere, or is it printed anywhere when the license was first issued? That helped me in a similar situation.
I did have my old license but am a little afraid I threw it out. I am searching my house right now. I know I have an old one from about 15 years ago but I have no idea if they would take it if I can dig it out of storage.

I have checked Ohio BMV and it looks like I can only go back three years for a driving record which is not going to help me. I sent an email asking if I could get something official stating the date I first received my license and the record of renewals but I have to wait until they get back to me. I think I will just go ahead and call them on Skype today.

Keeping my fingers crossed!
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  #351  
Old 03.03.2008, 13:07
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US->Swiss license exchange

Hi guys,
I'm about to apply to exchange my California driver's license for a Swiss one, but I'm not sure for which categories I can apply without being forced to take a theory/practical exam. Anyone have experience with such matters?

According to the California DMV, with my class C noncommercial license I may drive

- any 2-axle vehicle with a GVWR of 26000 lbs. (12000 kg) or less.
- any 3-axle vehicle weighing 6000 lbs. (2700 kg) gross or less.
- any housecar 40 feet and under, in length.

...and I may tow:

- a single vehicle with a GVWR of 10000 lbs. (4500 kg) or less including a tow dolly, if used.

This definitely seems like a greater allowence than an average swiss "B" license, but I'm wondering if I can apply, for example, for a "BE" category as well without having to sit any theory/practical test?

Any suggestions welcome!


-w00t
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  #352  
Old 03.03.2008, 13:18
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Re: US->Swiss license exchange

Most of the truck stuff (3.5 t or more) will require a medical exam.
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  #353  
Old 03.03.2008, 13:27
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Re: US->Swiss license exchange

http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/stva/de/dienstleistungen/ausweise/aw_auslfa.html
http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/stva/de/dienstleistungen/ausweise/aw_internat.html

Your question is addressed in detail there. If you don't understand German, this is what it briefly means --

With a US licence, you dont need to either pass a theory exam, or a practical one to have a Swiss licence, provided you don't drive professionally. Further information in the PDF document (Requirements for exchange of Foreigners licence attached here.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ZLGe_LFA0801[1].pdf (426.5 KB, 297 views)
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  #354  
Old 03.03.2008, 13:43
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Re: US->Swiss license exchange

You will have to go to the "Driver's License Office" called "Strassenverkehrsamt" in German.

You can take the Tram 13 direction Bahnhof Enge and go one stop
past Uetlihof. On the left hand side of the road looking backwards just a bit, you will find the Strassenverkehrsamt.

Here you will find the proper forms that you have to fill out:

http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/st...aw_auslfa.html

Before you apply though, you have to get an eye test. It costs about
30-40 Francs and lasts about 10 minutes.

Cheers,
Grant
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  #355  
Old 03.03.2008, 15:55
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

I was under the impression you can submit your license exchange application to the Kreisburo and they'll pass it on to the Strassenverkehrsamtz. Is this correct?
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  #356  
Old 03.03.2008, 15:57
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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I was under the impression you can submit your license exchange application to the Kreisburo and they'll pass it on to the Strassenverkehrsamtz. Is this correct?
This is incorrect. You need to do this directly with the Strassenverkehrsamt.
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  #357  
Old 03.03.2008, 22:42
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Re: Question about Swiss driving license

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I did have my old license but am a little afraid I threw it out. I am searching my house right now. I know I have an old one from about 15 years ago but I have no idea if they would take it if I can dig it out of storage.

I have checked Ohio BMV and it looks like I can only go back three years for a driving record which is not going to help me. I sent an email asking if I could get something official stating the date I first received my license and the record of renewals but I have to wait until they get back to me. I think I will just go ahead and call them on Skype today.

Keeping my fingers crossed!
That's strange. Just last month, I called the Ohio BMV because that's where I got my first license maaaany years ago.

I had just renewed my Florida license last May so it did not prove that I had been driving for more than one year, which is what the Swiss were looking for. And the process for getting verification from the FLorida BMV looked like it would be long and complicated. So I called the Ohio BMV, they asked for verification that I was who I said I was, and 3-4 days later, I received verification in the mail that I had had a license from 1994 (when I returned to Ohio from Italy) to 1997 (after I had convertedthe OH license to a FL license).

But I'm not sure why you need to have more than three years?? One is usually more than sufficient. I guess it depends on where you apply.
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  #358  
Old 04.03.2008, 16:19
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Converting an American drivers license?

I've heard tell that in order for an American to obtain a Swiss drivers license, the American must provide a letter from the U.S. authorities stating the date that the person's license was originally issued (unless this information is written on the license itself, which I have never seen before for any state).

I think this means contacting the DMV in the state you lived in when your license was first issued (I was 16, so this was in 1992) and asking them for some sort of documentation. Unfortunately, my hometown of Washington, DC doesn't keep this information longer than 10 years - and neither does my husband's home town of New York, so neither DMV is able to help us.

Has anyone run into this issue before? Do you think a nice, clean 10-year driving record would suffice in place of this "original license" business?
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  #359  
Old 04.03.2008, 16:21
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Re: Converting an American drivers license?

my experience from 5 years ago was I sent in my drivers license to the Swiss authorities, and they sent me back a nice new Swiss one and the US one with a sticker on it, oh and also a small fee to pay if I recall. It is important to do this within one year of moving to CH, else you may have to pass a Swiss driving test (or that may be just a legend but it was what I was told).

Not sure if anything has changed. Plus this was canton Zurich if it makes any difference?
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  #360  
Old 04.03.2008, 16:24
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Re: Converting an American drivers license?

I live in Zürich, and all I did was write down when I received my license.

They did not require any letter or any other confirmation. It should
not vary in Geneva.
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