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  #41  
Old 27.06.2006, 15:23
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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I’m sorry if you think that I “made allusion“ to the fact that someone being young looking meant that they were under-trained, what I meant was that a doctor has spent many years training in his specialty, whereas it is possible to become an optician relatively quickly, at any age, although they mostly seem very young to me.
Any ageist remarks were made against myself if anyone, as I’m clearly a lot older than most of you. Actually, I could take offense at your allusion that I was being offensive!.


Using writing mediums, without facial expressions, or the use of emoticons ( e.g ) can often lead to misunderstandings. Taking some time to think about how messages might be misinterpreted can help to ease the situation. You could take offence that I might take offence? I think that's stretching things a little far...

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I would have thought it was clear that I was answering Devcat #23 about the eye test and An Luan #26 about the handbook to anyone bothering to read the previous couple of posts. It was only the next posting (#27), Sigh.


Sorry, it wasn't clear, at least not to me - and since I'm generally a bit better at this sort of thing than the average forum user my guess is that it wasn't exactly clear to others. As for bothering to read the previous posts - you should also understand that most people don't read everything. They skim read, or they read only things they want to. When the conversation jumps around, people can easily become confused. What might be clear to the poster (especially one who does not use the quote functions correctly or at all) is quite often very unclear to others. You might not agree with other people not understanding what you mean, but that's the way these things go.

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The Swiss-french around here often refer to “cabbage-eaters”, but if you don’t like it, I’ll not use it again. I’ve never come across Swissies before though; it seems to be an expression used mainly by foreigners about the Swiss and as such is also rather offensive.
Referring to Mark, Post #35.


Again this seems to be a misunderstanding. I have no objection to terms such as cabbage eaters, swissies or whatever. As I've also said before (in other posts) I don't mind foul language as long as it doesn't get personal and its use is necessary or makes a post funny - in other words everything in moderation. My point to you was that your post was misunderstood by the person you aimed at - why? Because they have just arrived in Zurich, which is the german speaking part, and they wouldn't have had much awareness of any french or german terms, or names for it. For the record - I thought your remarks were quite funny, it's just that they didn't have their intended effect, that's all. In fact they caused the original poster to repeat their question, something which you probably found frustrating when you considered that you've already answered it.

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Subject closed?
Well actually this subject is about driver's licence issues, and no, it's not closed, I'm sure other people have questions and information to add to this thread in future.

Please don't misunderstand the spirit of this message - I'm merely trying to concern myself with clarity and the reduction of misunderstandings on this forum, if you have specific questions about the use of the forum, what works, what doesn't, etc. then feel free to post these points in off topic or forum support and I'll be happy to assist you.
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  #42  
Old 27.06.2006, 15:30
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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FHS. Devcat #23 asked about a proper/full eye sight test, presumably to check if he needed glasses; as well as the more basic one required for converting a driving-licence. I'm simply trying to point out that if he goes to a fully qualified Opthalmologist as opposed to a high-street Optician, he can claim against his medical insurance for the cost of the tests. If he has a full test done at the Opticians, he can't.
Reply: Litespeed#38
And I am just trying to say that an Optometrist is sufficient to prove you can drive adequately and safely on a your afformentioned unlit carriageway. I don't call in a Professor in Hydrodynamics to come and tell me if my toilet is working correctly or not, when a plumber can do it just the same. However, if the plumber tells me I need said professor, then I would call him in.

Anyway, for drivers licence conversion the test has to be documented on the application itself. I doubt an Opthal would "lower" him/herself to sign that and then try to charge it to healthcare.

An Optom doing a test here is certainly better than in Australia, where the RTA officer just gets you to read a standard chart that someone could easily memorise, and no other vision deficiencies are examined.
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  #43  
Old 27.06.2006, 15:36
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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An Optom doing a test here is certainly better than in Australia, where the RTA officer just gets you to read a standard chart that someone could easily memorise, and no other vision deficiencies are examined.
I was under the impression that they used different charts at each counter, and since they are covered until the moment of the actual test it would be difficult to do this. But then again - I don't have a problem with my eyesight so never thought about cheating. I think the main point of the RTA test is to check whether you should be wearing glasses (which the requirement to drive with glasses or not is written on the licence itself) and if the person is wearing glasses to see if they are still effective - in which case they would probably advise the applicant that it might be time to go and get their eyes tested again if they couldn't read the eye chart! It may be not as comprehensive, but like many things in this country one can ask the question as to what degree we take something

I remember being quite irritated at the time when I had to make two trips to the strassenverkehrsamt because of this issue. However this feeling subsided when I realised that I received a lifetime licence, and wouldn't have to go and renew it!
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  #44  
Old 27.06.2006, 15:41
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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And I am just trying to say that an Optometrist is sufficient to prove you can drive adequately and safely on a your afformentioned unlit carriageway. I don't call in a Professor in Hydrodynamics to come and tell me if my toilet is working correctly or not, when a plumber can do it just the same. However, if the plumber tells me I need said professor, then I would call him in.
A valid point - except Anjela was only suggesting this to an earlier poster that specifically asked about an Opthalmologist. There was some lack of quoting, general confusion and a lot of chasing of tails in this thread as a result.

So the bottom line: everybody is right But I think for anyone who wants to try and follow the subject there is still some useful info on this thread. So much so that I am getting private emails via the contact function of this forum like "how do I convert my licence from country X to a UK licence". I wish people would learn to read... Sometimes google doesn't always bring in the best traffic!
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  #45  
Old 28.06.2006, 11:18
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

Ehr... I think my post contributed to generate a bit of confusion and helped start a strange argument. What I wanted to say is: I need to get the standart eye-test to convert my italian driving license into a swiss one. Having had my last complete medical eye-test around eight years ago and wearing glasses it would be a good idea to have a proper complete check-up of my eyes (just like every other medical check-up... sometimes it's just a good idea to have them even if you are perfectly healthy ).
So I thought I could combine the two together (and actually, despite being italian I didn't even think about getting money back from my health insurance for this... I must be losing touch with my roots ) and save time. That's all.


I would like to thank those who gave good advices and apologise for the mess
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  #46  
Old 08.07.2006, 22:45
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

What's the turn around time for converting a license over to a Swiss one?

I've got a New Zealand drivers license, was wanting to make a quick jaunt down to Italy next weekend in my new spangly car and realised that they require a bloody International Drivers Permit there for non-EU licenses. I'm thinking I can only get an IDP from the Automobile Association in New Zealand?

Arrrgggghhhhh!!
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  #47  
Old 08.07.2006, 23:11
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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What's the turn around time for converting a license over to a Swiss one?

I've got a New Zealand drivers license, was wanting to make a quick jaunt down to Italy next weekend in my new spangly car and realised that they require a bloody International Drivers Permit there for non-EU licenses. I'm thinking I can only get an IDP from the Automobile Association in New Zealand?

Arrrgggghhhhh!!
Firstly, no way in hell I would drive anything remotely new (or spangly )around Italy, unless it is rented and I am prepared to drive as crazy as they do.

Secondly, I think turnaround is about 2 weeks, depending on the Kanton. It took a month when I lived in Appenzell AR, buts thats only because one question was not completely filled out, and instead of ringing me they let my application gather dust for 3 weeks. After ringing and giving the last minor details it arrived in 1 week.
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  #48  
Old 08.07.2006, 23:43
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

I agree with Litespeed - I think it is around 2 weeks. Save yourself the trouble of going in there and just do it by post though. They may have become more efficient in recent years however...
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  #49  
Old 08.07.2006, 23:48
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

Ah okay, thanks guys.

Fortunately the car is a company car! So not so worried about the crazy Italian's.

While it's being processed, does that mean you can't legally drive for 2 weeks?
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  #50  
Old 09.07.2006, 10:12
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

You can generally drive for up to one year on a foreign licence (certainly for those from an EU country).

As to cost, my licence allows me to drive slightly heavier vehicles up to 6500kg. When I was 17 I just ticked theses categories in the UK, and then when I was older they became valid. Because of theses I was sent to do a 20 minute medical test, which cost 250chf, and whick will have to be repeated in the future.

I could have dropped these categories and avoided the extra test but chose not to. The option is there though to only transfer part of your licence.

John
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  #51  
Old 17.07.2006, 00:00
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

I got really confusing feedback on this topic.. I basically have friends:

-- who only had to take the driving test within one year (as rather expected)
-- who basically walked into one of the license offices, told the officer in charge they want to convert their DL , and it was done without any exam of any sorts although they have been in the country for more than a year in one case, more than two years in the other one.

-- who passed the one year limit but was very cheecky on the phone with the officer in charge and kinda got the conversion without the exam..

honestly, what is the rule? is it changing from canton to canton ? or based on the mood of the officer in charge that day??
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  #52  
Old 17.07.2006, 10:05
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

it depends where your licence is from and also which way the wind's blowing at that particular time....
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  #53  
Old 17.07.2006, 10:08
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

Quote:
I got really confusing feedback on this topic.. I basically have friends:

-- who only had to take the driving test within one year (as rather expected)
-- who basically walked into one of the license offices, told the officer in charge they want to convert their DL , and it was done without any exam of any sorts although they have been in the country for more than a year in one case, more than two years in the other one.

-- who passed the one year limit but was very cheecky on the phone with the officer in charge and kinda got the conversion without the exam..

honestly, what is the rule? is it changing from canton to canton ? or based on the mood of the officer in charge that day??
If you are from the EU, you can convert within one year without taking a test. Any longer and you need the test, officially.

However, I converted my UK license after about 2 years and they just swapped it for a Swiss one. I surmised from that, that it depends on whether or not your local traffic office has a big workload. In ZH they had a huge backlog of people waiting for tests so I guess they felt it was easier to just let EU people swap their license regardless of time limit (or at least were more lax about it).


Gav
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  #54  
Old 17.07.2006, 10:43
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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-- who passed the one year limit but was very cheecky on the phone with the officer in charge and kinda got the conversion without the exam..
My story is that I was here and knew the 1 year rule on a foreign license. Was told that I had to do the practical test (and all the pre costs.....). I wasnt driving and knew I could survive without a license and couldnt be bothered with the cost and effort. Then I was told (in my 14th month here) that I could straight swap an Australian license, as long as it was within the first year of residency. I silently fumed and let it go. Then at 18 months (Sept 2004) I thought I may as well try and see what happens. Took an eye test (20chf). Went to the Zurich office, filled in a form, smiled nicely at the girl, handed in my Australian license and she said not much at all. Within a few days my Aust. licence came back in the mail with a detail-less backing sheet with a "not valid in Switzerland" sticker on it. OK game over I thought. Then a week later another letter, with a Swiss license in it woohoo. The following week a bill for about 100chf, which I glady paid :-)
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Old 17.07.2006, 11:15
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

I think they have an issue actually in that you need more than a grape-pickers' permit now to change the licence and thus they don't check as hard as to how long you've been in the country.

The best working excuse I've heard is to say to them that you never changed the licence because you did not have a car and now you're just about to get one.

Frankly, your ability does not diminish on day 366 of your time in Switzerland....
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  #56  
Old 17.07.2006, 11:36
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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Within a few days my Aust. licence came back in the mail with a detail-less backing sheet with a "not valid in Switzerland" sticker on it.
I never got my AUS licence back.

One should never underestimate the effect of micro-bureaucratics in Switzerland. Okay, the big guys make the rules, but that little guy in the local office somehow has the "discretion" to make life easy or hard for you with having to justify it.
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  #57  
Old 17.07.2006, 11:46
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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I never got my AUS licence back.
The flouro red "not valid in Switzerland" sticker on the Aust. license is certainly a conversation starter when I use it back in Australia. "What did you do wrong?!!"
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  #58  
Old 17.07.2006, 12:29
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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I think they have an issue actually in that you need more than a grape-pickers' permit now to change the licence and thus they don't check as hard as to how long you've been in the country.

The best working excuse I've heard is to say to them that you never changed the licence because you did not have a car and now you're just about to get one.

Frankly, your ability does not diminish on day 366 of your time in Switzerland....

I got a 120CHF fine for not changing my license and the excuse that I didn't actually own a car in Switzerland didn't hold any water unfortunately. (I was driving a weekend rental at the time I got stopped by the overzealous AG traffic police).

That's why I ended up changing it after almost 2 years, as mentioned in a previous post. but I got lucky and the ZH StVA just swapped it. I had quite a run around though, as the AG police had given me a form to get stamped by the StVA upon getting my Swiss license but every time I asked the ZH StVA to stamp it, I got a different response from the various clueless Beameters.....

Upon handing in all my forms and my old license: "Sorry, we can't stamp it until the license has been approved and issued. Come back with the license."

Upon getting the new license and bringing it to the offices: "Sorry, you haven't paid for the license yet. Bring the bill (at home) to the post office and pay it then come back with the receipt of payment"

Upon paying the bill and bringing the receipt: "Sorry, this form is from the Aargau police. Nothing to do with us in Zuerich, we're not stamping it."

At this point, after three fruitless visits to the StVA offices I just photocopied the license and sent a cover letter to the Aargau police bureau explaining that I had swapped the license. Seemed to do the trick, unless of course I've become a wanted traffic violator in Aargau now.... (Oh yeah, total cost of misadventure almost 300CHF by the time the fine, admin costs and new license had been paid).



Gav
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  #59  
Old 19.07.2006, 09:25
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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I never got my AUS licence back.

One should never underestimate the effect of micro-bureaucratics in Switzerland. Okay, the big guys make the rules, but that little guy in the local office somehow has the "discretion" to make life easy or hard for you with having to justify it.
It thinks it's less a case of discretion, but more a case of the lower level drones being unfamiliar/not caring about all the rules. Any trip to a gemeinde to ask anything more than a routine question will highlight this fact!

I'm surprised that yokine got her AUS licence back - usually countries have an agreement between each other that if you take a licence in exchange then they send back the licence or inform the other country of this fact. Next time you are in oz you should try and say "I lost my license while overseas" and see what they say. They may give you back the AUS one, or they may say "Nice try buddy".

In my case I swapped my AUS licence for a UK one years back, and got it back (in the days when nobody cared). I then gave up the UK one to the Swiss (it was the old paper one, so I never carried it anyway)
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Old 19.07.2006, 11:01
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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It thinks it's less a case of discretion, but more a case of the lower level drones being unfamiliar/not caring about all the rules. Any trip to a gemeinde to ask anything more than a routine question will highlight this fact!

I'm surprised that yokine got her AUS licence back - usually countries have an agreement between each other that if you take a licence in exchange then they send back the licence or inform the other country of this fact. Next time you are in oz you should try and say "I lost my license while overseas" and see what they say. They may give you back the AUS one, or they may say "Nice try buddy".

In my case I swapped my AUS licence for a UK one years back, and got it back (in the days when nobody cared). I then gave up the UK one to the Swiss (it was the old paper one, so I never carried it anyway)
They certainly send UK licenses back to the office which issued them in the UK. Might just be an EU thing though.

As you say, any sort of tricky question or unfamiliar procedure seems to faze most public officials here. Something tells me that the tens of thousands of bureaucratic positions here don't tend to attract the brightest and the best of the employment pool.

Gav
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conversion, drive test, driver license, driving, driving in ch, driving licence, driving licence conversion, france, frontalier, geneva, licence, road traffic offices, swiss driving licence, transportation, us lincense




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