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Old 20.03.2017, 16:24
dmholtzman dmholtzman is offline
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

Really good information, thanks for sharing.

My wife and I moved to canton Nidwalden from California 1 year ago and just converted our licenses, so here is a quick summary of our experience:

We went to our local VSZ office to find out what we needed to do the conversion. The documents they wanted were: eye exam, photo, CHF 100 fee. We did the eye exam at a local mall, easy and took about 10 minutes.

One last thing the VSZ wanted that created a big headache for us was the ORIGINAL issue date of our CA DL's. CA DL's don't have the date that they were ORIGINALLY issued on them, just the date that particular piece of plastic was issued, and since CA requires you to renew your DL every X amount of years, my DL unfortunately said it was issued in 2014 (I first got it around 2003) and my wife's DL was issued in 2015 due to our recent marriage & her subsequent name change.

We were coming up on the 1 year deadline quickly so this made us pretty nervous and after talking to the CA DMV, we were instructed to fill out a form (PM me if you need to know which form) and mail it to Sacramento. About a month later we received what we needed back from them but during that time our 1 year in CH had passed, so we went to the VSZ and they told us they would issue our new DL's and just use our current CA DL date of issue as the date of original issuance. They said the downside to this was the cost of car insurance would be higher, but we didn't have a choice. My wife had an older DL from which they took her issue date from, but I had to go with a 2014 issue date.

While we were waiting for our new Swiss DL to arrive in the mail, the DMV paperwork came and we were able to provide it to the VSZ in time for them to use since they hadn't done our DL's yet.

We were leaving the country that day so we went to the VSZ office and collected our new and old DL's and paid the fees. For anyone wondering, they gave us back our CA DL's with a stamp that says something to the effect of "not valid in CH".

Hope that's helpful to someone as there's not much instruction online for the situation we were in.
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