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  #21  
Old 13.07.2012, 17:52
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Re: Driving nightmare

When countries have mutual recognition for driving licenses, when you try to swap it in another country they take that one from you, give you another one and than they send it to the domicile country. When you go back the process is reverse, you ask for new license with your foreign one.

When the two countries don't have mutual agreement, when you try to convert your license either you won't be able to do it straight away (you have to do the control ride in CH) and than you are given a new CH license and your OLD license with a stamp not valid in CH. The reason they give back your old license is that if you go home you can't drive with your CH one AND you won't be able to swap it later because it is not recognized.

When you converted your UK license into CH one, I suppose you never got back your original UK license?

I don't know how business would be done in SA...
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  #22  
Old 13.07.2012, 17:53
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Re: Driving nightmare

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Kontrolfahrt is equal to a full test without the parking test but it is MORE demanding and more difficult than a normal test as they expect you to be VERY good driver and show that you can cope with everyday traffic without any hesitation.

If you fail the kontrolfahrt you are banned from driving in Switzerland and your license is not valid in CH anymore and you have to start the driving lessons from scratch as if you never had a license.
Why should it be more demanding if the Op has been driving for years?
I can see how they might have developed bad habits, like crossing the hands, and the like, and they would need to make obvious head movements when looking in the mirror, but coping with everyday traffic??

But on the other hand, if they are getting speeding fines, maybe it's a good thing. I think if I was in the same position, I'd pay for a couple of lessons to highlight my weaknesses, rather than risk failing, and having to start from scratch.

It appears to cost CHF 150. http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/siche...hr/GEBama.html
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  #23  
Old 13.07.2012, 17:59
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Re: Driving nightmare

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Why should it be more demanding if the Op has been driving for years?
I can see how they might have developed bad habits, like crossing the hands, and the like, and they would need to make obvious head movements when looking in the mirror, but coping with everyday traffic??

But on the other hand, if they are getting speeding fines, maybe it's a good thing. I think if I was in the same position, I'd pay for a couple of lessons to highlight my weaknesses, rather than risk failing, and having to start from scratch.

It appears to cost CHF 150. http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/siche...hr/GEBama.html
The reason why the control ride is more demanding is that the Swiss authorities see you as a driver with previous experience (which is kind of not recognized here) so they give you 1 year to drive in Switzerland with your old license. After 1 year you have to convert it and if it's not recognized you have to do a control ride. This is a test to show not that you are capable of driving like a beginner but rather an experienced driver so the expectations are different from the examiner.

Switzerland has a lot of cars on the streets during the day so if somebody is not managing to keep up with the traffic they will cause delay. So they really want you to be ready to drive "the swiss way". What might be acceptable in France or Italy, it might definitely not be here.

And the control ride will cost you a bit more than 150 if you need to hire a professional teacher that will tell you exactly how to pass the test he will cost you easily 150 for 1.5 hours of driving.
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  #24  
Old 13.07.2012, 18:22
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Re: Driving nightmare

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The reason why the control ride is more demanding is that the Swiss authorities see you as a driver with previous experience (which is kind of not recognized here) so they give you 1 year to drive in Switzerland with your old license. After 1 year you have to convert it and if it's not recognized you have to do a control ride. This is a test to show not that you are capable of driving like a beginner but rather an experienced driver so the expectations are different from the examiner.
That's not quite true. They don't "give you a year", also not "After 1 year you have to convert it". You have up to one year to replace it
Be clear about this, if the year has passed, you must retest from scratch, including theory, and a set number of lessons.

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And the control ride will cost you a bit more than 150 if you need to hire a professional teacher that will tell you exactly how to pass the test he will cost you easily 150 for 1.5 hours of driving.
It goes without saying that the Op would incur costs for driving lessons, but the cost for the test is 150.
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Old 13.07.2012, 18:28
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Re: Driving nightmare

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That's not quite true. They don't "give you a year", also not "After 1 year you have to convert it". You have up to one year to replace it
Be clear about this, if the year has passed, you must retest from scratch, including theory, and a set number of lessons.
It is true actually. From your first day as a resident in CH you have full 12 months to convert your license. If your license is recognized by CH you can even do it after those 12 months, I know some people that converted their licenses after 2-3 years here without any additional cost or hassle from the authorities.

If your license is not recognized than you should bring it in by the last day of your first 12 months of residency and you will be given a temporary 3 months license with which you can drive and be given a time slot for a control ride. If the don't have enough examiners you might be given a test date after 5-6-7 months and even though your temporary license will be expired you can still drive with your control test date paper.


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It goes without saying that the Op would incur costs for driving lessons, but the cost for the test is 150.
Yes, but without any driving lessons chances of passing are VERY slim almost non existent.
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  #26  
Old 16.07.2012, 17:24
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Re: Driving nightmare

Hi.. sorry, this is not directly relevant to the OPs post, but the thread got me thinking. I came with an Australian license (some of us can drive.. , not particularly well, but there's not much to run into in the outback) and swapped it for a CH license. I am about to move to Manila, and let's just say, the Philippines' drivers licenses have the same street cred as ones from South Africa. So... can I keep my Swiss one? Should I / can I revalidate my Australian one, or am I going to end up with none???
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  #27  
Old 17.07.2012, 18:40
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Re: Driving nightmare

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It is true actually. From your first day as a resident in CH you have full 12 months to convert your license. If your license is recognized by CH you can even do it after those 12 months, I know some people that converted their licenses after 2-3 years here without any additional cost or hassle from the authorities.
You basically changed what you said "give you a year", and "After 1 year you have to convert" to what I said!! "12 months to convert" = You have up to one year to replace it.

Your claim that you know people that changed them 2-3 years after, contradicts the info provided by the Strassenverkehrsamt, and frankly, it would be ill advised to leave it until then. I quote them, not speculation like below.

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Yes, but without any driving lessons chances of passing are VERY slim almost non existent.
Utter nonsense
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  #28  
Old 17.07.2012, 18:50
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Re: Driving nightmare

Just noticed something relevant to some of the posts here, regarding the question of whether a UK licence is really returned to DVLA or not.

When I converted mine (somewhat after 12 months, as it happens), the new Swiss one listed all the dates I acquired the various categories on my UK licence. That is to say, it showed the motorbike test pass date against that category and the car test pass date (some three years later) next to the rest.

So quite clearly they had been able to get this information from the DVLA before they did the licence swap, as I had no idea what the dates were, and they were not listed on the old (paper) UK licence.

I know some of the discussions here were about SA, not CH, but thought it might be of interest. For example, does the OP's SA licence list the dates in the same way? If so, they could only have got them from DVLA in the same way.
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  #29  
Old 17.07.2012, 19:12
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Re: Driving nightmare

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Your claim that you know people that changed them 2-3 years after, contradicts the info provided by the Strassenverkehrsamt
i changed mine after a few years and I know someone that changed it after 7 or 8 years - no problems.

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So quite clearly they had been able to get this information from the DVLA before they did the licence swap, as I had no idea what the dates were, and they were not listed on the old (paper) UK licence.

my old paper version had the dates listed, the guy at the STVA just took the info from it for the swiss licence
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  #30  
Old 17.07.2012, 19:31
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Re: Driving nightmare

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i changed mine after a few years and I know someone that changed it after 7 or 8 years - no problems.
I think, based on my own experience, that you're not allowed to drive on the foreign licence after the 12-month period. No requirement to change it, but it's not valid to use it after that time.
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my old paper version had the dates listed, the guy at the STVA just took the info from it for the swiss licence
Oh, well I could be mistaken, but I can specifically recall _not_ knowing the dates when previously asked, so I didn't think they were listed. Then again, there were quite a few iterations of paper licence (mine was still a green one, I think they later changed to pink) so it may have changed over time.
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  #31  
Old 18.07.2012, 00:22
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Re: Driving nightmare

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You basically changed what you said "give you a year", and "After 1 year you have to convert" to what I said!! "12 months to convert" = You have up to one year to replace it.
I didn't change anything, from the day you arrive as a resident in CH and you register at the Office of population or whatever, you have 12 months where you can drive with your current driving license, after this period the license is deemed not valid in CH and you need to convert it to CH one, either by test or direct conversion without test.

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Your claim that you know people that changed them 2-3 years after, contradicts the info provided by the Strassenverkehrsamt, and frankly, it would be ill advised to leave it until then. I quote them, not speculation like below.
I would never speculate, there ARE people that changed them 2-3 years after, see for yourself:

[Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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I live in canton Sczwyz too and I am 2 months late to convert my Spanish driver's license. Thanks! I went there this morning with all the papers and they just accepted my application. No questions, no penalities for driving over a year with foreing license - nothing!
My Swiss license has to be ready in a week and they kept my old Spanish license. I was told that they send it back to Spain.
Re. Converting UK drivers' licence after more than one year

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I'm not sure this is true. I exchanged my license after 25 months with no hassle. The lady looked at me and said "you know shouldn't still be driving on this", to which I replied truthfully, "oh no, I haven't, I won't be driving on the Swiss one either, I just thought I should get it done in case". Form, eye test etc and all was done, it arrived two days later.
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Utter nonsense
Failed my driving test :( feeling bad and really need some advise on what to do,help!

Failed My driving Test... What next


I would say you pretty much have no idea what you are talking about. So, please, read and search more before you make any claims without backup.
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  #32  
Old 18.07.2012, 00:37
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Re: Driving nightmare

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hello all

i have just moved to zurich and other than getting more than my fair share of parking and speeding fines i am needing to change my license over.
i am on a german passport, have a south african drivers (its real, did not buy it) and used to have a UK license.
when i went back to SA i had to hand in my UK card (still have the paper one)
now that i am here they want me to resit my driving test!!!!!!
im in a state! is there anyway i can get uk to send me a new license without actually living there?
that would be great then i would not need to break out in a sweat and feel like i am 18yrs old again (which was not a great time for me)
i have another 9 months where i can drive on my SA one but need to get this sorted
Just a thought, but does Germany recognise the SA licence?

Change it in DE and then maybe you could convert a DE licence.

Also, did you actually go into the SVKA and would they have noted down that you came in with an SA licence?
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  #33  
Old 18.07.2012, 16:48
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Re: Driving nightmare

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I didn't change anything, from the day you arrive as a resident in CH and you register at the Office of population or whatever, you have 12 months where you can drive with your current driving license, after this period the license is deemed not valid in CH and you need to convert it to CH one, either by test or direct conversion without test.



I would never speculate, there ARE people that changed them 2-3 years after, see for yourself:

[Drivers licence] Conversion and questions



Re. Converting UK drivers' licence after more than one year





Failed my driving test :( feeling bad and really need some advise on what to do,help!

Failed My driving Test... What next


I would say you pretty much have no idea what you are talking about. So, please, read and search more before you make any claims without backup.
I see you live in Canton Geneva, and one of your cases was Canton Schweiz. Perhaps only Canton Zürich follow the rules, but as I pointed out before, I quoted from the Strassenverkehrsams documents, and provided links. Hardly "no idea what I am talking about", or "making claims without backup"!
You've already twisted your words in this thread. Might I suggest that your previous offerings have not been completely accurate. If you are going to respond, get it right first time, so the Op has the answer they're looking for.
NB. The op is in Canton Zürich
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  #34  
Old 18.07.2012, 16:51
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Re: Driving nightmare

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I see you live in Canton Geneva, and one of your cases was Canton Schweiz. Perhaps only Canton Zürich follow the rules, but as I pointed out before, I quoted from the Strassenverkehrsams documents, and provided links. Hardly "no idea what I am talking about", or "making claims without backup"!
You've already twisted your words in this thread. Might I suggest that your previous offerings have not been completely accurate. If you are going to respond, get it right first time, so the Op has the answer they're looking for.
NB. The op is in Canton Zürich
Please. Don't. Feed. The. Troll.
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  #35  
Old 18.07.2012, 17:26
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Re: Driving nightmare

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I see you live in Canton Geneva, and one of your cases was Canton Schweiz. Perhaps only Canton Zürich follow the rules, but as I pointed out before, I quoted from the Strassenverkehrsams documents, and provided links. Hardly "no idea what I am talking about", or "making claims without backup"!
You've already twisted your words in this thread. Might I suggest that your previous offerings have not been completely accurate. If you are going to respond, get it right first time, so the Op has the answer they're looking for.
NB. The op is in Canton Zürich
Did you read the other replies in this thread CONFIRMING what I just said?!

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Please. Don't. Feed. The. Troll.
Once you state the obvious that a person can get screwed with a car sale you become a troll. It's OK, everyone's entitled to an opinion, it's not like I forbidding somebody to post on a topic.
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  #36  
Old 18.07.2012, 17:42
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Re: Driving nightmare

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Did you read the other replies in this thread CONFIRMING what I just said?!
Did you read the linked web site. It's the STVA web site. The rules are there if you bothered reading them.

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Once you state the obvious that a person can get screwed with a car sale you become a troll. It's OK, everyone's entitled to an opinion, it's not like I forbidding somebody to post on a topic.
Factually incorrect. You become a troll once you have an unfounded opinion on every topic and argue with people linking to official web sites and documents with your opinion and rumours.
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  #37  
Old 18.07.2012, 17:59
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Re: Driving nightmare

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Did you read the other replies in this thread CONFIRMING what I just said?!
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Did you read the linked web site. It's the STVA web site. The rules are there if you bothered reading them..
To be fair, I, and others, have confirmed that it's still possible to exchange an EU licence for a Swiss one after the 12 months period, as long as you don't use it to drive after that point. I think it's this that Idefix is getting at here, although s/he did originally express it more strongly than that.
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  #38  
Old 08.09.2012, 18:52
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Re: Driving nightmare

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To be fair, I, and others, have confirmed that it's still possible to exchange an EU licence for a Swiss one after the 12 months period, as long as you don't use it to drive after that point. I think it's this that Idefix is getting at here, although s/he did originally express it more strongly than that.
You can exchange a UK license for up to 5 years as long as it's not expired. Original Green paper licenses expire at age 70, however the photo card of new style licences expire every 10 years.

Claiming to be a UK resident, when your not could be a very expensive mistake it the UK revenue ever got a copy of the application which claims you have been a UK resident for at least 6 months.
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