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Old 22.08.2011, 13:02
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Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

Hi
We are moving to Milwaukee, US next month. Was wondering if someone has experience in changing their Swiss License for a US License.
I know you can drive in US for the 1st year with the Swiss or any other driving license but you need to change after the 1st year, if you are stsaying more than 6 months more.
Is the procedure simple and if tests are waived off with the Swiss License, OR one needs to go through all the tests like a beginner.,

Thanks a lot for your replies...
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Old 22.08.2011, 13:08
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

I don't know much about driving in Wisconsin, but I do know about drinking in Wisconsin.

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Old 22.08.2011, 13:11
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

I don't know if they will transfer the license, but I do know that driving tests in the U.S. are ridiculously easy, like you will be wondering when the actual graded part of the practical test if going to start when tester suddenly says," OK, park, you passed". If you can drive here you will pass it- just get the little study booklet at the Department of Motor Vehicles for signs and passing/turning rules and such as they are slightly different than elsewhere. Even if they can transfer the license you ought to take the test just to experience it .
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Old 22.08.2011, 13:23
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

When I changed my Belgian one to a US one I had to redo all the test (i even had an international one) in 2003 or so.

Theory test was 18$ and soooooo easy. Just make sure about school bus rules etc.
then I had to do the practical (with my own car) which cost me a ridiculous small amount also. was also super easy. they just looked for stupid things like making sure the wheels are turned toward the curb when parking on an incline etc etc
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Old 22.08.2011, 13:36
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

When we moved to Ohio from the Netherlands we had to redo the test, practical and in theory but as said it was very simple. It is true that you can drive your Swiss or International one for up to a year but when you own your own car it is better to do it right away as your car insurance is lower with an US drivers license. Remember that for US citizen the drivers license has to be renewed on their birthday but for permit holders it expires the day your permit expires!
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Old 22.08.2011, 13:37
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

when I changed my US license for a Swiss one there was no test ( ok ,I had to take an eye test and pay a few chuffies ) so I should imagine there would be a reciprocal arrangement with Swiss to US.

( but that may be my naive side. )
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Old 22.08.2011, 13:50
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

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( but that may be my naive side. )
Indeed. Everyone I've talked to had to redo the test, as the DMV doesn't know whether the foreign drivers tests are up to snuff. Why, there's even some countries where they drive on the wrong side of the road!

Seriously, you'll probably have to do the test, but it's ridiculously simple. Comparing Swiss and US drivers tests makes me fear anyone on American plates these days...
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Old 22.08.2011, 15:58
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

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when I changed my US license for a Swiss one there was no test ( ok ,I had to take an eye test and pay a few chuffies ) so I should imagine there would be a reciprocal arrangement with Swiss to US.

( but that may be my naive side. )
New Jersey doesn't even recognize licenses from other states, so yes, it's a bit naive to expect any sort of reciprocal arrangement.

It looks like you're going to have to redo the tests. Unlike New Jersey, Wisconsin may give a pass to someone with an out-of-state license, but foreigners probably have to do all the tests.
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Old 22.08.2011, 16:51
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

Every state has different regulations.

New Jersey does accept out of state licenses when you move there. I had no problems when I moved there, it was just exchanged. According to the DMV page they still do. I couldnt figure out what Wisconsin does with foreign licenses. Most likely you will need to take the test.
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Old 22.08.2011, 17:11
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

I'm heading to Florida on Saturday and as far as I know, you can drive for a year before you have to take a test.
but, as was previously said, different states have different rules
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Old 22.08.2011, 17:17
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

Hey, Welcome to Wisconsin!!!! My story! First I went to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) and ask for a transfer, they told me to do a written test ... I even got the test in German. After I past the test I went back to the counter and he told me I have to do a driving test also ... 1 week later I got an appointment in Madison (90 min drive from Lake Geneva) and had to do my driving test. So no transfer and do the test again. Also you will receive a 2 year temporary license!
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Old 22.08.2011, 17:29
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

This is nearly as silly as the pumpkin pie thread!

So you can drive coast the coast in the USA as a tourist and even have experience of driving for say 40 years - on both sides of the road. You can stay there a year on a Swiss (or any other developed nation's licence) but after 12 months you must take a test. You can exchange your Wisconsin licence for a Swiss one without a test, but you must do a test the other way round.

OK. How do you demonstrate a hill start in Wisconsin??
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Old 22.08.2011, 17:34
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

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This is nearly as silly as the pumpkin pie thread!

So you can drive coast the coast in the USA as a tourist and even have experience of driving for say 40 years - on both sides of the road. You can stay there a year on a Swiss (or any other developed nation's licence) but after 12 months you must take a test. You can exchange your Wisconsin licence for a Swiss one without a test, but you must do a test the other way round.

OK. How do you demonstrate a hill start in Wisconsin??

true but they got some serious different rules there. like the schoolbusses is the main one, stop signs (you HAVE to stop) etc etc. all in all to do the test was cheaper than converting it here....also no cop there knows what to do with an international license....when I had a speeding incident he just couldnt be bothered to do all the paperwork involving haha
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Old 22.08.2011, 18:27
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

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New Jersey does accept out of state licenses when you move there. I had no problems when I moved there, it was just exchanged. According to the DMV page they still do. I couldnt figure out what Wisconsin does with foreign licenses. Most likely you will need to take the test.
NJ didn't in 1992. Glad to see some things have improved. It seems that more and more states are willing to accept other states' licenses as proof of driving competency. Foreign licenses do not get the same courtesy.
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Old 22.08.2011, 18:31
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

Wisconsin does not accept a Swiss license, you have to do a written and driving test.
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Old 22.08.2011, 18:55
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

I have no specific information as far as WI is concerned, but in Illinois and Florida I know for a fact that your time using a foreign driver's license is not nearly a year. Back in the mid 1990s I had to change my license within 30 days from arrival in FL. In Illinois the time to change DL is correlated with the length of your US visa. Passing a US written and driving tests is a joke comparing to most other countries, so I'd suggest get it out of the way fast and in the long run you'll save yourself hassle when you may be required to show your DL for example at a night club and learn that they don't accept a foreign one. For more info visit: www.sos.state.wi.us
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Old 22.08.2011, 19:17
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Re: Moving to Wisconsin US, changing Driving License

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I have no specific information as far as WI is concerned, but in Illinois and Florida I know for a fact that your time using a foreign driver's license is not nearly a year. Back in the mid 1990s I had to change my license within 30 days from arrival in FL. In Illinois the time to change DL is correlated with the length of your US visa. Passing a US written and driving tests is a joke comparing to most other countries, so I'd suggest get it out of the way fast and in the long run you'll save yourself hassle when you may be required to show your DL for example at a night club and learn that they don't accept a foreign one. For more info visit: www.sos.state.wi.us
Good point. On the other page, it specifically says (emphasis added):
Quote:
Drivers with a Commercial Driver License (CDL) are required to apply for a Wisconsin driver license within 30 days. Other drivers new to Wisconsin are required to apply for a Wisconsin driver license within 60 days of establishing residency.
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