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Old 22.12.2010, 10:15
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Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

I have a UK drivers license but understand I need to get a Swiss one within a year of living here. I have heard that you must relinquish your UK drivers license in order to get the Swiss one and that you can't keep both. Is this true and if so what happens if I go back to the UK for a holiday and want to drive there? Thanks for any advice from those that have been through the process already.
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Old 22.12.2010, 10:20
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

The same as if you go on holiday anywhere and want to drive. Your swiss license covers you to drive elsewhere as your british one covered you to drive elsewhere
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Old 22.12.2010, 10:22
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

You have heard correctly -- exchange one for the other. Your new Swiss licence will cover you to drive in the UK (as anywhere else, where it's recognised).
Before I moved here 10 yrs. ago, I "lost/misplaced" my UK one in packing, so applied for a replacement UK one (the picture type had just been introduced - so I got one of these). Miraculously, on arrival I "found" my old one and submitted this for my Swiss one, so I am still in possession of the replacement, although the picture part has now expired. And as the UK address is no longer valid, I doubt if the licence is either -- but I have it for prosperity.
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Old 22.12.2010, 10:23
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

hi

yes you do have to relinquish your Uk driving licence when you hand over your application form to the gemeinde. i was given a photocopy of my UK licence back. my swiss licence has a reference number on the back which i believe relates to my uk driving licence. i have had several hire cars in the Uk and been put on my mothers insurance and have had no problems and no questions were asked so dont worry...........
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Old 22.12.2010, 13:18
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

If my husband doesn't get a Swiss license, and keeps the UK one - can he use the UK one to hire a car in switzerland after the one year period? We are keeping a flat in the UK and will have a car in the UK (with insurance, registration all paid there) and don't intend to buy a car here - only rent a couple times a year for travelling so to me it makes more sense to have a UK license.
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Old 22.12.2010, 13:33
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

You will find it very hard to get insurance on a UK car in the UK without being a UK residence. This obviously doesn't apply to hire cars but applies to if you want to be put on your parents car for a week or something.
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Old 22.12.2010, 14:00
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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You will find it very hard to get insurance on a UK car in the UK without being a UK residence. This obviously doesn't apply to hire cars but applies to if you want to be put on your parents car for a week or something.
My parents didn't have any trouble putting me on their car insurance
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Old 22.12.2010, 14:10
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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My parents didn't have any trouble putting me on their car insurance
Which company is it?

They may have not told the insurance company you aren't a UK resident. After all how would they find out?

If they did tell the company then I'd be interested to know who they are insured with. You can PM me if you don't want to post on the forum.
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Old 22.12.2010, 14:21
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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If my husband doesn't get a Swiss license, and keeps the UK one - can he use the UK one to hire a car in switzerland after the one year period? We are keeping a flat in the UK and will have a car in the UK (with insurance, registration all paid there) and don't intend to buy a car here - only rent a couple times a year for travelling so to me it makes more sense to have a UK license.
He will be breaking the law by driving on his UK licence. Therfore, if he is involved in an accident he won't be insured!
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Old 22.12.2010, 14:58
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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If my husband doesn't get a Swiss license, and keeps the UK one - can he use the UK one to hire a car in switzerland after the one year period? We are keeping a flat in the UK and will have a car in the UK (with insurance, registration all paid there) and don't intend to buy a car here - only rent a couple times a year for travelling so to me it makes more sense to have a UK license.
If your primary residence is Switzerland than your husband has only 12 months to exchange his UK license to a Swiss one. Beyond that he will need to pass a Swiss driving test to gain a Swiss license. Apart breaking the law by driving without a valid license, in case of an accident his car insurance will also be invalid and therefore not covered.
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Old 22.12.2010, 17:01
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Re: Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one?

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If my husband doesn't get a Swiss license, and keeps the UK one - can he use the UK one to hire a car in switzerland after the one year period? We are keeping a flat in the UK and will have a car in the UK (with insurance, registration all paid there) and don't intend to buy a car here - only rent a couple times a year for travelling so to me it makes more sense to have a UK license.
If your primary residence is CH, then after 12 mths a foreign licence is no longer valid and needs to be exchanged for a Swiss one. As mentioned, several times already, there is no problem using this in UK. Is this such a problem?
If Scotland is technically still your place of residence, then there should be no reason why you can't use a UK licence for renters, here, when you visit, with no time constraints -- however I think this isn't your situation(?). You may well end up, "upsetting" one authority or the other. And in the eyes of the law, I believe driving with an invalid licence is seen as the same as having no licence, with whatever penalties that may carry.
I made a reply to the OP of this thread (2nd reply/3rd post, above), that may offer a clue to a possible compromise (albeit possibly fraudulent).
In order to have a valid UK licence you need a registered place of residence.
Whatever course you decide on, tread very carefully, as in the worse case scenario of having an accident, insurers will look for the smallest reason/technicality, of getting out of coughing-up, and you could find yourselves liable.
After all, a licence is only a piece of paper/plastic and should only be seen as providing a legal entitlement to drive, where ever it is issued.

Last edited by TiMow; 22.12.2010 at 17:05. Reason: addition
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