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  #61  
Old 22.04.2012, 19:40
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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Coming from the U.S. where we had drivers training in high school for the year and a lot of hours of driving with a school drivers training teacher, other days classroom training or tests. Not a Driving instructor we had to pay for like here. After all everyone usually learns to drive why not in the schools as a class? But the Instructors here make a lot more than a teacher I guess. Here it surprises me how few hours training a person has, one person said 10 hours with an instructor! Not sure now but I think we had to have a minimum 50.
In the US, I didn't have driving at school, and had 6 half-hour lessons (plus classes) before taking and passing the five minute test.

Cost my mother $115 for the course.

Tom
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  #62  
Old 22.04.2012, 19:41
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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I have been a bit surprised from a few of the answers. Coming from the U.S. where we had drivers training in high school for the year and a lot of hours of driving with a school drivers training teacher, other days classroom training or tests. Not a Driving instructor we had to pay for like here. After all everyone usually learns to drive why not in the schools as a class? But the Instructors here make a lot more than a teacher I guess. Here it surprises me how few hours training a person has, one person said 10 hours with an instructor! Not sure now but I think we had to have a minimum 50. I also maybe have been lucky in that I drove here for 12 years on my U.S. licence before getting one here and was in the U.S. every year for one month so I guess they considered that I was not here for 12 months continuous? I always get the feeling that not everyone is treated the same in Switzerland, depends on a persons attitude maybe, or how we come across to others. Good Luck in your efforts but fighting the system here doesn't seem to ever work.
I don't know the answer to your question Sliced, but the biggest difference for me is the road test in the US versus the road test in CH. In the US I drove around the block and parallel parked into a spot, handed over twenty bucks and I was done. Here in CH I had to drive all over Lausanne and deal with a myriad of random road rules. So sometimes we have few hours with an instructor because we can't afford any more but the road test is much, much harder so people in CH must learn somehow.
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  #63  
Old 22.04.2012, 22:43
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

OK this issue is quite complicated,

and I am sorry that I cannot really furnish legal proofs and law articles on this matter (exception made for that ones that talk about some "fine" for who does not convert their license within a year).

Besides that I don't agree on illegal things like races on German Autobahnen and stuff like that,

what I always found very strange is to read and to hear about the very different experiences in license converting overstay and similar arguments.

Some people can just show the authorities some proof that they have enough practise, without any fine or exam, also after decades,

others have to do a practical exams without the theory part and first aid,

others have to begin all from zero.

Sounds all very odd, imo.
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  #64  
Old 22.04.2012, 22:47
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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OK this issue is quite complicated,

and I am sorry that I cannot really furnish legal proofs and law articles on this matter (exception made for that ones that talk about some "fine" for who does not convert their license within a year).

Besides that I don't agree on illegal things like races on German Autobahnen and stuff like that,

what I always found very strange is to read and to hear about the very different experiences in license converting overstay and similar arguments.

Some people can just show the authorities some proof that they have enough practise, without any fine or exam, also after decades,

others have to do a practical exams without the theory part and first aid,

others have to begin all from zero.

Sounds all very odd, imo.
My bold - where on earth have you got evidence of that here in CH??? Please give proper EVIDENCE of this.

Last edited by Odile; 22.04.2012 at 23:02.
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  #65  
Old 22.04.2012, 22:57
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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My bold - where on earth have you got evidence of that here in CH???
Yes, things like that do exist, and not just randomly.
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  #66  
Old 22.04.2012, 22:58
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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Some people can just show the authorities some proof that they have enough practise, without any fine or exam, also after decades,
What rot... please provide some evidence to substantiate your claims. I have heard of some leniency and converting after 12 months, with a reasonable justification, but never just pitching up "with enough practise" and getting a license.
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  #67  
Old 22.04.2012, 23:43
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

You might forgive me that I've given this thread a rather quick view;

what I think to have understood - but what I already not really get - is that the OP does not want (as on L-permit for 5 years) but has to do a Kontrollfahrt, so no theory and no first aid as compulsory.

Another user suggested that instead of complaining he should be glad as she had to redo it all over again in Canton Vaud.

I know cases where no fine was given and no exam done, as it is openly discussed in another forum.


So if I got it right there are 3 different categories, all of them treating with the same situation.


In case I got it all wrong just ignore my posts. Thanks.


Cheers
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  #68  
Old 22.04.2012, 23:58
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

My friend converted his Portuguese license to Swiss after 4 years (B permit) in Baselstadt. No test.
He told them he did not drive in Switzerland at all but did drive in Portugal where his family were living.
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  #69  
Old 23.04.2012, 00:10
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

I find that difficult to believe- but I'll take your word for it. It is wrong, unfair and illegal, and makes me really hissed off
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  #70  
Old 23.04.2012, 00:23
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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I find that difficult to believe- but I'll take your word for it. It is wrong, unfair and illegal, and makes me really hissed off:(
Illegal? Really? (I had to add that to get to 10 characters :) ).
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  #71  
Old 23.04.2012, 10:29
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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I find that difficult to believe- but I'll take your word for it. It is wrong, unfair and illegal, and makes me really hissed off
Difficult to believe or not, that's the way it happened.

I gave him the '12 month' lecture just before he went down there, and he came back smiling.
He told them he spends most of his time in Portugal, and so never changed his license, now he was moving full time to Basel and would like a Swiss one.
Mind you, he can charm the birds out of the trees.

I thought I'd read somewhere that for 12 months you can drive, and upto 5 years you could convert but were not allowed to drive. However I haven't find anything online to substantiate that, so I'll keep it to myself.

Last edited by 17clarence; 23.04.2012 at 10:30. Reason: more
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  #72  
Old 23.04.2012, 10:52
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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When I first went to the UK I had to take the UK test before 6 months as I had become resident there. No swapping in those days. So had to do 3 drving tests in one year! It is a pain, I agree, but when you move abroad, it is up to you to find out about these kind of legalities- and if you don't, you get stung.

.
Why did you have to do 3 tests? Wouldn't one in Switzerland and one in the UK be enough? (unless you failed one of course?)

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Difficult to believe or not, that's the way it happened.

I gave him the '12 month' lecture just before he went down there, and he came back smiling.
He told them he spends most of his time in Portugal, and so never changed his license, now he was moving full time to Basel and would like a Swiss one.
Mind you, he can charm the birds out of the trees.

I thought I'd read somewhere that for 12 months you can drive, and upto 5 years you could convert but were not allowed to drive. However I haven't find anything online to substantiate that, so I'll keep it to myself.
My OH was told this in Neuchatel at the driving licence place. He exchanged his Belgian one a year and 10 months after registering here with no problems.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 23.04.2012 at 10:53. Reason: fixed quote and added info about failing
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  #73  
Old 23.04.2012, 11:14
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

Sorry, one of the licences was for motorbikes in CH - I never did do the motorbike test again in the UK, but would have had to if I'd wanted to ride.

Well, yes Adrian, illegal if the law states that you have to convert your license within a year if you live here and drive (of course if you don't drive, it's up to you - but then don't complain if you have to take a driving test again, with first aid, theory, etc) - mind you same in the UK. So it hisses me off because we make sure we find out about what has to be done by law, and get on with it- and others get away with lies and subterfuges. The law is clear, and should be the same for all, no?

We've had so many threads here saying that 'foreigners' are discriminated against in CH, followed by threads like this, and others on health insurance, etc, with indicated that it is in fact quite the opposite in many cases.

Last edited by Odile; 23.04.2012 at 12:56.
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  #74  
Old 23.04.2012, 11:29
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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Well, yes Adrian, illegal if the law states that you have to convert your license within a year if you live here
But we all know that this isn't true. I've lived here for 2 years and not converted my licence. I'm not breaking ANY laws. The grey area is whether or not I can convert my licence without taking a test after having lived here for over a year (everyone I've known who has changed it one or two years late has done so without issue).
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  #75  
Old 23.04.2012, 11:54
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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But we all know that this isn't true. I've lived here for 2 years and not converted my licence. I'm not breaking ANY laws.
As far as you don't drive, that is
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  #76  
Old 23.04.2012, 11:58
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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As far as you don't drive, that is
Exactly. But when one starts saying something is illegal, one should be accurate.
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Old 23.04.2012, 12:07
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

Just so that this thread can be put to rest - these are the legal prescriptions covering it.

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Einen schweizerischen Führerausweis benötigen:
a.Fahrzeugführer aus dem Ausland, die seit zwölf Monaten in der Schweiz wohnen und sich in dieser Zeit nicht länger als drei Monate ununterbrochen im Ausland aufgehalten haben;

b.6Personen, die berufsmässig in der Schweiz immatrikulierte Motorfahrzeuge der Kategorien C oder D oder der Unterkategorien C1 oder D1 führen oder einer Bewilligung nach Artikel 25 bedürfen.7
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  #78  
Old 23.04.2012, 12:16
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

In Switzerland, two people working in the same office will give you 2 different answers, as an example between the Gemeinde and the Migrationsamt... different story but same bull...

My bf changed his UK license after 8 years, told them he still travelled a lot to the UK, was stopped many times on the road for the usual traffic checks, never had the UK license taken off him, was told on numerous occasions that he needed to change it but he was not "breaking the law" as many of you put it. An international version of the UK license is different that the old one mind you.... gray area, not many policepersons, nor the Gemeinde, nor the Strassenverkehrsamt can actually tell you without looking to the left (sign of a lie or being unsure) what the law is.

Most of us think it's the 12 month thing, I did that, being a complete scaredy cat. I did the medical as well, so i am allowed to drive an articulated truck if I need to. Never have in the past but got exactly what I had on my German license... So, if this job doesn't work out, I can become a heavy vehicle chick.

Please, this country has its own rules and many versions of the same. I don't know how lawyers survive here, it's a difficult game.
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Old 23.04.2012, 12:19
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

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My bf changed his UK license after 8 years, told them he still travelled a lot to the UK, was stopped many times on the road for the usual traffic checks, never had the UK license taken off him, was told on numerous occasions that he needed to change it but he was not "breaking the law" as many of you put it.

[...]

Please, this country has its own rules and many versions of the same. I don't know how lawyers survive here, it's a difficult game.

.
Oh puh-leeze.
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Old 23.04.2012, 12:46
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Re: Driving License Fiasco

Well, got to say this thread has been an interesting read this morning.

I can only add to this thread my personal experience and a big thank you to this wonderful web community with special people who helped my transition here to Switzerland from the US.

One of the first sticky's I read said I had 12 months to change my US drivers licence to a Swiss one without the hassel of paying and going though a drivers training/test.

For me, this is good enough information to just do it. Had no idea how long I was going to be here for, didn't have a car or any plan to get one. But, like almost all advice I get here, I just do it and save myself some pain down the road.

The last thing Switzerland needs is some foreigner to tell them how wrong they are with their rules and policies. I might not agree with them all, but bottom line it seems to work just fine for them here in Switzerland
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