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Old 24.05.2012, 00:08
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Swiss or British Driving License?

Hi!

I'm pretty new here, so please forgive me any mistakes.
So, basically, I'm Swiss nationality, but lived in London for the last three years due to university. I'm going to leave in July and temporarily move to two places to Germany, but will be registered in Switzerland for the moment.
At the first place in Germany, I'm Head of Department and have 24/7 access to the company van.

Now, today, I passed my practical driving test in London. I'll do the Pass Plus in two weeks.
I've checked with the company already and I can use it in Germany.

However, since I don't know where I'll settle long term, I'm not sure if I should keep the British license or apply for exchange of the Swiss one?
What are the differences and advantages and disadvantages?

I'd be really glad if someone could lighten me up and maybe has other suggestions too?

Thank you!
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Old 24.05.2012, 00:18
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Re: Swiss or British Driving License?

A British licence has the holders permanent (UK) address recorded on the paper part. If you don't have a registered UK address, then the licence is not valid.

Although, on a Swiss licence, the address isn't shown, it is recorded centrally to correspond with said licence.

If you are going to be registered in CH (address?), you should probably convert - with all that entails ..... not quick enough for your stay in DE.

You could end up fraudulently using an invalid UK licence, unless you're maintaining a legal UK residential address.
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Old 24.05.2012, 00:31
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Re: Swiss or British Driving License?

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A British licence has the holders permanent (UK) address recorded on the paper part. If you don't have a registered UK address, then the licence is not valid.

You could end up fraudulently using an invalid UK licence, unless you're maintaining a legal UK residential address.
Are you sure as the DVLA website doesn't say that: http://www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/search.as...=Moving+abroad

AFAIK you can drive here for up to 12 months with or without retaining a UK address, and in that period you simply complete the form, get the eye test and photo's and hand it all in at the local STVA. They will retain your UK license and a shiney Swiss one will appear in the post in a couple of days, I think mine was in arrive the following morning actually. After 12 months I think that officially there is an element of re-testing, but that does not always appear to be adhered to, I exchanged mine at almost 18 months with zero hassle. So someone being here temporarily with a UK license wouldn't need to do anything at all.
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Last edited by Papa Goose; 24.05.2012 at 00:41.
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Old 24.05.2012, 00:37
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Re: Swiss or British Driving License?

I'm probably a bit 2nd hand - things have obviously changed in the last 12 yrs.
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Old 24.05.2012, 01:08
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Re: Swiss or British Driving License?

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A British licence has the holders permanent (UK) address recorded on the paper part. If you don't have a registered UK address, then the licence is not valid.

Although, on a Swiss licence, the address isn't shown, it is recorded centrally to correspond with said licence.

If you are going to be registered in CH (address?), you should probably convert - with all that entails ..... not quick enough for your stay in DE.

You could end up fraudulently using an invalid UK licence, unless you're maintaining a legal UK residential address.
Thank you for your input!

I have - at the moment and until September a valid UK address at which I'm living, all perfectly sorted.

The problem is, that I move away in July - but I'm still registered at this address. So, that'd stay this way until September and then I register back in Switzerland. I'll only find out if I'm going to live permanently in Germany between September and November.
I hardly have enough time to switch it to a Swiss license, with the eye sight check and because I don't hold the UK license for very long, I read that I need to take lessons first, which is time-consuming as well?

I'll call the DVLA tomorrow to double-check, but I've also found that:
"You don't need to notify DVLA of a change of address when moving to live abroad." - from direct.gov
That seems awfully easy going...

I definitely don't want to break the law or anything!
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Old 24.05.2012, 10:40
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Re: Swiss or British Driving License?

You have lived in UK for more than 6 months, so you are definitely resident there. You will receive an EU driving license issued in UK.

About 11 months after you return to Switzerland, you must apply for an exchange Swiss driving license.
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Old 24.05.2012, 11:22
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Re: Swiss or British Driving License?

Good morning!
I've called the DVLA just to double-check and indeed - I don't need to inform them once I leave, because I won't be driving in the UK anymore.
Once I settled in another country, it's their laws that apply to me and I think I'm certainly fine up until the end of this year.

Thank you for your replies!
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Old 11.08.2012, 00:02
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Re: Swiss or British Driving License?

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You have lived in UK for more than 6 months, so you are definitely resident there. You will receive an EU driving license issued in UK.

About 11 months after you return to Switzerland, you must apply for an exchange Swiss driving license.
What happens if you dont apply for the exchange of the EU driving license issued in the UK within the 12 months, do you have to pass the Swiss driving test ?
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Old 11.08.2012, 00:13
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Re: Swiss or British Driving License?

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What happens if you dont apply for the exchange of the EU driving license issued in the UK within the 12 months, do you have to pass the Swiss driving test ?
If you don't exchange it within 12 months of moving to Ch, you cant drive in CH. It's exchangeable for the first 5 years, after that you will have to take a 1 hour 'Control Fart' if you don't pass it's back to the start.
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Old 11.08.2012, 00:24
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Re: Swiss or British Driving License?

Just want to be sure that I understand this.

So if I exchange my EU license issued in the UK within 12 months of arriving in Switzerland, then there is no control test and no eyesight test required, and the license is exchanged for a Swiss driving license. The authorities send the EU license back to the DVLA, and I am legally registered to drive in Switzerland forever...

I presume with the Swiss driving license, you can drive anywhere in the world, but your just registered in Switzerland ?

I like how you describe, going back to the start, sounds like loosing a game of monopoly, and not much fun :-)
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Old 11.08.2012, 00:39
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Re: Swiss or British Driving License?

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Just want to be sure that I understand this.

So if I exchange my EU license issued in the UK within 12 months of arriving in Switzerland, then there is no control test and no eyesight test required, and the license is exchanged for a Swiss driving license. The authorities send the EU license back to the DVLA, and I am legally registered to drive in Switzerland forever...

I presume with the Swiss driving license, you can drive anywhere in the world, but your just registered in Switzerland ?

I like how you describe, going back to the start, sounds like loosing a game of monopoly, and not much fun :-)
You will need an eysight test, thats all to make the change within 5 years.
The Swiss license is valid world wide if your a visitor, once you live somewhere for a year you will have to change to where your living.

FWIW a GB licence is a EU licence, valid as a resident anywhere in the EU.
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