Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Transportation/driving  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01.02.2008, 14:55
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
eddiesmith1001 has no particular reputation at present
Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

I was stopped by the Police when driving outside Zurich for a random check.

They asked to see my documents when I produced my EU drivers licence they told me that as I had been in the country for longer than a year I should have swapped it to a Swiss one. They then proceeded to caution me with my rights and ask me a number questions. They then told me they would submit a report to the local Police station and that I will hear forthwith.

To compound matters it was only after the Police let me go did I realize that the car I had was still registered at my old address and I have not changed the details and therefore the address the Police have taken from the document is incorrect and they didnt check my resident permit to get the correct address.

To cut a long story short Im about 6 mths over the 1yr limit to exchange my licence. I know I should have known about this and it is my fault but unfortunately there is nothing I can do now. What I need to know is what is the most likely thing that is going to happen to me? Will I be taken to court or will I be fined, and if so how much fine would I be looking at ? Or would they look to suspend my licence? Or even ban me from getting a Swiss one.

Any input anyone with knowledge could provide to me on this matter would be greatly appreciated as Im really very scared at the moment about what could happen.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01.02.2008, 14:58
Lob's Avatar
Lob Lob is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: -
Posts: 7,814
Groaned at 45 Times in 40 Posts
Thanked 1,973 Times in 1,060 Posts
Lob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

Step 1: get it converted. Apologise, say you misunderstood at the licencing office more info here: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions
Step 2: get your car details updated in the same visit
Step 3: you may get a fine but they are unlikely to throw you in prison - so don't worry so much.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:02
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
eddiesmith1001 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

Thanks Lob, what sort of size fine am I looking at? Also are they income related?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:09
cremebrulee's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 289
Groaned at 5 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 142 Times in 75 Posts
cremebrulee is considered knowledgeablecremebrulee is considered knowledgeablecremebrulee is considered knowledgeable
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

I have a friend who is French and he didn't convert his French driver's licence until about after 18 months of living in Zurich. There was absolutely no problem in converting his French driver's licence into a Swiss one - the authorities did not ask him why it took him over 1 year to do so. Having said that, he didn't drive a car in Switzerland during this time, and nor did he own a car. Hence, if the authorities did question him at the time of applying for a Swiss driver's licence, I doubt there would have been an issue.

Given that you own a car, and have been driving without a Swiss driver's licence for 6 months, the authorities might take issue with that. I doubt that you will be banned from obtaining a Swiss driver's licence. Though, there's a good chance you will be fined. I recommend you apply for a Swiss driver's licence right away to demonstrate that you are doing your best to comply with local laws as soon as it was brought to your attention.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:11
Lob's Avatar
Lob Lob is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: -
Posts: 7,814
Groaned at 45 Times in 40 Posts
Thanked 1,973 Times in 1,060 Posts
Lob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

I would say it's not income-related but the worst case is that you must take the test again when you swap the licence over. As it's EU, you could've done it with no hassle before this problem arose.

You still have the licence in your possession?

For the change of address - is your post being forwarded? Get the car papers sorted ASAP before you bring more problems your way.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:13
radical_mit's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Unterberg
Posts: 67
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 22 Times in 15 Posts
radical_mit has no particular reputation at present
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

When i first came here i tried to move my licence to a swiss one from UK, but Canton Zurich would not change it because then i was on a L permit...
I think the 12 month rule is a bit flexable. But over all its best to have a swiss one, as from memory the car insurance was a little cheeper once i got one,( on my swisscar )

t
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:15
Lob's Avatar
Lob Lob is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: -
Posts: 7,814
Groaned at 45 Times in 40 Posts
Thanked 1,973 Times in 1,060 Posts
Lob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

Quote:
View Post
When i first came here i tried to move my licence to a swiss one from UK, but Canton Zurich would not change it because then i was on a L permit...
I think the 12 month rule is a bit flexable. But over all its best to have a swiss one, as from memory the car insurance was a little cheeper once i got one,( on my swisscar )

t
there you go - if you did not get a B immediately then you may have a get-out-of-jail card called an L permit.....
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:24
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
eddiesmith1001 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

Thanks for the info, unfortunately although I did have a L Permit I dont think I can use that escuse as the Police asked me if I was aware that I needed to exchange my licence within a year and I told them I didnt know that. So dont think I can now say i didnt as I only had an L permit.... But thanks for the suggestion all much appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:25
Lob's Avatar
Lob Lob is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: -
Posts: 7,814
Groaned at 45 Times in 40 Posts
Thanked 1,973 Times in 1,060 Posts
Lob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

You did have an L permit? For how long?

You could plead ignorant if necessary and suggest you thought it was one year from a permit of (semi-)permanent residency. If you're polite and ignorant, you might be lucky.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:32
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
eddiesmith1001 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

I had the L permit for the usual 1 yr then then switched me to a B in August 2007.... So maybe can try the ignorance route on that.

Also when you say fine non income related? What would that possibly mean 200 chf ? 2000 chf? As I have heard stories of motoristd getting fined like 10000 chf for stuff
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:43
radical_mit's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Unterberg
Posts: 67
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 22 Times in 15 Posts
radical_mit has no particular reputation at present
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

well try and change it and just say, you tried with the first year, but as you were only a L, as the "lady" at the police station told me they would not change it..... "well that is what you understood"

T
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:56
Lob's Avatar
Lob Lob is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: -
Posts: 7,814
Groaned at 45 Times in 40 Posts
Thanked 1,973 Times in 1,060 Posts
Lob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

were you polite during this encounter? This will play a role in how it pans out.

Humble pie all the way and do what's been suggested on this thread and you should be ok.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01.02.2008, 15:59
telandy's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Thurgau
Posts: 2,053
Groaned at 5 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 594 Times in 373 Posts
telandy has an excellent reputationtelandy has an excellent reputationtelandy has an excellent reputationtelandy has an excellent reputation
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

My girlfriend (UK national) didn't change her license until she was stopped at the border - 3 years or so after she arrived in Switzerland. It was a few years ago now. Get it converted asap, nothing happened to her, other than the fact she had a lecture in German, which she didn't understand! Just be polite.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01.02.2008, 16:03
radical_mit's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Unterberg
Posts: 67
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 22 Times in 15 Posts
radical_mit has no particular reputation at present
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

totally agree, just smile a lot and say lots of sorrys.....
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01.02.2008, 16:36
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
eddiesmith1001 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

I was so polite I even shook both the policemens hands which I think surprised them. But they did say he would submit a report to the station and implied it wasnt there decision what further action is taken.....
I dont really get the Swiss system how and who this relates to.
But the funny thing is they didnt tell me to go and get my licence changed over immediately or try and confiscate it... Its all very weird thats why I didnt have a clue if they are going to hit me hard and prosecute me or whether I was just going to get a rap on the knuckles or just the usual lets use this as an excuse to get some more money for the local Kanton with a fine.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01.02.2008, 16:53
J_T's Avatar
J_T J_T is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: near Bern
Posts: 1,081
Groaned at 20 Times in 15 Posts
Thanked 1,175 Times in 523 Posts
J_T has a reputation beyond reputeJ_T has a reputation beyond reputeJ_T has a reputation beyond reputeJ_T has a reputation beyond reputeJ_T has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

As far as I can see, you may have an administrative violation, not traffic, therefore I cannot imagine a fine higher than CHF200, but more likely just the set fees for issuing the Swiss license, CHF 42.- and CHF15 for changing your address in the car registration.

As already said, the best is to go to the Strassenverhrsamt, hat in hand, tell them exaclty what happened and ask them to help you. I have never had any problems, even with the gruffiest bureaucrat or police as long as I was friendly, respectful, contrite as necessary and patient.

It may not quite go down like this, but whatever happens, don't lose your cool.

Go here: http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/st...o/stao_zh.html
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01.02.2008, 17:33
fduvall's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Used to be Zurich
Posts: 1,499
Groaned at 30 Times in 25 Posts
Thanked 1,407 Times in 684 Posts
fduvall has a reputation beyond reputefduvall has a reputation beyond reputefduvall has a reputation beyond reputefduvall has a reputation beyond reputefduvall has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

I am in Zurich for 23 months on a B permit and just got my Swiss license today in the mail. I went to the Strassenverkehrsamt on Wednesday and it took only two days to get the new Swiss license and my CA license returned. I have to say I love the efficiency of CH sometimes!!

They did not ask any questions or make any comments about the amount of time passed. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. I am not at all sure about this, but someone told me that while my CA license was only valid for 1 yr to drive with, I could have 2 years to apply for a Swiss one. Again, I do not know this for a fact, but my experience seems to support the conclusion.

They were very friendly in the Strassenverkehrsamt and the service person spoke excellent English. Maybe I am lucky, but I never seem to experience the customer service problems that I see in "Complaints Corner." :-))

Good luck,

fduvall
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01.02.2008, 19:54
muze7's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Uk now after Neuchatel
Posts: 1,225
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 148 Times in 94 Posts
muze7 is considered knowledgeablemuze7 is considered knowledgeablemuze7 is considered knowledgeable
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

Yes, be sincere and very polite, and you will probably get off lightly. But I am not sure about the address problem, I hope they do not interpret that as if you were withholding the true one, which is a real problem potentially.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02.02.2008, 07:47
gbn's Avatar
gbn gbn is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Zuri Oberland
Posts: 2,732
Groaned at 109 Times in 74 Posts
Thanked 2,362 Times in 1,110 Posts
gbn has a reputation beyond reputegbn has a reputation beyond reputegbn has a reputation beyond reputegbn has a reputation beyond reputegbn has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

I swapped my licence after 6 months on an L permit.
Many EU folk were stitched up with "L"s because of the quota... whihc no longer exist...
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09.02.2008, 22:25
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kastanienbaum, LU
Posts: 10
Groaned at 7 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Serialkilla has no particular reputation at present
Re: Non conversion of drivers licence-stopped by Police

My first post on this forum comes with an answer to the author of this thread.

A colleage of mine from my unviversity in Switzerland had the same situation. She had been living in Switzerland for more than 1 year, and recently drove her car from Bulgaria with Bulgarian plates on, and been driving it in Switzerland with a driver's license from Bulgaria. When she was stopped by the Kontrole / Random police checks, the police told her she has been living in Switzerland with a B-Permit for over a year already, and had to obtain a Swiss drivers license in order to continue driving legaly in the country. She said she had not known about law, and the police said, its her responsibilty to check the law rules. Well later, nothing really happened, and she proceeded to change her license to a Swiss one, but was also sent a fine of 600 CHF because she was driving with foreign license, and been in Switzerland for over a year.

I had a situation myself, when I was stopped by controle, I showed them my UAE drivers license, then they asked for the international booklet as well, that time it was at my apartment, and forgot to carry it with me. They were so nice as to follow all the way to my house, and to my home lol. I showed the international driving booklet, and my B-Permit, and everthing was ok. The police officer advised me that in 2 months, I need to get a Swiss license, because I will have surpassed more than 1 year in the country.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[Drivers licence] Conversion and questions gooner Transportation/driving 1396 27.04.2017 19:13
Converting a Canadian Drivers licence? mikejones1 Transportation/driving 22 01.08.2012 02:35
Alleged speeding/racing/convoy issues (foreign drivers) UK Robert Transportation/driving 52 15.05.2009 09:31


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 22:17.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0