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Old 21.06.2014, 23:13
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Exchanging UK medically qualified driving license to swiss - any experience?

Hello,


We have just found out that we are moving to the Vaud in a couple of months time from the UK. Very excited! Been scanning the forum for useful information.


I was hoping someone could help answer a couple of questions I had about driving.


We are hopefully planning on buying a 2nd hand car within a few months of moving (have 2 small kids and will struggle without driving). I was hoping someone could help explain, if I go and buy a car;


1) can I get car insurance on a Swiss car whilst I still have a UK driving license, or do I need to change to Swiss driving license immediately?


2) I was diagnosed with MS a number of years ago, which means that in the UK my driving license needs to be renewed every 3 years. (It's a real pain!). What happens is that the DVLA send a letter to my doctor every 3 years to certify that I am still fit to drive. (I haven't seen my doctor about my MS since I was diagnosed, so not sure what they are certifying but...).


I currently only have 1 year left on the current cycle of my driving license, so would rather swap it sooner rather than later.
Has anyone been in this situation? Do I need to do a medical test... Is there anything I could obtain in advance in the UK - e.g. from the doctor or DVLA - to prove to the Swiss authorities that I can still drive? It's quite frustrating as other than a few sensory problems there is nothing wrong with me!


Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, I have scanned the internet but can't find anything and I'm really worried about not being able to drive because of this!


Thanks in advance, any help welcome!
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Old 21.06.2014, 23:36
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Re: Exchanging UK medically qualified driving license to swiss - any experience?

1) Yes, you can get insurance before changing your license.

2) Not sure, but probably the same as the UK, for some categories here a medical is already required.

Best bet is to ping saint7uk a member here, he will be able to help he works for Zurich insurance and specialises in insurance for expats.
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Old 22.06.2014, 07:22
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Re: Exchanging UK medically qualified driving license to swiss - any experience?

All thought I don't have a medical condition, I had to get a medical so I could keep my HGV licence, It had to be done by one of their approved doctors so I would think this would be the same for you. I got a list of local doctors and booked an appointment with one after that it was all the usual exam.

I think that once you are here you need to speak to your germinde to find out the process.

good luck
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Old 22.06.2014, 09:27
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Re: Exchanging UK medically qualified driving license to swiss - any experience?

I don't know the answer to your question myself but we have a friend ( also a Brit) with MS who has been driving over here for years so I can ask him about how it works here.
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Old 23.06.2014, 10:31
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Re: Exchanging UK medically qualified driving license to swiss - any experience?

Thanks everyone for replies, guess I will just have to deal with it when I get there.


Belgianmum, that's reassuring, thank you.




I think the thing I'm concerned about is how many hoops I have to jump through to get it all sorted, so would be useful to know how they manage it in different countries. I was secretly hoping that as I don't have any visible symptoms I'd be able to hide it under the carpet and go back to having a normal license! Looks like no chance.






I really can't imagine having a period of not driving - I have a 1 year old and a 2 year old, and the idea of not being able to easily bundle them in the car and get out fills me with fear!!
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Old 23.06.2014, 11:24
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Re: Exchanging UK medically qualified driving license to swiss - any experience?

As an insulin dependant diabetic I had to be certified OK to drive every few years in the UK. Now with a Swiss license I have to get a form filled in by my doctor every year to confirm I am still fit to drive. This is never a problem, just time for the appointment, cost for the doctor's time (which, since it is a medical exam I would get done twice a year anyway so the insurance pays) and CHF100 to the Kanton (Zürich in my case) to pay for the admin. May be different in Vaud of course.

Initially when I filled in the form to exchange the UK license for a Swiss one, I had to admit to the medical condition and was sent straight off to my doctor with a form. x years left on your UK license doesn't count and UK doctors won't be accepted by the Kanton to fill in the form anyway (here in German).

It's not too much of an issue if you are fit to drive, just takes some time & effort. The only annoying part is that as soon as they agree you are fit, they send you the form for the next year which needs to be filed and remembered!
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