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  #61  
Old 30.11.2017, 18:51
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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Once you handed in your foreign license until you get the real Swiss license you should not drive aboard (unless you have some other valid spare license you could use ). They should you give (you may have to ask) some paper statement or photocopy of your old license which allows you to drive in Switzerland. You may even drive with the photo copy/statement aboard, but do not blame me if you get in legal troubles, stripped searched by police, or what not
When I swopped my CH license for an EU (Maltese), I got a counterpart statement showing my valid groups, I was told it was not valid abroad, however the new license was available for collection the following day.
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  #62  
Old 05.12.2017, 08:32
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

Hi all,


I have read through this thread, and thank you for the fantastic information that was provided. Having emailed the kantonal office in Zurich (in German) and their response being a copy and paste of their website, I have decided to come here for clarification.


I moved here over 5 years ago, never driven in CH, now onto my 2nd B permit. During this time I went back to the UK a lot for work, and was constantly driving. Held my UK drivers license since 2004. I now want to get a car for the work commute (in CH) and therefore have to change my license. Will I be required to sit a theory or practical test? I have the form, done the eye test etc. Will I also get my UK license back? I still go to the UK regularly and drive there so don't want my UK license to be surrendered. I have experience of driving abroad (on the other side of the road) so this does not phase me.


All info much appreciated.
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  #63  
Old 05.12.2017, 13:15
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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I moved here over 5 years ago, never driven in CH, now onto my 2nd B permit. During this time I went back to the UK a lot for work, and was constantly driving. Held my UK drivers license since 2004. I now want to get a car for the work commute (in CH) and therefore have to change my license. Will I be required to sit a theory or practical test? I have the form, done the eye test etc. Will I also get my UK license back? I still go to the UK regularly and drive there so don't want my UK license to be surrendered. I have experience of driving abroad (on the other side of the road) so this does not phase me.
They may request you to do a so called Kontrollfahrt (ASA Guideline No. 1 Section 351 https://asa.ch/wp-content/uploads/we...ndex.html#p=21 ) if more than 5 years have passed since you became a Swiss resident. The Kontrollfahrt is an approx half hour "test drive" and is the light version of the real practical test (ASA Guidline 19b https://asa.ch/wp-content/uploads/we...-v4/index.html). Drawbacks: It costs some time, it cost some money (~ CHF 150), and most importantly if you botch it you will be denied a license exchange and must get a Swiss driving license from scratch if you wisch to drive in Switzerland.

ASA Guideline No. 1 also says if you can prove driving experience you are relived from the Kontrollfahrt. How you have to present the evidence or what is considered as driving experience is not mentioned.

If you convert your UK license into a Swiss one, the UK one will be sent back to Swansea. FEDRO Circular "Führerausweise von Personen mit Wohnsitz im Ausland" http://www.astra2.admin.ch/media/pdf...-15_2685_d.pdf

You can use your Swiss license to drive in the UK.

To keep your UK license you can also:
- Do and get the Swiss driving license from scratch.
- In case of dual residency you may apply for an exemption. But I am not aware of any regulations, guidelines etc. which would cover that.
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  #64  
Old 05.12.2017, 13:19
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

Many thanks for your response, I will try and go through this procedure this week then and see what happens. I have evidence of having my own driving insurance in the UK and accident free, so hopefully this would be enough if they ask for it.


I will update you of my experience to help others in the future and fingers crossed I can keep my UK card I like my pink plastic card!!
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Old 05.12.2017, 16:16
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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Many thanks for your response, I will try and go through this procedure this week then and see what happens. I have evidence of having my own driving insurance in the UK and accident free, so hopefully this would be enough if they ask for it.


I will update you of my experience to help others in the future and fingers crossed I can keep my UK card I like my pink plastic card!!
I converted my UK license at the STVA in Zurich after 4 years with absolutely no problems. I wrote a letter in German explaining that I had a car in the UK that I needed to drive when I went back, hence not converting it earlier.

You definitely will not be able to keep your UK license. This rule applies to all European licenses.
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  #66  
Old 05.12.2017, 16:43
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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I converted my UK license at the STVA in Zurich after 4 years with absolutely no problems.
4 years is not an issue as it is clearly less than 5 years.
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  #67  
Old 03.01.2018, 14:24
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

Thought I would give a little update of my process of converting my UK license to a Swiss one. I have been in Switzerland for aprox. 5.5years and never converted it so was dreading the process at this stage.


I first applied to convert my license with the form, eye test and my UK license at the Zurich Strassenverkehrsamt, a few days later I got a letter requesting I take a Kontrolfahrt unless I could prove the following:
1. I have driven in the past 5 years
2. I have no penalties/driving offences in Switzerland or abroad.


I gathered all the information I could:
  • rental hire certificates
  • car insurance certificates (I am on the insurance of my mothers car in UK for a long time)
  • DVLA (UK government driving authority) online doc that shows I have no convictions etc.
  • Letter (wrote in German) to confirm the information they were requesting.
I then received the same letter back from them, but in bold, the point of showing I have no driving convictions etc. So I called them, as I did not know what other document I could send showing this. Their response was they just need a signed statement from me saying I do not have any penalties in Switzerland or abroad. So another letter was sent, with copy and pasting their words, and signed. I then came back to Switzerland on Monday to find a new Swiss drivers license in the post. This took 20days in total and was over the Christmas/New Year period. What amazing service!


Now to go car hunting!
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  #68  
Old 06.01.2018, 15:40
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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Do get an unrestricted license you need it 12 months before you became a Swiss resident. In this case all is done correctly.



You will get an unconditional when either A or B has been acquired more than 12 months before you became resident. There is only one probation period which start when you acquire your first A or B license. There are also 2-phasen/WAB courses for A, but they are few and rare. People needing to do 2-phasen/WAB courses which have A and B can do the courses either on A or B as they wish.



There are no cantonal regulations or differences that I am aware of as all is regulated on federal level (Either VZV or ASA and ASTR guidelines). If you know them please share, thank you.
Silly question part 2 as I am still not sure if I do correctly understand this.
EU License, Category B acquired 10years ago, Cat. A aquired 01.06.2017, resident since 01.09.2017 - If I will convert both of my licenses after 01.06.2018 am I also going to get category A unrestricted? As this will be past 12 months since I've got it?

Thanks!
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  #69  
Old 06.01.2018, 16:47
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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Silly question part 2 as I am still not sure if I do correctly understand this.
EU License, Category B acquired 10years ago, Cat. A aquired 01.06.2017, resident since 01.09.2017 - If I will convert both of my licenses after 01.06.2018 am I also going to get category A unrestricted? As this will be past 12 months since I've got it?
The whole license itself will be on probation, not just a single category. As long as you acquired either A, A2 or B more than 12 months ago you will get an unrestricted one. So you are correct, you should full license and not one on probation.

Note: A2 will be convert into A (35kW) which is sometimes also called "A restricted". But this only affects the max. power of the bike and nothing else.
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Old 06.01.2018, 17:30
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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The whole license itself will be on probation, not just a single category. As long as you acquired either A, A2 or B more than 12 months ago you will get an unrestricted one. So you are correct, you should full license and not one on probation.

Note: A2 will be convert into A (35kW) which is sometimes also called "A restricted". But this only affects the max. power of the bike and nothing else.
Thank you very much for claryfing !
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  #71  
Old 17.01.2018, 18:41
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

I just got my shiny new license in the mail today (Wed), after filing all documents to convert my license at the Verkehrsamt on Monday.
Brilliant! I wasn't hoping for it to be so fast.
Moreover it's on credit card format. Great.
I haven't received the bill yet, so that's why I'm still happy!

I also received an international license, which has an expiry date in 3 years from today. Unlike the main license, it has a newspaper-like format... Twice bigger than the residence permit, and won't fit my wallet.

Does anyone know if/how the international license can be renewed when it expires?

(my next challenge is getting the new license plate for my imported car, which is giving me a real headache... will update the relevant thread)
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  #72  
Old 30.01.2018, 21:44
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

I gotta say - I am cracking up at the thoroughness, patience and wry humor here. Thanks - you just made my day at the same time as giving me valuable information. Off to the optometrist!
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  #73  
Old 21.02.2018, 13:50
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

Just noticed my wife has provisional driving licence, ending next Monday. To my defense (maybe), nobody told us anything about this regulation in CH.

My understanding is she has to pass the tests, like RIGHT NOW.

question 1: is it possible to arrange the tests in so short notice (Zug)?

question 2: What are the tests about (in detail)? She hasn't been driving a lot since she got the license..

question 3: Worst case scenario if i understood well, she fails and has to do everything from the scratch?
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  #74  
Old 09.03.2018, 11:20
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

Thank you for all the information. I think that in the initial post you should replace "aboard" with "abroad".
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Old 09.03.2018, 13:06
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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Just noticed my wife has provisional driving licence, ending next Monday. To my defense (maybe), nobody told us anything about this regulation in CH.

My understanding is she has to pass the tests, like RIGHT NOW.

question 1: is it possible to arrange the tests in so short notice (Zug)?

question 2: What are the tests about (in detail)? She hasn't been driving a lot since she got the license..

question 3: Worst case scenario if i understood well, she fails and has to do everything from the scratch?
1) Yes it is possible. But she can do the tests up to three months after the license expires by getting an extension from the local STVA. They give you a paper license for the days the 2 WAB courses are booked on.

2) First day is driving in icy conditions (on a skid pan). Then some theory about 'road rage' what to do if someone follows you too close etc. Second day is a drive with an instructor and other students, for about 30 mins in different traffic environments. Then more theory on eco-driving etc.

3) You can't fail the course. It is classed as extra training and is basically a money-making scheme from the driving schools. If she doesnt do the course withing 3 months of license expiry, she has to do everything from scratch. Key is to phone the STVA now to get the license extension once you have the courses booked.
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  #76  
Old 09.03.2018, 13:49
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

As I am far too lazy to use the search function, I will ask:

If a Swiss person has been living in the US for four years, and acquired a US driving license 4 months before returning to live in Switzerland because they are fed up with life in California, how does it work for a) car license and b) motorcycle license?

Thanks,

Tom

Last edited by st2lemans; 09.03.2018 at 14:01.
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  #77  
Old 09.03.2018, 13:51
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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1) Yes it is possible. But she can do the tests up to three months after the license expires by getting an extension from the local STVA. They give you a paper license for the days the 2 WAB courses are booked on.

2) First day is driving in icy conditions (on a skid pan). Then some theory about 'road rage' what to do if someone follows you too close etc. Second day is a drive with an instructor and other students, for about 30 mins in different traffic environments. Then more theory on eco-driving etc.

3) You can't fail the course. It is classed as extra training and is basically a money-making scheme from the driving schools. If she doesnt do the course withing 3 months of license expiry, she has to do everything from scratch. Key is to phone the STVA now to get the license extension once you have the courses booked.
She normally only needs to do a "Kontrollfahrt" which roughly is driving about half an hour to see how well she is aware of the rules and if she controls the car properly enough and yes one can fail these.
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  #78  
Old 09.03.2018, 14:01
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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As I am far too lazy to use the search function, I will ask:

If a Swiss person has been living in the US for four years, and acquired a US driving license 4 months before return to live in Switzerland because they are fed up with life in California, how does it work for a) car license and b) motorcycle license?

Thanks,

Tom
As far as I know this can just be exchanged without any extra conditions since the stay in the USA lasted a minimum of 12 months.
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  #79  
Old 09.03.2018, 14:29
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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If a Swiss person has been living in the US for four years, and acquired a US driving license 4 months before returning to live in Switzerland because they are fed up with life in California, how does it work for a) car license and b) motorcycle license?
Just convert it to a Swiss one. But she may have to show proof that her stay in California was longer than 6 months.
But, if she had neither acquired car nor motorcycle license more than 12 months before the move she will get a provisional license. Within the validity period of the provisional license she will have to do the two WAB courses (I am to lazy to look up the Ticino name of those courses ). She can to this courses either with car or the bike. The one for the motorbike are rather rare but properly more fun.
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Old 09.03.2018, 14:35
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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She normally only needs to do a "Kontrollfahrt" which roughly is driving about half an hour to see how well she is aware of the rules and if she controls the car properly enough and yes one can fail these.


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Just noticed my wife has provisional driving licence, ending next Monday. To my defense (maybe), nobody told us anything about this regulation in CH.
If it is a provisional Swiss license than it is as Artax says. One gets a provision license if they passed neither car nor motorcycle test 12 months before the move to Switzerland. (and also if you do the driving license test in Switzerland).

You have a three month grace period to do the two WAB courses. To do the courses you will need special permission from the local SAN/StVA, as the license is void. One cannot fail a WAB course (unless they leave class early or behave totally inconsiderate)

If you do not do the courses within the 3 month grace period you will lose the categories and you must start from scratch. No "only needs Kontrollfahrt", start from zero.

See Art. 24b VZV https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...ndex.html#a24b
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