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Old 09.04.2019, 14:56
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

its basically a driving test ,you drive and the guy in the passenger seat just give you instruction about directions and where to go.
Keep calm and drive like you normally, In my case the guy was super nice and even talked a little and told me to keep calm and drive normally .
They understand if something confusing happened (in my case a ambulance was coming from the other way ,and some construction work)
Always assume your going straight if he didn't say other direction

PS : you know you must provide the car for the test
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  #122  
Old 11.04.2019, 09:31
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

Hello All!


I just wanted to post my experience about converting my US California DL to a Swiss DL. I live in Canton Fribourg and have been a permanent resident of CH since 2008, became a Swiss citizen (by marriage) in 2016. I did not convert my CA driver's license within the 12 month period. Not sure why, just did not think about it. Because my California DL is expiring next year, I finally decided to see what would entail converting to a Swiss DL.


First I thought I had to do the Kontrollfahrt & Theorieprüfung. At least that is what it says on the "Umtauschformular". So then I called the OCN (strassenverkehrsamt) here in Fribourg. They said I don't need to do any tests (Kontrollfahrt und Theorieprüfung befreit). All I had to do was submit the following:


  • completed Umtauschformular
  • Eye Exam
  • Wohnsitzbestätigung
  • original CA driver's license
  • copy of CA driving record stating when I received my driver's license
  • 80CHF fee
  • Swiss Passport & US Passport (which they took copies of)
  • current photo 35mm x 45mm, color
I showed up at the OCN, they looked over all my documents and within 5 minutes, they issued me a Swiss driver's license. Never once did they make it an issue that I did not do the conversion within the 12 month period, even considering it has been well over 10+ years since I became a permanent resident of CH.


I do not know if there have been any changes to Swiss regulations about the 12 month conversion period. I thought that maybe since I became a Swiss citizen, I might be exempt from that? I don't really know. Overall, it was quick and I was surprised. As soon as I had my CH driver's license in hand, I bolted out of there...thinking it might be too good to be true and that someone would stop me at the door! hahaha!


Anyway, just thought I'd share! Hope this helps someone!
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  #123  
Old 13.04.2019, 11:45
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

Hi All,

Thanks for all the information about driving in CH.

I have a question. I moved to Zurich from London over a year ago and now I am doing my licence in London this week.

Assuming I pass it, will I have any issues exchanging it for a Swiss licence ?
This thread implies I will do. And if so what?

Thanks again
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Old 13.04.2019, 12:31
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions, Mark II

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Never once did they make it an issue that I did not do the conversion within the 12 month period, even considering it has been well over 10+ years since I became a permanent resident of CH.
As long as you do not drive in Switzerland after the 12 month period you have nothing to worry about. Just do not tell anyone if you did and specially do not get caught

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I do not know if there have been any changes to Swiss regulations about the 12 month conversion period. I thought that maybe since I became a Swiss citizen, I might be exempt from that? I don't really know.
Nothing changed. Still the same: After 12 month you are no longer allowed to drive in Switzerland and after 5 years they might request a Kontrollfahrt if you want to exchange a foreign license into a Swiss one if you can not show regular driving practice.

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Assuming I pass it, will I have any issues exchanging it for a Swiss licence ?
This thread implies I will do. And if so what?
As you will have acquired the foreign license after you became a Swiss resident they will not exchange it. Means you will have to do the full program: First aid course, theory exam, road awareness course, and finally practical exam. Depending on your own schedule and how soon there is an open spot it will take 2 weeks to maybe two months max.
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