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Old 21.09.2019, 02:41
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Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

hey!

Been visiting these forums for quite a while, I guess its my turn to humbly ask you guys for your help.

So long story short(sorta):

My portuguese cousin was 18 years old when he got his driving license, back in Portugal. At 19 years old he got a job here in Switzerland and traded his portuguese license for a Swiss license. Due to his (and ours) ingenuity he failed to check up on basic stuff like when would his license expire. (in our family we had 3 swiss licenses which had no expiry, but his was in probation terms which has a 3 year duration, which we had no idea but didnt really think about it).

3 years and a half later he got stopped by the police on his way home from work and sure enough he was driving ilegally and got his license confiscated. The police officers were kind enough to drive his car to our home and told him that the best course of action would be for him to write a letter to the competent entity explaining his ilegal behaviour and wait for a reply.

Today he got a letter in his email, unfortunately we dont trust our German skills and we arent really sure how to interpret the letter he received.

https://imgur.com/4ZIIaHT

sorry for the bad quality. The circle is his panicky attempt at asking us through whats app what does the letter mean, the white scribbles are his erased name.

Could you guys help me out and translate this letter for us? We're thinking that he has to pay 800 swiss francs (but theres no pink slip?), and that during 2 years he has to commit no further "crimes" otherwise he will pay 1050 swiss francs as well. Is that right or do we suck at translating German?

Thank you in advance for your time!
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Old 21.09.2019, 12:26
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

Ouch.

Your interpretation is correct. It is a CHF 300 fine, CHF 500 court fees (which might be recovered in case he has legal insurance), and a suspended (on probation for two years) CHF 1050 monetary penalty.

Given good behavior the next two years, no other incident where a judge is involved, simple speeding tickets and parking fines paid on time are o.k, the CHF 1050 will never have to be paid. There will also be a criminal record entry which is publicly visible on an extract during the 2 year probation period. After that it is only visible to police, courts, and immigration authorities, but no longer on public extracts.

I assume that a payment slip will be sent once the sentence enters into legal force. There should be a section titled "Rechtsmittelbelehrung" on the letter where says something like it : "Ohne Einspruch innert X Tagen erwächst dem Strafbehl rechtskraft" / "Without any objection within X days the sentence enters into legal force". The section also says how you can object. People which can object are the accused as well as the state attorney. Objection from state attorney could happen. In Canton BE this is a sentence in the upper range, in canton AG it is one in the lower range.

Be aware of the following further consequences:

He will have to redo the driving license from scratch. Theory exam, road awareness course, practical exam, new probational license.

There might be another letter from the driving license authority about a "Sperrfirst" / "lockup period" of 6 months. before he can redo the driving license. This letter will come with an other hefty bill of ~CHF 200 - 300.
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Old 21.09.2019, 14:39
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

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Ouch.

Your interpretation is correct. It is a CHF 300 fine, CHF 500 court fees (which might be recovered in case he has legal insurance), and a suspended (on probation for two years) CHF 1050 monetary penalty.

Given good behavior the next two years, no other incident where a judge is involved, simple speeding tickets and parking fines paid on time are o.k, the CHF 1050 will never have to be paid. There will also be a criminal record entry which is publicly visible on an extract during the 2 year probation period. After that it is only visible to police, courts, and immigration authorities, but no longer on public extracts.

I assume that a payment slip will be sent once the sentence enters into legal force. There should be a section titled "Rechtsmittelbelehrung" on the letter where says something like it : "Ohne Einspruch innert X Tagen erwächst dem Strafbehl rechtskraft" / "Without any objection within X days the sentence enters into legal force". The section also says how you can object. People which can object are the accused as well as the state attorney. Objection from state attorney could happen. In Canton BE this is a sentence in the upper range, in canton AG it is one in the lower range.

Be aware of the following further consequences:

He will have to redo the driving license from scratch. Theory exam, road awareness course, practical exam, new probational license.

There might be another letter from the driving license authority about a "Sperrfirst" / "lockup period" of 6 months. before he can redo the driving license. This letter will come with an other hefty bill of ~CHF 200 - 300.
thank you so much for your help!
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Old 21.09.2019, 21:32
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

I've never heard of a probation licence, I assume this is different to a provisional licence. What should he have done after those 3 years?
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Old 21.09.2019, 22:42
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

Ok, I am not sure if this is the same case, but here goes my story:

I traded my Portuguese driving license for a Swiss one when I arrived in the country. I stupidly did not pay attention to the new driving license, assuming it was the same thing as I had before, and I got no extra information from the city hall when I picked it up.

I realized, a few years down the road, that my license had an expiration date. And that it was no longer valid. I contacted the authorities to get everything solved.

Long story short: because I did my driving license after 200? (not sure of the break date any more) my Swiss license was temporary - to get the permanent one without an expiry date, I had to do the 2 WBA courses (1 day courses on how to drive on bad weather conditions and driving ecologically).

I managed to get on track by immediately doing those courses (after contacting the head of the Strassenverkehrsamt in Zürich for a special permit). But I volunteered my mistake, I wasn't caught by the police.

I have a friend, also Portuguese, with the exact same problem, who was forced to redo the whole courses from scratch (she's in Geneva).

I've been warning recently arrived Portuguese about the fact and it seems most of them are caught unaware.

Here's the courses information:

https://2-phasen.ch/

It costs about 720 chf, and I found them mostly useless (apart from being able to do some safe wheelies with my car, which was actually awesome), but once that was taken care of, my new no-expiry-date-driving-license was in my hands.
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Old 22.09.2019, 00:05
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

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I've never heard of a probation licence, I assume this is different to a provisional licence.
Provisional, probational, potato, tomato. It the same.
https://www.ch.ch/en/probationary-driving-licence/

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What should he have done after those 3 years?
Before! The mandatory WAB courses. See link provided by Helm.

There is a grace period of 3 month in case you forget to do the mandatory WAB course before the expiration date. Upon request and presentation of a course registration you will get a temporary license which allows to drive on the day of the WAB courses only!

If you miss the grace period as well you will have to do the driving license from scratch.

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

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Long story short: because I did my driving license after 200? (not sure of the break date any more) my Swiss license was temporary
The current rule is (Art. 44a VZV https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...ndex.html#a44a): If you had your license for less than a year before you became a Swiss resident you will get a provisional one. Not only will you have to do the WAB courses, but your blood alcohol while driving must not be more than 0.01%, in addition if do a traffic infraction which cannot be handled by a simple fine the provision period gets extended by a year, and it will be void if you get two driving bans within the provisional period.
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Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 22.09.2019 at 00:17.
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Old 22.09.2019, 00:37
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

The two day course has now been reduced to one day for people who obtain their licences after a certain date. My son only has to do phase 1 as he passed his test fairly recently.
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Old 22.09.2019, 10:36
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

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being able to do some safe wheelies with my car
You have a car that can do wheelies?

Tom
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Old 22.09.2019, 11:47
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

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Provisional, probational, potato, tomato. It the same.
https://www.ch.ch/en/probationary-driving-licence/

No, a provisional licence is what you have before you pass your practical test... to allow you to have lessons, it does not allow you to drive alone.

So what I understand from the link, is the probationary licence comes after passing the practical test, allows you to drive alone, but you still have to do a couple more courses to upgrade to a full licence. I guess this confuses those who come from countries where such a system doesn't exist and in their home country they already have a full licence.
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Old 23.09.2019, 03:48
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

I think all EU licenses now come with a probational period. But unlike Switzerland you directly get the final document/card, you don't have to trade it in for a new one. Also, most (all?) EU countries don't require any additional courses during the probational period.
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Old 23.09.2019, 09:00
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

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No, a provisional licence is what you have before you pass your practical test... to allow you to have lessons, it does not allow you to drive alone.

So what I understand from the link, is the probationary licence comes after passing the practical test, allows you to drive alone, but you still have to do a couple more courses to upgrade to a full licence. I guess this confuses those who come from countries where such a system doesn't exist and in their home country they already have a full licence.
In Switzerland you get a learner licence once you’ve completed the first aid course and passed the theory exam. ( the equivalent of the U.K. provisional licence)
You can then drive either with a driving instructor or a qualified driver over the age of 23 in preparation for the practical exam.
Once you pass the practical test you receive a probationary licence which is valid for three years. You can drive alone during that time but must not commit any infractions and during those three year you must take the obligatory course (used to be two days but us now only one).
Info here in French

https://www.scan-ne.ch/conducteur/pe...-ou-moto/#c134


People who exchange their foreign licence for a Swiss one but who have had their licence for less than one year will receive a probationary licence but will also receive all the necessary info regarding the extra courses and expiry date of the licence so there is really no excuse for not doing the necessary.

I passed my test in France many years ago and although I don’t remember all the details regarding the licence I do remember receiving the giant magnetic A to affix to the car when driving for a certain period of time after to passing the test to alert other road users to the fact that I was a novice driver. We moved to Germany soon afterwards so I never really used it.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 23.09.2019 at 10:29.
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Old 23.09.2019, 10:25
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

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People who exchange their foreign licence for a Swiss one but who have had their licence for less than one year three years when becoming a Swiss resident will receive a probationary licence but will also receive all the necessary info regarding the extra courses and expiry date of the licence so there is really no excuse for not doing the necessary.
Art. 44a VZV https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...ndex.html#a44a
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Old 23.09.2019, 10:28
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Re: Serious fine for driving with an expired Driving License

Yep, sorry I had the three years stuck in my head for the probationary licence and mistakenly typed 3 there. It is all clearly written in the link I posted.
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