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Old 05.04.2020, 03:45
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Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

Hi guys, I have a particular cases here, this summer I will move back to Italy from the USA, where I have lived for the past 6 years.

I will need to convert my driver license within a year after I change my residency from USA to Italy. However, there is no reciprocity between USA and Italy when it comes to driver license, not like there is between USA and Switzerland.

Since I do not want to take the exams in Italy, I was wondering if I can convert my USA license to a Swiss one (I have family in Switzerland so it would not be a problem to get residency there) and then later convert my Swiss license with an Italian one. This way I wouldn't have to deal with Italy's bs tests.

Has any of you guys done it before?
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Old 05.04.2020, 04:36
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

To do what you have in mind, you would have to live in Switzerland, for real.

Your ability to get a permit to stay in Switzerland does not depend on the fact that you have family living in Switzerland. You will need your own permit.

If you are EU citizen, this is straightforward, as long as you can demonstrate that you will be able to support yourself because you
  • have a job contract here, earning enough, or
  • are a student here and have the necessary funds, or
  • are independently wealthy.

If you are non-EU, it is much more difficult. Any potential employer will have had to demonstrate that they could not find any Swiss person, or anyone already living in Switzerland, or any EU citizen, to do the job.

Once you are registered here, have your permit, and have your place of residence in Switzerland and are living here, you can then go about converting your foreign driver's licence to a Swiss one.

EDIT: Bear in mind that, for the moment, during the Corona-crisis, the Swiss government has temporarily stopped issuing any visas or permits of any sort.
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Old 05.04.2020, 05:51
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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To do what you have in mind, you would have to live in Switzerland, for real.

Your ability to get a permit to stay in Switzerland does not depend on the fact that you have family living in Switzerland. You will need your own permit.

If you are EU citizen, this is straightforward, as long as you can demonstrate that you will be able to support yourself because you
  • have a job contract here, earning enough, or
  • are a student here and have the necessary funds, or
  • are independently wealthy.

If you are non-EU, it is much more difficult. Any potential employer will have had to demonstrate that they could not find any Swiss person, or anyone already living in Switzerland, or any EU citizen, to do the job.

Once you are registered here, have your permit, and have your place of residence in Switzerland and are living here, you can then go about converting your foreign driver's license to a Swiss one.

EDIT: Bear in mind that, for the moment, during the Corona-crisis, the Swiss government has temporarily stopped issuing any visas or permits of any sort.
Thanks for the reply!

I forgot to mention that I am a EU citizen (Italian), my parents have been living in Switzerland for a few years now, in case I move move in with them for a couple of months, so that I can have my residence there, then convert my USA license to a Swiss one, and then after a few months move to Italy and convert the Swiss license to an Italian one.

Just wanting to know if someone had done it and if it works. I email and called the Italian DMV (motorizzazione civile) asking, some told me it would work fine, some others told me it wouldn't. Just confused
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Old 05.04.2020, 06:20
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

Even if your parents live in Switzerland, and even if you are EU, you will still need a permit to live here. Sure, you can move in with them, on holiday, for under 90 days, that'll work. But then you will not be registered here. And so you won't be able to do what you want to do with the licence conversion.

In other words, you'll need to choose between
  • really finding a job in Switzerland and getting a permit and working and living here, and converting your USA licence to a Swiss one (and then possibly moving to Italy after that), or
  • moving straight to Italy and going through the Italian process of converting the USA permit to an Italian one.

You cannot convert your foreign driver's licence in Switzerland unless your status here is fromalised. As long as you're just dropping in for a holiday stay in Switzerland, you will not be given access to the Swiss licence converstion process.
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Old 05.04.2020, 06:56
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

If I can show that I can support myself I can get a permit even without having a job. That is what I would do.
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Old 05.04.2020, 08:06
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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If I can show that I can support myself I can get a permit even without having a job. That is what I would do.

You may find it cheaper to do the tests in Italy, even with the silly system of forcing you to go through a driving school.

Once you register as a resident in CH, you will be expected to have Swiss health insurance (I'm paying around 380chf/month), get a letter from your parents (assuming they own the house) or the landlord (if they are renting), "adding" you as a tenant. Armed with that, and your bank statements (not a job abroad), head to the local amt. Don't forget a passport photo and registration fees (80chf or so iirc).


They will issue you a paper saying you applied for a B permit, and hopefully two weeks later you will have a B permit. Don't forget to register with AIRE.



Once you get the B permit, goto the police and with that, give up you US driving license (they take a copy of the B permit), and a week or two later you will have your Swiss driving license. I'm not sure if there is an application fee for this.



Now, assuming you want to formally move to Italy, you will need to deregister from the AMT, and register for residence in Italy at your local comune.



Assuming the process takes approx 2 months, expect to pay health insurance for that period + accident insurance (assuming you don't have a job in CH) + registration fees.


I'm not sure how a foreign job would impact this.



This has some more information:
https://www.ch.ch/en/retirement-or-study-switzerland/
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Old 05.04.2020, 08:57
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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Once you get the B permit, goto the police and with that, give up you US driving license (they take a copy of the B permit), and a week or two later you will have your Swiss driving license.
In Vaud, and Geneva (at least), it’s the côntrol des automobiles that deal with this, not the police.
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Old 05.04.2020, 09:19
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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If I can show that I can support myself I can get a permit even without having a job. That is what I would do.
Oh, good. Yes, "independently wealthy" was one of the things on the list, that could qualify one for a permit.
https://www.sem.admin.ch/dam/data/se...staetige-i.pdf
Fact Sheet for EU citizens coming to settle in Switzerland (in Italian)
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  #9  
Old 05.04.2020, 09:36
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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If I can show that I can support myself I can get a permit even without having a job. That is what I would do.
Again will proably not work. Not because you can't support yourself, but because Switzerland probably won't issue you with a permit until you've been here for 3 months. And as said, Switzerland isn't issuing any new permits for the foreseeable future; atm you can't even get into the country.

I would also not be optimistic about any timeline for getting a permit. When, eventually, the Swiss do start issuing them again there's going to be a huge backlog to deal with; it may be weeks before they get around to issuing you one once you've applied.
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Old 05.04.2020, 10:23
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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You may find it cheaper to do the tests in Italy, even with the silly system of forcing you to go through a driving school.
Doubtful, is it's long and expensive.

My niece moved there from the US, and it took a year or so and lots of money.

Tom
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Old 05.04.2020, 16:36
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

it's going to take a long time of living in Switzerland.

You cannot start living or working in Italy in the meanwhile, while being a resident of Switzerland, the tax police will be big trouble otherwise.

If you're rich and can afford doing nothing until next year, theoretically it could work.
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Old 05.04.2020, 17:23
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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Doubtful, is it's long and expensive.

My niece moved there from the US, and it took a year or so and lots of money.

Tom

I'm Italian - have been through it.


Given that the OP knows how to drive (admittedly by American standards, so driving in Italy will be a whole new ballgame), it's not that lengthy a process.


There's a few driving schools in Turin that do 600-euro "all in" packs. You turn up, pay your moneys and they will lead you through everything on site (medicals, theory, practical, exams, etc).


If you approach them, demonstrate that you can already drive, you may be able to get it cheaper.


600 euros works out to roughly two months of medical+accident insurance for me in CH, and that's not counting all the hassle of permits and changes...
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Old 05.04.2020, 18:00
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

Living for some months in another country to avoid a drivers test.

This world will never stop amazing me.
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Old 05.04.2020, 19:08
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

If someone’s first license was an American license obtained by doing the American driving tests, and then that person obtained a Swiss license by exchanging his American license for the Swiss license, then that person should not expect to be able to exchange his Swiss license for an Italian license.
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Old 05.04.2020, 19:42
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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If someone’s first license was an American license obtained by doing the American driving tests, and then that person obtained a Swiss license by exchanging his American license for the Swiss license, then that person should not expect to be able to exchange his Swiss license for an Italian license.
And why is that?
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Old 05.04.2020, 20:07
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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And why is that?

To avoid a bypass to the lack of inter-state agreements in the conversion.


Foreign licences obtained by conversion of other foreign licences not convertible in Italy cannot be converted.


source (in italian): The Italian Ministry responsible for this matter



http://www.mit.gov.it/come-fare-per/...patente-estera
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Old 05.04.2020, 20:12
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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And why is that?
I'm not aware of the specific Italian rules, but some countries do have rules where a conversion takes in mind the original country where the license was obtained and don't care so much what another country where the license was previously converted thinks. I do know however that Italy has ruling where a EU license only can be used for a year in Italy and only can be converted within 2 years if it has been converted previously from a non-EU to an EU license.

So if OP wants to take this weird way of avoiding a test he really should look up the local rules to be certain it would work.

EDIT: NVM estiqaa has a much better post.
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Old 05.04.2020, 21:09
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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Living for some months in another country to avoid a drivers test.

This world will never stop amazing me.
Why waste time and money when you do not have to?

Work smarter not harder... at least that's how I do it.
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Old 05.04.2020, 21:13
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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...I do know however that Italy has ruling where a EU license only can be used for a year in Italy.
There are various EU country derogations on recognising Swiss licenses, even where the Swiss license was issued on foot of an EU license originally. For example Germany allows one to drive for only six months before conversion needs to be completed for a Swiss license.

Regarding recognition of other EU licenses, this is regulated by EU Law, and as long as no professional categories are included (C,D etc) then the EU license can be retained until expiry (if not until 70 or lifelong) unless used professionally or an offence has been committed.

If the OP is planning to move to Italy long-term, then surely the investment in getting a local license based on local regulations is safer for all concerned?

Given the virus, only immigrants already in possession of an assurance of a residence permit or for family re-unification (close family) in addition to existing residence-permit holders and citizens are being allowed entry to Swiss territory. (Even Asylum seekers not already present on Swiss territory may not enter).
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Old 05.04.2020, 21:21
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Re: Driver License Conversione USA --> CH --> IT

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Why do you take my sentence, cut it in half put a dot on the end and change it into something which is incorrect.
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