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Old 02.08.2021, 05:02
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A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

Hi All, thanks as always. I asked this question last week in a different thread, but think it may have been missed.

Long and short, it is a question about license translations for converting our Japanese/US licenses to Swiss ones.

I currently have two valid licenses (both happy countries), one in Japan, and one in New York.

The Japanese license is of course, in Japanese. Unfortunately, even the dates are in Japanese, showing that it was issued in the year 26 of the glorious Emperor Heisei's reign, which would be 2014 in the rest of the world, as well as the renewal, dated year 2 of the glorious Emperor Reiwa's reign, aka 2020.

The New York one, which I have had for forty years, with frequent renewals, only shows the issuing date (June 2021), and the expiration date (2028).

My questions are as follows:

Any ideas where how I can obtain the year my NY license was issued, in an acceptable format for the Swiss authorities of Geneva or Vaud? I'm sure NY will send me an email with the information, but I'm not sure that that will be acceptable. I'm in Japan currently and can't go to a DMV in person.

Or, do I need to get a translation done of my Japanese license, and that leads to the following problems: can this be done in Geneva? Notaries are shockingly unavailable and if found can run hundreds of Francs in Japan. And it's highly unlikely that a French translation can be done in (my non Tokyo part of ) Japan, so if I can get an English translation, would that work? My thought is possibly getting a translation done at the JAS and hope they've got an official looking stamp (similar to the US AAA - automotive association).

Thanks!!!

Apologies for the typo in the thread title - edit function would allow me to change it or I'm dumb. Take your pick.
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  #2  
Old 02.08.2021, 07:39
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

How about the Japanese Consular office in Geneva, or the Embassy in Berne? If they can’t do the translation perhaps they could attest to your own translation.

Edited to add, will the DMV equivalent in Japan do this for you?
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  #3  
Old 02.08.2021, 09:23
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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How about the Japanese Consular office in Geneva, or the Embassy in Berne? If they can’t do the translation perhaps they could attest to your own translation.

Edited to add, will the DMV equivalent in Japan do this for you?
The Japanese DMV's won't do a thing.

I have a copy of my US driver's abstract (via email from the New York State DMV), and we have translations of our Japanese licenses. The big thing is: Do they need to be notarized? Notaries in Japan get roughly ¥20,000 (CHF 150) per document - which is insane. I'm hoping that the translations will be enough, that they don't need to be notarized, or if they do, it's more reasonable to get them notarized in Geneva.
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Old 02.08.2021, 09:33
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

https://strassenverkehrsamt.lu.ch/St...fuehrerausweis

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Amtlich beglaubigte Übersetzung des Führerausweises (sofern nicht in lateinischer Schrift) durch das Konsulat bzw. Botschaft oder Staatskanzlei
or according to google translaate: Officially certified translation of the driver's license (if not in Latin script) by the consulate, embassy or state chancellery
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  #5  
Old 02.08.2021, 10:51
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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The Japanese DMV's won't do a thing.

I have a copy of my US driver's abstract (via email from the New York State DMV), and we have translations of our Japanese licenses. The big thing is: Do they need to be notarized? Notaries in Japan get roughly ¥20,000 (CHF 150) per document - which is insane. I'm hoping that the translations will be enough, that they don't need to be notarized, or if they do, it's more reasonable to get them notarized in Geneva.
Virtually nothing needs to be notarised in Switzerland. And the cost is more or less the same. Are Japanese licences even valid for conversion? I’d just swap your US one. You have a year to deal with it anyway.
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  #6  
Old 02.08.2021, 11:11
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

Why can't you just convert your US license and be done with it? Are you worried about having to fulfil additional requirements because the license makes it look like you are a new driver?
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  #7  
Old 02.08.2021, 11:13
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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Virtually nothing needs to be notarised in Switzerland. And the cost is more or less the same. Are Japanese licences even valid for conversion? I’d just swap your US one. You have a year to deal with it anyway.
Thanks!

Yes, Japanese licenses are okay for conversion, and my wife, while not a frequent driver, only has a Japanese one. I plan to bring both and will be happy to accept either and hold on to the other one so I can shop for groceries in France during the waiting period.
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Old 02.08.2021, 11:14
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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Why can't you just convert your US license and be done with it? Are you worried about having to fulfil additional requirements because the license makes it look like you are a new driver?
Yes. I don't want any new driver restrictions. And my wife's license is only in Japanese.
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  #9  
Old 02.08.2021, 11:15
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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https://strassenverkehrsamt.lu.ch/St...fuehrerausweis



or according to google translaate: Officially certified translation of the driver's license (if not in Latin script) by the consulate, embassy or state chancellery
Good to know. I hope that the translation agency is considered good enough, or we'll run it by a consulate. Cheers.
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Old 02.08.2021, 13:07
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

I doubt you could find a Notary that could attest to a translation from Japanese to French is accurate. That’s why they say consulate.

Do you know any Japanese already in the Geneva area?
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  #11  
Old 02.08.2021, 13:14
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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Yes. I don't want any new driver restrictions. And my wife's license is only in Japanese.
There is contact/email details in the link I posted above.
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Old 02.08.2021, 20:49
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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Hi All, thanks as always. I asked this question last week in a different thread, but think it may have been missed.

Long and short, it is a question about license translations for converting our Japanese/US licenses to Swiss ones.
Actually, you don't even need to change your driver's license, as long as it remains valid in the country of issuance.

More details here:

https://www.eda.admin.ch/missions/mi...g-license.html
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Old 03.08.2021, 03:30
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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Hi All, thanks as always. I asked this question last week in a different thread, but think it may have been missed.

Long and short, it is a question about license translations for converting our Japanese/US licenses to Swiss ones.

I currently have two valid licenses (both happy countries), one in Japan, and one in New York.

The Japanese license is of course, in Japanese. Unfortunately, even the dates are in Japanese, showing that it was issued in the year 26 of the glorious Emperor Heisei's reign, which would be 2014 in the rest of the world, as well as the renewal, dated year 2 of the glorious Emperor Reiwa's reign, aka 2020.

The New York one, which I have had for forty years, with frequent renewals, only shows the issuing date (June 2021), and the expiration date (2028).

My questions are as follows:

Any ideas where how I can obtain the year my NY license was issued, in an acceptable format for the Swiss authorities of Geneva or Vaud? I'm sure NY will send me an email with the information, but I'm not sure that that will be acceptable. I'm in Japan currently and can't go to a DMV in person.

Or, do I need to get a translation done of my Japanese license, and that leads to the following problems: can this be done in Geneva? Notaries are shockingly unavailable and if found can run hundreds of Francs in Japan. And it's highly unlikely that a French translation can be done in (my non Tokyo part of ) Japan, so if I can get an English translation, would that work? My thought is possibly getting a translation done at the JAS and hope they've got an official looking stamp (similar to the US AAA - automotive association).

Thanks!!!

Apologies for the typo in the thread title - edit function would allow me to change it or I'm dumb. Take your pick.
You can request a driving record abstract from the New York State DMV. It will cost you 7 dollars. At the bottom of the abstract they send you (as a .pdf) it will show the date that you got your first license. It is somewhat cryptic. This was enough for my wife to renew her license in Zurich when she had the same issue as you.

Here is the website -- https://dmv.ny.gov/records/driving-records-abstracts

The simple abstract is what my wife used. There is also something called a "lifetime driving record" that may have even more information.

edit -- sorry, just noticed that you already have the NYS abstract. That was sufficient in Zurich (no translation needed).
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Old 03.08.2021, 08:08
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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You can request a driving record abstract from the New York State DMV. It will cost you 7 dollars. At the bottom of the abstract they send you (as a .pdf) it will show the date that you got your first license. It is somewhat cryptic. This was enough for my wife to renew her license in Zurich when she had the same issue as you.

Here is the website -- https://dmv.ny.gov/records/driving-records-abstracts

The simple abstract is what my wife used. There is also something called a "lifetime driving record" that may have even more information.

edit -- sorry, just noticed that you already have the NYS abstract. That was sufficient in Zurich (no translation needed).
Thanks G! (Where in NY are you from?)
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Old 03.08.2021, 14:44
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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Thanks G! (Where in NY are you from?)
I spent the first 40+ years of my life either in NYC or within 10 miles of NYC -- other than 4 years of college at a SUNY with 80% of the students from the NYC metropolitan area... So, Switzerland is a bit different...
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Old 08.08.2021, 12:28
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Re: A drivers license question not answered iin the mega thread.

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I spent the first 40+ years of my life either in NYC or within 10 miles of NYC -- other than 4 years of college at a SUNY with 80% of the students from the NYC metropolitan area... So, Switzerland is a bit different...
I just saw this... In Hiroshima, I was always known as Matt from Brooklyn (there are a couple of other Matts), in NYC, I was usually known as Matty Red Sox, and in the Red Sox bars in NYC, I was usually Teacher Matt....

I went to SUNY Oswego... but have lived in NYC, Oahu, Maui, Ireland, the UK, Jakarta, a few places in Japan, and some others that I've probably forgotten - generally every place is the same... in that it's different, and I usually have a good time!
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