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  #21  
Old 13.08.2009, 00:23
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Re: Driving licence question

I have a problem. In 1 of September it is already a year since I moved to CH. However, I haven't changed my driver license to Swiss yet

The problem is, that I'll be in the USA till the beginning of September and I need my license there, to rent a car.

So I have three questions:

- Should I take any extra lessons, if I try to get the Swiss licence, after the one (first) year ends?
- I live in AG, and I got to know from the Gemeinde that I won't get a temporary driving license/paper as lucky people get in ZH canton. This mean that I would just have a copy of my old Greek driving license (lost my Danish one ). Would that give any implications? Given the fact that on my way back from the USA, I want to spend the next two weekends in Germany and Austria and I want to go their by driving...
- Is it possible, that they give me an extension, like 2 weeks, due to the above reasons?

I'll go tomorrow again to the Gemeindehaus, however I wanted to get a bit prepared of what I'm going to hear there. I was a bit unprepared this morning, because I was expecting to get a temporary licence or something and the guy just came over with a freaking photocopy

Thanx for your answers people
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  #22  
Old 13.08.2009, 08:20
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Re: Driving licence question

Hi at the end of August I will have been here for 1 year and will now have to change my licence. Have been on the Strasseverkehrsamt website but as my German is not fantastic I am struggling where to download the form I need to fill out. Can anyone help with this and advice exactly what I need to hand in and how long this takes?

Thanks a lot
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  #23  
Old 13.08.2009, 08:57
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Re: Driving licence question

My husband went to change them over and he was told that it's possible to do it at the local Gemeinde...

Also, even though you are required to change them over after 12 months, if your international one is current, and you aren't actually driving a car, then you can do it at your leisure.

Word of warning - if you are on a one year visa, do your drivers licence before you go to 'trade in' your visa - we had to wait for our new visa before we could do our drivers licence changeover - luckily, we aren't driving at the moment...so now 6 weeks later our new visas have arrived and we can go to the local Gemeinde at our leisure to trade in our drivers licences...

I understand the Swiss one is unlimited, whereas our Australian ones are renewed every few years (5 years at the most)...

Oh, and there's a separate thread here on getting the eye-check done, it was very straightforward no appointment necessary, at the local optometrist...

My husband went all the way across town to the Strassenverksamt in Zurich - and got the forms etc...they were *very* helpful...although it's not easy to get there without a car....
http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/stva/de/home.html
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  #24  
Old 13.08.2009, 09:12
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Re: Driving licence question

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My husband went to change them over and he was told that it's possible to do it at the local Gemeinde...

Also, even though you are required to change them over after 12 months, if your international one is current, and you aren't actually driving a car, then you can do it at your leisure.

Word of warning - if you are on a one year visa, do your drivers licence before you go to 'trade in' your visa - we had to wait for our new visa before we could do our drivers licence changeover - luckily, we aren't driving at the moment...so now 6 weeks later our new visas have arrived and we can go to the local Gemeinde at our leisure to trade in our drivers licences...

I understand the Swiss one is unlimited, whereas our Australian ones are renewed every few years (5 years at the most)...

Oh, and there's a separate thread here on getting the eye-check done, it was very straightforward no appointment necessary, at the local optometrist...

My husband went all the way across town to the Strassenverksamt in Zurich - and got the forms etc...they were *very* helpful...although it's not easy to get there without a car....
http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/stva/de/home.html
Thanks Swisspea for your reply, we have a car now for 6 months I have only driven on the odd occasion as hubby uses it all week for work. I have a B permit and I have a full UK driving licence. Do I just go to any optician then take eye test results along with me to the Strassenverksamt?
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  #25  
Old 13.08.2009, 13:30
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Re: Driving licence question

That link is twice as useful if you download the form

http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/st...aw_auslfa.html

From the PDF form "Gesuch um Umtausch eines ausländischen Führerausweises", page 3:

Quote:
Application form

You fill out the application form (including a color passport photo and eyesight test).

You bring the (foreign) drivers license and the application form in person to Strassenverkehrsamt or the municipal citizen services department (=Einwohnerkontrolle, Gemeindehaus, Kreisbüro...)

Take the residence permit or Swiss ID with you; the original.

If you have a residency permit in credit card format, we additionally require an affirmation of residence (Wohnsitzbestätigung, you can get it from the municipality) containing the date of entry into Switzerland.
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  #26  
Old 13.08.2009, 13:37
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Re: Driving licence question

What when you don't have a drivers license yet? And already living in Switzerland?
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  #27  
Old 13.08.2009, 13:39
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Re: Driving licence question

And getting a drivers license in your home country in one of the holidays? That's the current plan instead of getting it in Switzerland. Apparently you can't take English theory exams anymore in Bern.
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  #28  
Old 15.08.2009, 15:50
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Re: Driving licence question

The 12-month rule seems to be new. Anyway it's the law now: http://bit.ly/1mSJ54 Last time I inquired (years ago) it was less. But 12 months is the general EU rule. And like it or not, even in the absence of a presence at the table, Switzerland is de facto bound by much of EU law. Especially with the Treaties. And even though their documents are not necessarily valid a "EU documents".

IDPs (international driving licences) are, as others have said, simply translations of one's home licence. The only country where I have been refused a hire car without an IDP is Japan. The whole point of the new pink Euro-style licences is to avoid such issues. A Siberian friend hires cars all the time in Geneva with his Russian licence which has the same format. One doesn't need to be able to read the fine print.

Here's the US State Department official instructions for consular officers on the subject:
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86800.pdf

There are EU rules but they apply ONLY to EU licences where a theory and practical test has been taken. If you exchange an EU for a CH licence, be sure to photocopy the EU one (and any paper counterfoil). DVLA has been known to lose them. And my wife, who has a CH licence, was refused exchange to a UK one because she did not take tests to get the CH one.
EU rules are here: http://bit.ly/3stnB
EU document on UK refusal to exchange Danish licence obtained without tests in exchange for a US state one: http://bit.ly/Zl96L

There is a prohibition against holding two or more EU licences except where obtained prior to accession as a member state. This is to prevent drunks from obtaining multiple licences; also one has to reside in a member country six months before taking the test (but of course that is self-certified in the UK since there is no registration of domicile or residence there).

As a practical matter one is unlikely to get caught out unless driving a car registered in his own name in the other country. Or in the event of a serious accident, when the insurance company, while obliged to pay third-party liability cover, may well sue the insured for misrepresentation since s/he was driving "unlicensed".

Actually I drove for 25 years in the UK with a French licence and only recently found out it was not valid in the UK after 12 months because I got it as a diplomat without tests. The rules are very arcane. I now have a UK one and haven't decided what to do for a CH one. If I could find the French one (I mislaid it) I would give them that.

This is a genuine problem for people with dual residence. That, and taxes.
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  #29  
Old 09.09.2009, 10:39
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Re: Driving licence question

Coming back to the same issue. Now the transportation authorities in AG, sent me my old beloved greek license back and they ask me for a translation of it

I survived with this driving license in Denmark for many years, without the slightest problem, and I've rented many cars in UK, Germany and USA with it. But the Swiss want a translation that was not pre-requested and now I am having serious time problem (I closed a year here on the 1st of September).

Does anybody have a template for these kind of translations, as I only want to go to the Greek embassy and get a signature. If I wait for the embassy to do the translation I might get it in Xmas (2011)

Anybody?
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  #30  
Old 09.09.2009, 10:45
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Re: Driving licence question

You probably need to get an International Drivers Permit (IDP) that is basically a translation booklet into several languages from your licence.

Depending on your country/licence authority, you can get them from either the licencing authority themselves or a motoring organisation such as those providing break down cover.

Google International Drivers Permit for more information.
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  #31  
Old 09.09.2009, 11:19
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Re: Driving licence question

Hey Mrs TinTin,

It should actually be quite easy. You should do it within one year of being here. This is because your US license is good for that period of time. You can do it later, but inbetween you wouldn't have a valid license.

You need to print out a government form. You take it to an eye doctor, pay for a short eye exam (10-20chf, depending on the clinic), and have them fill it out and sign. Then fill out the rest of the application.

Then you take it to your local Strassenverkehrsamt (transportation/vehicle bureau) and hand it in. They will take your US license, but you should get it back in the mail with your new Swiss one, and a bill of about 100chf. (NOTE: If your license is EU, you probably won't get it back)

the form can be found here : http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/stva/de/forms.html

You are looking for the : "Ausländische Lenker/innen" form.

It also contains more info about the driving classes and describes which you should apply for, I think "B" is the standard one.

cheers!

Heather

note: this was all done in Zurich....I would imagine it is similar everywhere.
Also - it depends on what country your license is from, sometimes you need to do a road test, that is also indicated on the form above.
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  #32  
Old 20.03.2011, 16:54
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Re: Driving licence question

Just using this thread for a new question. Can someone drive in the uk whilst on holidays, with just an aussie licence? Thanks for any feedback.
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I think not. Of course you can rent A CAR with a Swiss licence in the UK or anywhere else - I've done so in the UK, USA, Australia and a number of European countries...
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  #33  
Old 20.03.2011, 18:07
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Re: Driving licence question

Yes you can, for up to 12 mths.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Diol1/Mo...A0+Next%C2%A0+

If you want to research further, type the following into Google search box:
"dvla foreign driving licence"
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Old 20.03.2011, 18:46
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Re: Driving licence question

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Does anybody have a template for these kind of translations, as I only want to go to the Greek embassy and get a signature. If I wait for the embassy to do the translation I might get it in Xmas (2011)

Anybody?
When I needed a translation of my Dutch license to renew it in Germany, it was done for a small fee by the ADAC, the German car club even though I was not a member. Maybe you can contact the Swiss version, the ACS (Automobilclub Schweiz), to ask if they also provide this service?
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Old 20.03.2011, 18:48
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Re: Driving licence question

Thank you very much TiMow!
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  #36  
Old 20.03.2011, 21:31
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Re: Driving licence question

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Just using this thread for a new question. Can someone drive in the uk whilst on holidays, with just an aussie licence? Thanks for any feedback.
Yes, they can.
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  #37  
Old 21.03.2011, 07:22
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Re: Driving licence question

I was here (and registered) for 2 and a half years before I chnaged my UK license to a Swiss one, the guy at the police station started to hum and ha and eventually gave in.

Try it and see... it worked for me

(BTW.... he was not Swiss rather one of our dear fellow Turkish Auslanders here in Basel so maybe he had some sympathy for me)
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