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  #221  
Old 22.06.2007, 12:07
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Gooner

I grew up in the East Rand and my wife comes from Pretoria. Give us a shout sometime if you want go for a rideout....

Also if you ever get down to Zug, give us a call, there is a restaurant there that serves SA food, Boerewors, Beboetie, end even does biltong. He has been around for 20 odd years and loves South Arica so has introduced some SA meals into his mainly Swiss menu


Richard
I've PMd you.
  #222  
Old 23.06.2007, 00:07
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Congrats Gooner,

I have been following this thread with interest since around the beginning of this year. I am in the same boat as you (were). I am a SA license holder and have sent my application off recently. I am awaiting the date of my test and taking lessons.

So how was the test? Any cause for concern?

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Well today I did the test and I passed. It was an expensive exercise costing over 1.5k.

A lot of it is about paying one's dues. They are all mates there, the controllers and the instructors. I think taking lessons, which may not be mandatory but was suggested on the confirmation of test date paper (it said give this paper to your teacher) is about attitude adjustment.
  #223  
Old 15.07.2007, 23:12
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Re: driving classes

Just handed over my USA license and had a Swiss license the next day..no test, no nothing. Didn't you have a valid license from the UK?
  #224  
Old 18.07.2007, 12:10
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

I've got a UK license with the Photo ID, but I seem to have lost the paper counterpart. Do the swiss authorities require the paper?
  #225  
Old 18.07.2007, 12:20
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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I've got a UK license with the Photo ID, but I seem to have lost the paper counterpart. Do the swiss authorities require the paper?
I have a feeling this varies from canton to canton - in SG I thought I could get away with sending in the card, keeping the paper counterpart and then getting a sneaky UK replacement card so I'd have two licenses. Unfortunately I was specifically asked to send in the counterpart. A colleague in ZH, however, got away with the same cunning plan.
  #226  
Old 18.07.2007, 12:25
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Congrats Gooner,

I have been following this thread with interest since around the beginning of this year. I am in the same boat as you (were). I am a SA license holder and have sent my application off recently. I am awaiting the date of my test and taking lessons.

So how was the test? Any cause for concern?
Hi Blaze,

I did my test in Regensdorf, just outside of Zurich. It was a simple test with about 20 - 30 minutes of driving around including the motorway. It did not include anything like parking or theory. It was a basic driving test.

I would recommend taking a few lessons. There are things you need to know such as driving with trams and buses.


There are a few things they look out for. As with new drivers, you need to
  • show that you are breaking your neck looking around before changing lanes or turning
  • look, look, look and make a big thing of it, then indicate or turn
  • watch out for the right of way from the right (yup, they have a funny rule here that in certain places cars from the right have the right of way).
  • getting onto the motorway quickly, looking, breaking your neck and indicating to get out of the slipway.
  • overtaking a truck or vehicle in the slower right hand lane
  • STOP for orange lights
  • STOP for pedestrians
  • keep the cycle lanes in mind ALL the time
That's about it. Unless they say Left or Right just go straight. A little German goes a far way. I think as of sometime later this year the test will only be done in one of the official Swiss languages.

Good luck.
  #227  
Old 18.07.2007, 12:29
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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I have a feeling this varies from canton to canton - in SG I thought I could get away with sending in the card, keeping the paper counterpart and then getting a sneaky UK replacement card so I'd have two licenses. Unfortunately I was specifically asked to send in the counterpart. A colleague in ZH, however, got away with the same cunning plan.
Interesting, does anyone have experience of Kanton Luzern?

I hadn't realised I could send it in. That can save me a morning off.
  #228  
Old 01.08.2007, 13:12
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Re: Driver's Licence conversion

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Hi. I am gonna take the practical test (dont remember whatever it is called in German .. something like ...prufung) on 21st of November. It has only been 7 months since I came but I just wanted to deal with this driver licence problem right away. Ive been driving on the streets since the first day I came to Zurich so I was pretty condifent of my driving until I spoke to a few people about this test. Its kinda scary to hear that you are only given one chance to pass the test. Could anyone tell me more about their experiences in this practical test? tips, hints, test content etc.? My German is still horrible.. is it really a problem to take this test with a German speaking instructor?

'Prufung' is not to bad as long as you keep your nerves. Just remember to look around a lot,use mirrors and remember the right rule. I've also heard that if you use your own car it is vertually impossible to pass(you're allowed 3 goes, then you have to visit a phycologist) so it's better to use a driving instructor. As for the expert I chatted with mine but he never answered(I know my german is bad but he could have at lest smiled and nodded)so try but don't expect too much. Anyway Good Luck with your driving test.
  #229  
Old 01.08.2007, 13:43
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Gooner,

Thanks for the tips. I have covered pretty much all of it with my driving intructor and the test is booked for the 28th August. Let's hope it goes well.

So far I have spent about 800chf, so I guess it will cost me about the same as it cost you in the end - providing I don't make any major mistakes and have to do the full procedure.

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Hi Blaze,

I did my test in Regensdorf...

Good luck.
  #230  
Old 01.08.2007, 19:03
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

This whole discussion was interesting. I`m South African, and needed to convert my licence..... before its expiry date! SA licences are valid for only 5yrs.

The best advice I had was to go to a VERY good driving school and be tested .... I needed about 4 lessons in being grilled....Turning left?=look in rear mirror, side mirror, flicker on, move over to left, check rear mirror again, side mirror again, turn....with Definite Head Movements so there is NO mistake that I did look! My instructor spoke no english and I no S/German, but we managed.

My local optometrist shook his head over the eye test and directed me to my local doctor, whose receptionist did the quick test, for Sf20 cash, doctor signed it.

Whatever you do, do it, its worth it..... not to have to go thru the Entire rigmarole like a Swiss!
  #231  
Old 10.08.2007, 15:57
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Hi all,

I've got a bit of a situation here and would appreciate it if anyone has any information that can help me:

I'm living in Germany (near the Swiss border) and I would really like to get a driver's licence. The only problem is I don't speak German (yet) so it's impossible for me to try and get a German driver's licence. However, since I'm living so close to Zurich, is it possible for me to take driving lessons there and eventually obtain a Swiss driver's licence (even though I don't live in Switzerland)? This is a good option for me because some driving schools in Zurich have English speaking instructors and from what I read in this forum, one can even take the tests in English. I'm 24, never had a driver's licence, not even a Learner's licence though mysteriously, I can drive a little but always in the cover of darkness and far away from prying eyes (okay it was around a parking space with my Dad a few years ago)
  #232  
Old 10.08.2007, 15:59
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

you'd have to be Swiss resident to get a Swiss drivers licence.
  #233  
Old 10.08.2007, 16:06
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

That's bad news for me, but thanks for answering. One last thing, even though I'm not a Swiss resident, is it possible for me to take driving lessons in Zurich? As I mentioned previously, Zurich has some English speaking instructors and no matter how hard I looked, I can't find one where I live.

Last edited by McCutie8283; 10.08.2007 at 16:41.
  #234  
Old 10.08.2007, 16:08
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Hi gooner,
I think it might be easier with an English licence to be honest because you donīt have to do a driving test. I have a UK licence and have just finished the paperwork. Get the form - I believe you can download it then you need your Ausweis, a copy, original UK licence, the eye test stamp on the form oh and a colour photo. I believe thatīs all. Iīve finally managed to collect it all together and get my arse in gear (ho ho) and am going to put it to the test next week.
Iīll probably be told that Iīve missed something or whatever but fingers crossed.
Cheers
Dob
  #235  
Old 10.08.2007, 16:14
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Hi gooner,
I think it might be easier with an English licence to be honest because you donīt have to do a driving test. I have a UK licence and have just finished the paperwork. Get the form - I believe you can download it then you need your Ausweis, a copy, original UK licence, the eye test stamp on the form oh and a colour photo. I believe thatīs all. Iīve finally managed to collect it all together and get my arse in gear (ho ho) and am going to put it to the test next week.
Iīll probably be told that Iīve missed something or whatever but fingers crossed.
Cheers
Dob
you should admit now that you've not read the whole thread
  #236  
Old 10.08.2007, 16:38
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Guilty as charged
But was just very pleased I knew something regarding rules, regulations, form filling as usually NOT my strong point Perhaps not the best trait for living here.
DOB
  #237  
Old 12.08.2007, 23:39
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Changing UK Drivers Licence to Swiss

Hi All,

I am changing my UK licence to a Swiss one and would like to go to the office in Lugano (Ticino) to do it. Does anyone know where I have to go as I can't seem to find the info on the government site.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Martin
  #238  
Old 13.08.2007, 02:55
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Re: Changing UK Drivers Licence to Swiss

This is the homepage of the road traffic license department Ticino.

It is located somewhere on the Ala Munda street in Camorino near Bellinzona, together with other administrative entities of the canton.

You will be asked to fill out this form: Istanza di conversione di una licenza di condurre straniera (PDF)

Hope that helps.
  #239  
Old 14.08.2007, 08:36
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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That's bad news for me, but thanks for answering. One last thing, even though I'm not a Swiss resident, is it possible for me to take driving lessons in Zurich? As I mentioned previously, Zurich has some English speaking instructors and no matter how hard I looked, I can't find one where I live.
If you want to do the driver's license in Switzerland you need to do the following steps in that order:

1) do an official First Aid course (recognised by ASTRA, the Swiss department for roads)
2) apply and do the theory exam (you can try as many times as you need)
3) you will receive the learning driver's license after passing the theory exam
4) with the learning drivers license, you can take driving lessons (usually with a driving instructor). You are not allowed to drive on your own. Private lessons are allowed if the person being with you during the lessons is at least 23 years old and has had the license since at least 3 years.
5) while taking lessons, at some point you will need to do a VKU course (Verkehrskunde-Unterricht)
6) you do the practical exam (you can try 3 times)
7) if you passed the practical exam you will receive a trial license for 3 years
8) you will need to do 2x1 day courses (WAB) during those 3 years
9) after those 3 years, if you haven't had issues with traffic laws (speeding, accidents etc.) you will receive the final license, if you have done the 2 days courses.

In your case 1) 2) and 3) will apply if you want to "just" take driving lessons.

You can do the First Aid course in English. If you need help to find such a course, let me know.

The theory exam can be done in English until the end of 2007. From 1.1.2008 it is not possible to do the theory exam in English or any other language different from the official Swiss languages (German, French and Italian) anymore.

For 1) you don't need to be Swiss resident.
For 2) and 3) you need to be (as it was mentioned before) Swiss resident.
For 4) As you said, it is not an issue to find a driver instructor who give driving lessons in English.
For 5) this is tricky, you most probably won't find anyone offering this in completely English. At least I haven't the last 2 years

My advice to you is to speak to the authorities and find out, if they would give you permission to do the license in Switzerland. Then you would need to find out, if the Swiss road traffic department (in your case in Zurich www.stva.zh.ch) would allow an exception to do the license even when not having residence in Switzerland.

The other possibility to do the driver's license in you home country might not work out, depending on what the rules apply in Germany. In Switzerland you can convert your license only within 12 months after you moved to Switzerland. I don't see how going back into your home country (let's say for 2-3 weeks vacation) and do a quicky license will work, since your are already registered as resident where you live.

There is a 3rd option, but I don't want to mention it here and be bashed...
  #240  
Old 14.08.2007, 08:38
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Re: Changing UK Drivers Licence to Swiss

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Hi All,

I am changing my UK licence to a Swiss one and would like to go to the office in Lugano (Ticino) to do it. Does anyone know where I have to go as I can't seem to find the info on the government site.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Martin
A list of all Swiss road traffic offices (Strassenverkehrsamt) in Switzerland with their addresses and weblinks is available here:
http://www.asa.ch/de/strassenverkehrsaemter.htm
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