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Old 28.11.2007, 10:01
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Re: Who has a UK and a Swiss drivers license?

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Obviously if you don't obtain a Swiss licence within 12 months of registering here you will have problems here and need to take a Swiss driving test.

When I 'converted' my UK licence in 1989 (the old green one with no picture and my old UK address in) the Zurich Street Traffic Office posted my new Swiss licence to me with a bill for CHF70 (as I recall) after some day. I drove to and from the Traffic Office and so required a licence. Thus I kept my UK licence, which I still have. There was no question of them asking for it or keeping it to return to Swansea...
Yes, things were different back in them days. I blame the EU. For everything.
  #302  
Old 28.11.2007, 10:20
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Re: Who has a UK and a Swiss drivers license?

If you buy a Jeep in the US and keep it there will this get round the problem?

Or, make a very good colour copy of your UK licence before handing it over and hope that will sufice...
  #303  
Old 28.11.2007, 10:34
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Re: Cost: Exchanging EU-15 drivers license for Swiss

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Just got a form back from the Strassenverkehrsamt myself. Looks like I need a physical to get the cat C and Ds (had the sight test done already).

How do I find an appointed Kanton GP, won't any doctor do? Could this covered under my medical insurance?
Got my driving license last night, with all the categories from the UK one.

It turned out to be quite easy to arrange the doctors appointment, turned up to my local surgery and tried to explain, they knew exactly what I was looking for, and it cost me 50CHF (Took a month to get the appointment though). Involved a blood pressure test, a listen to my lungs, a test of balance, an additional simple sight test, a hearing test and questions about my medical history and lifestyle.

I got confused by one of the letters the Driving Authority sent me and filled it in incorrectly when I sent back with the medical report, but they phoned me up on my mobile, spoke to me in English, and cleared it all up with little fuss. The license arrived 2 days later.

Last edited by cyrus; 28.11.2007 at 11:15. Reason: typo
  #304  
Old 28.11.2007, 10:38
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Re: Who has a UK and a Swiss drivers license?

@Moabman:
You should ask at the licencing office. Use your reasoning above and also mention that you have property and bank accounts which need a UK official document and you wish to use your UK licence for that. You might be surprised....
  #305  
Old 28.11.2007, 11:09
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

OK. I will try that approach and see what happens.
  #306  
Old 01.12.2007, 15:57
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Waiting for my Swiss drivers licence

The SAN took away my UK licence this week when I went in to apply for my Swiss one.

Does anyone know how long it takes to send the new licence out in Vaud? I'm currently stuck without a licence, which is bad as I'm renting cars while I wait for my new car to be delivered in a few weeks. Don't know how Avis will react to my request to rent a car without a drivers licence in my hand - I've rented from them several times recently so I'm hoping they'll be accommodating!

Finally, is there ANY disadvantage to having a Swiss licence as opposed to my UK one? I was thinking of a way of getting my UK licence back fro the DVLA but I'm not sure it's worth it
  #307  
Old 01.12.2007, 16:25
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Re: Waiting for my Swiss drivers licence

You should have your licence early next week - It should only take a few days. As far as I know you cannot have two licences! So the Swiss one is the one you have, which is useful if you go back to the UK and are unfortunate enough to get caught speeding, ie you will have to pay the fine, but no points. Do not speed in CH, it is very expensive and your licence can be taken away in a flash!
  #308  
Old 01.12.2007, 17:17
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Re: Waiting for my Swiss drivers licence

A bit out of topic, but when I changed my licence in Zug, they took an officially signed copy of my old Finnish one. This allowed me to drive in Switzerland until the new CH licence came in mail 2 days later. The new licence however lacked the motorcycle permit, so I called them and asked. They told me to come over and printed a new proper one right in from of my eyes.

I am so going to miss thiss efficiency when I leave the country!
  #309  
Old 01.12.2007, 18:00
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Re: Waiting for my Swiss drivers licence

It's news to me that they take away your UK licence. I still have both, because they returned the UK licence to me when I received the new Swiss one.
  #310  
Old 01.12.2007, 18:08
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Re: Waiting for my Swiss drivers licence

The guy at the SAN told me that they would send the UK licence back to the UK for cancellation
  #311  
Old 01.12.2007, 20:50
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Re: Waiting for my Swiss drivers licence

I applied for mine too here in Zurich about a week ago, then got a letter in the post saying that I must go to one of their registered medical centres to have a full medical at my own cost . If I don't get the medical done within the next three months, the whole application process will be cancelled.

Anybody else had this happen to them? Other people I know have all just completed the bog standard form and got the licence the following week.
  #312  
Old 02.12.2007, 10:48
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

I think the reason for this is that the UK licence qualifies you to drive small vans / lorries (no idea what sort) and the equivalent licence in CH needs a full medical.

If you don't want to do this you need to fill out a separate form renouncing your right to drive a big lorry round Switzerland, and that gets rid of the need for a medical
  #313  
Old 02.12.2007, 11:08
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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I think the reason for this is that the UK licence qualifies you to drive small vans / lorries (no idea what sort) and the equivalent licence in CH needs a full medical.

If you don't want to do this you need to fill out a separate form renouncing your right to drive a big lorry round Switzerland, and that gets rid of the need for a medical
It's all about Category C1.

Up to 3.5 tonnes MAM is ok as it's covered by category B. Over that and up to 7.5 tonnes MAM the medical is required - it's a piece of pee, costs about 50 CHF, and is over in 5 mins.

New drivers in the UK (since 1997) are now subject to the same conditions ref the medical.

Source DirectGov
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Old 02.12.2007, 23:27
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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It's all about Category C1.

Up to 3.5 tonnes MAM is ok as it's covered by category B. Over that and up to 7.5 tonnes MAM the medical is required - it's a piece of pee, costs about 50 CHF, and is over in 5 mins.

New drivers in the UK (since 1997) are now subject to the same conditions ref the medical.

Source DirectGov
This medical examination for the C1 did cost me 168 CHF (ETH Zürich, October 2007) and it was a thorough examination with all sorts of funny tests (walking on your toes and walking on a line, etc.) ... 25 Minutes ...

It is not that I am a difficult case ... was the same for my colleague from Denmark a month earlier.
  #315  
Old 03.12.2007, 07:39
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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This medical examination for the C1 did cost me 168 CHF (ETH Zürich, October 2007) and it was a thorough examination with all sorts of funny tests (walking on your toes and walking on a line, etc.) ... 25 Minutes ...

It is not that I am a difficult case ... was the same for my colleague from Denmark a month earlier.
Should have gone to your GP .
  #316  
Old 03.12.2007, 09:29
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Swissbob - You can't go to your GP unless they are approved by the Strassenverkehrsamt, most aren't. I made that mistake although the test is routine!
  #317  
Old 04.12.2007, 01:19
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Has anyone recently converted their Swiss licence to a GB licence and retained all of their licence categories?

I have just read the current info (as of Dec '07) on the DVLA website and it appears to me that a licence conversion from Swiss to GB will ONLY convert for Car and Motorcycle. All other categories Light Truck, Minibus, Trailers, Tractors, Lawnmowers, Electric and Mopeds are lost and you have to sit a British driving test to get them back. Am I wrong?
  #318  
Old 04.12.2007, 07:55
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Yep - I went down the medical route when I converted, ie kept the light triuck and minibus, but it cost extra. If you passed your test in the UK and go back, then it shouldn't be a problem. Since the Swiss will return your licence to the DVLA, I would get a duplicate before you swap. That way if you go back, you have a copy of the origional licence.
  #319  
Old 04.12.2007, 09:29
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Yep - I went down the medical route when I converted, ie kept the light triuck and minibus, but it cost extra. If you passed your test in the UK and go back, then it shouldn't be a problem. Since the Swiss will return your licence to the DVLA, I would get a duplicate before you swap. That way if you go back, you have a copy of the origional licence.
From what I understand, the process returning to the UK is conversion not suspension and reinstatement. If you are returning to the UK with a Swiss licence, it will be converted to the nearest equivalent licence for Car and Motorcycle categories ONLY. A driving test is required for all other categories as you don't have a UK licence anymore that was issued before 1997.

The DVLA website doesn't say, but I would also assume that the number of years held would also be zeroed. If you have been out of the UK for more than two years without a UK licence then you would have lost all of your insurance no-claims discount and also probably also have to state the number of years a UK full licence held as being zero. Remember, what you are dealing with is not your actual licence record but the record that DVLA have on computer. This can be checked by insurance and other companies now. I'm sure if you said that you had a UK licence for 25 years on a proposal form the computer records would show zero in the year of conversion.
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Old 04.12.2007, 11:19
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

I can't comment on the (potential) loss of categories... but I had absolutely no problem converting my swiss license back to a UK one. They even refunded part of the fee that I sent to the DVLA, treating it as a reissue/replacement of a previously held license rather than a new conversion. The DVLA number on the new license was the same as the old. This was back in 2002, however, so don't know if things could have changed since then...
cheers,
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conversion, drive test, driver license, driving, driving in ch, driving licence, driving licence conversion, france, frontalier, geneva, licence, road traffic offices, swiss driving licence, transportation, us lincense




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