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Old 05.10.2010, 17:21
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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1. Find an instructor in testing centre where you live and speak to him to assist you with the whole procedure.
2. Book few lessons until you feel comfortable with your driving in CH.
3. Attempt the test when you ready.
4. If failed repeat the whole procedure - more info to be found from Strassenverkhersamt.

Prepare to spent few hundred bucks and good luck...

Ready, steady... go...
Thanks Jacek - that's not what I needed to know though. I just want to hear from someone that had actually done the test to see what it entails...I can't drive back to the Strassenallgemeinezeitung because I'm in Geneva :-)
  #822  
Old 05.10.2010, 17:23
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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I had 2 x 1 hour lessons with a instructor. Did the test on 04.01.2010 at 07:30. Drove around with the inspector next to me for 20 minutes then took him back to the Strassenverkhersamt. My new license arrived in the post the next day. Simpilz!

My colleague sitting next to me had 8 or 9 lessons with an instructor. Drove around for 45 minutes with the inspector and then had his home country license taken away. No explanation of what he did wrong or anything. Now he has to do the whole first aid course, written test etc etc.

The difference in our driving I think is probably only confidence. You MUST be confident in your driving ability. Good luck!
Thank you so much Nelly. This is useful to know. Specially the fact that the home license was taken away. I was wondering if there was something like that. So you just drove for 20 minutes? Do they ask you questions or just driving around? Thanks again.
  #823  
Old 05.10.2010, 17:33
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Thanks Jacek - that's not what I needed to know though. I just want to hear from someone that had actually done the test to see what it entails...I can't drive back to the Strassenallgemeinezeitung because I'm in Geneva :-)
Sorry for quoting obvious... I did not have to take test but have colleague of mine from non-EU country who failed such exam coming to the test centre unprepared and thinking what the hell... He eventually passed but had to take the whole theoretical and practical over again. Otherwise you might say goodbye to your old licence...

Be it French or German side, the precedure is still the same...
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  #824  
Old 05.10.2010, 17:39
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Sorry for quoting obvious... I did not have to take test but have colleague of mine from non-EU country who failed such exam coming to the test centre unprepared and thinking what the hell... He eventually passed but had to take the whole theoretical and practical over again. Otherwise you might say goodbye to your old licence...

Be it French or German side, the precedure is still the same...

yes, exactly, that's what I was also wondering, if your country's license can get removed if you don't pass that "simple" test. Thanks again!!
  #825  
Old 05.10.2010, 17:49
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Thank you so much Nelly. This is useful to know. Specially the fact that the home license was taken away. I was wondering if there was something like that. So you just drove for 20 minutes? Do they ask you questions or just driving around? Thanks again.
Just drove. The only time the guy spoke was to tell me to turn and/or where to go. I really do beleive that they just want to see that you are comfortable and confident behind the wheel.
  #826  
Old 08.10.2010, 01:03
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Re: Ontario License to Swiss License

Helpful thread but have some questions on things I'm (still!!) not clear about.

a) if you have a US licence, do you need an "international licence" (a card doc issues by American Automobile Association in US for a fee) or just the regular US state driving licence to drive a car here?

b) if you convert a UK licence, do you just give them the plastic card, or the paper licence?

c) for the UK licence, if they send it back to UK, have you nullified your UK licence?

d) do they let you keep your US State licence if converted?


cheers in advance


PS. before anyone asks, yes I collect driving licences and don't want to surrender any of them
  #827  
Old 08.10.2010, 01:07
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Re: Ontario License to Swiss License

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Helpful thread but have some questions on things I'm (still!!) not clear about.

a) if you have a US licence, do you need an "international licence" (a card doc issues by American Automobile Association in US for a fee) or just the regular US state driving licence to drive a car here?

b) if you convert a UK licence, do you just give them the plastic card, or the paper licence?

c) for the UK licence, if they send it back to UK, have you nullified your UK licence?

d) do they let you keep your US State licence if converted?


cheers in advance
a) regular one will be accepted up to 1 year then you will need to exchange it - the US of A is exempted from test drive,

b) plastic one costs about plus minus CHF85 + CHF15 optometrist test,

c) most likely they'll send it back and replace with Swiss equivalent credit card format here,

d) as soon as you leave CH you will get your US's DL back (not sure how they do it but you will get it back for sure one way or the other)
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Old 08.10.2010, 01:28
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Re: Ontario License to Swiss License

thanks. Not wanting to sound ungrateful but the way I read that I'm not sure if that closes questions B) and C) though.
  #829  
Old 08.10.2010, 01:36
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Re: Ontario License to Swiss License

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thanks. Not wanting to sound ungrateful but the way I read that I'm not sure if that closes questions B) and C) though.
You can send them any format of the driver's licence as long as it is a valid one but they will most likely replace it with commonly used plastic card format nowadays. Mine was exchanged that way without option of having it printed on paper or plastic...

They will nullify your licence for as long as you stay in CH. I read it somewhere that you are officially not allowed to keep two EU DL's. There is not such rule as far as non EU licence is concerned, so you will find some folks having e.g. South African and Swiss licence.

Another thing to notice is that your new CH licence will have unlimited expiry date on it despite the fact that your foreign licence is valid for 5 years only. I find it as an advantage though.
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Old 08.10.2010, 01:45
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Re: Ontario License to Swiss License

Ah, so say I (hypothetically of course!!!) have two licences - one is UK and the other US. I am a UK citizen.

If I convert the US one I probably get it back. If I convert the UK one I 'lose' it and at best have to go through some bureaucracy to get it back if I leave CH.

So, if I'm a UK citizen would they make it hard to convert the US one not the UK one?
  #831  
Old 08.10.2010, 01:52
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Re: Ontario License to Swiss License

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Ah, so say I (hypothetically of course!!!) have two licences - one is UK and the other US. I am a UK citizen.

If I convert the US one I probably get it back. If I convert the UK one I 'lose' it and at best have to go through some bureaucracy to get it back if I leave CH.

So, if I'm a UK citizen would they make it hard to convert the US one not the UK one?
I do not see any dillema here... You convert any of your licences. Both US and UK licences can be converted without so called test drive (Probefahrt auf Deutsch). No one will ask you a question how many licences you have and from which country.

IMHO, I'd convert your UK one and keep your US just in case you go back and drive there. Like with everything converted, there is always element of beaurocracy when it comes to getting it back (but it's something I dont have any experience with as I have not done it yet i.e. convert CH back to my SA).

P.S. It is really straighforward process. Optometrist test plus fill up the form and one photo. Then submit your original licence with form by local Gemeinde or deliver it to traffic department personally. Your new DL will arive within next couple of days.
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  #832  
Old 08.10.2010, 21:04
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Re: Ontario License to Swiss License

Well, as far as getting a licence back, I converted my Aussie licence (again, no test-drive required). In the mail I received my flash new Swiss licence and my Aussie licence (which now has a "Not valid in Switzerland" sticker on it).

I'm assuming you'll get similar treatment with your US licence.
  #833  
Old 25.10.2010, 20:13
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Re:US to Swiss License

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d) as soon as you leave CH you will get your US's DL back (not sure how they do it but you will get it back for sure one way or the other)
Sorry if this is a redundant question, but at 40 pages long I'm not going to read the entire thread.
Can anyone confirm point D here?
I'm going to be back in the States over Christmas and almost certainly want to drive. Should I wait until after the holidays to exchange licenses?
  #834  
Old 26.10.2010, 13:04
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Hey,

I was wondering whether anybody could advise me.

I have afull British driving licience with no points and I have just moved over to Switzerland.....I was just wondering how would I go about legally driving a car in Switzerland.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and would be great to receive some info or somebody to point me in the right direction.

Kind Regards,

Layla
  #835  
Old 26.10.2010, 13:05
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Also, here are some possible questions......

Would I have to take a driving / theory test again?
Do I have to apply?
Any age restrictions?

Thanks,
Layla
  #836  
Old 28.10.2010, 14:48
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Just to share my experience with you... Sounds fair, because the experiences of others helped me a lot!

Being a non-EU-USA-etc. citizen, I had to undergo a control drive (Kontrolfahrt, Course de contrôle). I must point out that the guy was pretty friendly. After like 10 minutes of driving around, I have taken a wrong exit on a roundabout and entered a private street (clearly marked by a sign). Then we went back and he showed me the sign. I thought that was it!

However, he told me to continue and then we were driving around for another half an hour or so, roughly 45 minutes in total. He told me that I had been driving attentively and that he was going to mark the test as passed, but he underlined that what I had done was serious and it was necessary to be aware of prohibitions.
Maybe I was just lucky!

Anyway, no chance that I would have passed without taking a few private lessons. It is really a must. Like the others said, they will force you to check the mirrors all the time and will give you some useful tips. It turned out that the most useful tip for me was: no matter how stupid thing you do while taking the test, don't panic. Keep driving calmly if you still have a chance, because the overall impression might still be positive! Worked out for me...

Good luck!
  #837  
Old 28.10.2010, 15:03
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Re: Ontario License to Swiss License

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d) as soon as you leave CH you will get your US's DL back (not sure how they do it but you will get it back for sure one way or the other)
Sorry to contradict, but this was not the case for me.

They took my US drivers license, put holes through it and stamped it invalid or similar, when I converted to a Swiss license. Yes, you might get it back, but it has no value and is no more a valid drivers license. Rather the Swiss one has replaced it.

Futhermore, as far as I know, in every US state I lived in, you had to renew your license every year or 2, so if you stay here any length of time without going back regularly and keeping a US address, it will automatically expire anyhow.

"Sorry if this is a redundant question, but at 40 pages long I'm not going to read the entire thread.
Can anyone confirm point D here? "

Sorry, all I can confirm is that it is not correct in my case.
  #838  
Old 05.11.2010, 23:04
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Hello and thank you in advance.
I went thru the whole tread and after nearly 5 hours in front of the computer still unsure about the answer of my issue, i decided to ask in the forum.
I am Bulgarian therefore having Bulgarian driving license. Opened the strassenverkehersant web site but it seemed not so clear if i have to just send whatever required and receive the Swiss driving one or have to sit some sort of exam. Any help is well appreciated
  #839  
Old 24.11.2010, 17:26
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Hi,

My wife had her license switched here in april and she was told she had to do some silly TCS course. She had gotten her license just before, in november of 2009.

My question is, will I also have to lose two days on this course if I got my license in 2007?
  #840  
Old 24.11.2010, 17:40
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Hi,

My wife had her license switched here in april and she was told she had to do some silly TCS course. She had gotten her license just before, in november of 2009.

My question is, will I also have to lose two days on this course if I got my license in 2007?
I went and got my license changed yesterday and asked what the ruling for these courses is.

If you get your license after December 2005 then you have to do them. Sorry

I got my license in March 2005 and was okay
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