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Old 10.08.2011, 09:59
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Thanks for the help.

I went to the "Strassenverkehrsamt des Kantons Zug", and in my situation my licence IS VALID.

Even though i have lived here for four years, my South African licence is valid (has been valid) since my arrival with the newly obtained licence.

It will be valid for a further 12 months.

My temporary (paper) licence is valid, even though it is not the final (card) licence. [it is valid since it is in one of the regional languages...english, and a recognized licence in South Africa]

Thanks,
MrAC
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  #982  
Old 10.08.2011, 10:03
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Answer(s):
1. One has to switch the license from SA to the Swiss one within 1 year of date of arrival in CH in order to not have to do the entire thing from scratch. Sorry, you will have to do the whole thing again over here.
2. Nope, your license is not valid.
3. If you had been living he under 12 months, the paper one would be fine.
Thanks.

See post #981. I went to the "Strassenverkehrsamt des Kantons Zug", and my licence is valid.

MrAC
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  #983  
Old 10.08.2011, 10:13
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Thanks.

See post #981. I went to the "Strassenverkehrsamt des Kantons Zug", and my licence is valid.

MrAC
Cool different laws for different cantons I guess.
  #984  
Old 11.08.2011, 16:33
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

I made it through many pages (although not all) and have learned a lot but I still have one question. I curretnly hold a US (Rhode Island) drivers license. It expires at the end of next week on my birthday and I currently live in the EU so will not be able to renew it before it expires. I was in RI about 10 months ago but could not renew early as you must wait until 2 months prior to expiration. I learned that I have 3 years to renew the license without having to retake the test and thus plan to renew when I next visit family as I do not currently own a car and it is not valid where I live. I am planning to move to Basel as a trailing spouse next spring. However, by the time I have Switzerland residence I will have had a lapse on my US license (most likely less than 6 months). Has anyone been in a similar situation with a lapse of "unlicensed" time? Is this a problem when trying to convert a license because of the need for 3 years? Is it possible to convert my license before having residence (I assume this is a big fat no but happen to be visiting Basel on my birthday/date of expiration and if I can do it then I will). Has anyone sucessfully converted an expired US license?
  #985  
Old 11.08.2011, 18:03
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

So long as your license hasnt expired a full year by the time you become resident in CH and have a CH permit you can apply for an exchange.

Do it asap upon becoming resident though. Trying it on holiday won't work. You also won't be able to drive here on an expired license.
  #986  
Old 11.08.2011, 18:33
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Now, I am going to be a bit pedantic about the "US" license bit...

As far as I know, no license issued in Europe has an expiration date.
I'm impressed by your qualified pedanticism. Allow me some too for licensed issued in "Europe".

For EU/EEA countries like Liechtenstein, UK, and Ireland, license categories can expire at age 70 pending medical examination. In Liechtenstein the license document itself also expires at age 70.

http://http://www.llv.li/amtsstellen...schein-fak.htm

Some categories in Germany expire at 50, others not at all nor the license document for those categories.

For Ireland and the UK the license document itself requires renewal every ten years to update the photo/photocard, independently of the category expiration.

Medical conditions/age can add additional renewal requirements on the categories and/or the license documents.
  #987  
Old 11.08.2011, 18:37
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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So what you need is proof, on paper (documents and/or current license) that you have been legally licensed for three or more continuous years.

Good luck.
Was an affidavit for the Secretary of State required, or would a copy of your state driving record (sometimes available online/by fax) not have sufficed?

I got an insurance quote based on my driving record beginning with my first license in New York state, although I exchanged a UK license on moving here.
  #988  
Old 26.08.2011, 12:00
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Update: I just went to Gemeindeverwaltung today to exchange my US driver's license for a Swiss one. Quickly going over the process:

1. Picked up papers at the police station
2. filled them out
3. Took them to Gemeindeverwaltung -Basellandschaft- *they refused to return my US driver's license* I danced around it but to no avail.
4. GV will send it to Motorfahrzeug
5. I shall soon receive it by post.
  #989  
Old 28.08.2011, 22:44
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Re: [Drivers license] Conversion and questions

I have an EU Driving License and I've read most of the topic. As I've seen:
  • If you hold the License for at least 3 years, no exams are needed.
  • You just to be checked by a local doctor. A doctor abroad (and cheaper ) will not work, right?
  • You CAN get back your EU License without giving the Swiss one, right? Do you have to apply for this on-the-spot? I've seen that they send it back to your home country, or something similar.
So ... am I right?

Btw, please somebody correct the title. It's "License".
  #990  
Old 28.08.2011, 23:32
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Re: [Drivers license] Conversion and questions

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Btw, please somebody correct the title. It's "License".
englishforum. Not americanforum. We get to pick the spelling.

1) Don't know about a time limit.
2) Only need an eye test from any high street optician, unless you're planning to retain the categories for larger trucks and minibuses, in which case a medical is required, along with a criminal record certificate (ordered via the Post Office).
3) EU licences are retained, and returned to their issuing bureau. You can get it back when you move back to that country.
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Old 02.09.2011, 11:43
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Hello,
I would like to ask if somebody knows something my colleague mentioned - we all know after 1 year residency, outsiders need to change driver's license. But he mentioned there is possibility to ask for an extension for another year. He is in canton Vaud, same as me. Has anybody heard about that?
If no, then can anyone recommend some eye doctor in Lausanne? Since I only sleep in the town, I am not so familiar with it, and I don't see any eye doctors/clinics on my walks home/work.

Thank You
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Old 21.09.2011, 16:31
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Piece of info for anyone who's lost their Swiss DL, especially if it's already been in credit card format. Recently lost mine. Sent off the form on the internet (here for Kt. ZH) :
http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/siche...Wduplikat.html

Sent it in the post Saturday, had the license Tuesday. Didn't need to attach a photo as it was already on file.

Bill to come, I expect it's 35CHF or so but is cheaper than the fine.
  #993  
Old 21.09.2011, 16:50
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Hello,
I would like to ask if somebody knows something my colleague mentioned - we all know after 1 year residency, outsiders need to change driver's license. But he mentioned there is possibility to ask for an extension for another year. He is in canton Vaud, same as me. Has anybody heard about that?
If no, then can anyone recommend some eye doctor in Lausanne? Since I only sleep in the town, I am not so familiar with it, and I don't see any eye doctors/clinics on my walks home/work.

Thank You
Yes there's a possibility if you say you basically aren't going to stay longer than 2 years. Otherwise they expect you to integrate now. It's not designed to give you another year of grace.

Be happy, if you were in Germany you'd have had only 6 months to do the same from outside EU.
  #994  
Old 21.09.2011, 16:56
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Re: [Drivers license] Conversion and questions

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I have an EU Driving License and I've read most of the topic. As I've seen:
  • If you hold the License for at least 3 years, no exams are needed.
  • You just to be checked by a local doctor. A doctor abroad (and cheaper ) will not work, right?
  • You CAN get back your EU License without giving the Swiss one, right? Do you have to apply for this on-the-spot? I've seen that they send it back to your home country, or something similar.
So ... am I right?

Btw, please somebody correct the title. It's "License".
You are partially right, but also partially wrong

It's licence in Ireland and the UK thanks.

3 years should be ok if you got the category on or after 2005.

You need to be checked by a local doctor for certain categories Cx, Dx etc or if you need to drive for a living. If you are 50 or over it has to be with an authority doctor (they'll provide a restrictive list).

an EU/EEA license will not be returned to you but to the licensing authority in the issuing state. You can however ask your licensing authority for a document of your driving record, which can be enough to re-exchange later.

You must exchange within a year or you lose the right to drive in CH unless on an L-Permit. If you are planning to drive for business you must exchange before driving for business on arrival in CH.
  #995  
Old 29.09.2011, 12:46
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Piece of info for anyone who's lost their Swiss DL, especially if it's already been in credit card format. Recently lost mine. Sent off the form on the internet (here for Kt. ZH) :
http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/siche...Wduplikat.html

Sent it in the post Saturday, had the license Tuesday. Didn't need to attach a photo as it was already on file.

Bill to come, I expect it's 35CHF or so but is cheaper than the fine.
Update on replacement 8credit card format) license fee: It's a snip at 15 CHF. Sent the form on Saturday. License was in my mailbox Tuesday!
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Old 29.09.2011, 12:47
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Update: I just went to Gemeindeverwaltung today to exchange my US driver's license for a Swiss one. Quickly going over the process:

1. Picked up papers at the police station
2. filled them out
3. Took them to Gemeindeverwaltung -Basellandschaft- *they refused to return my US driver's license* I danced around it but to no avail.
4. GV will send it to Motorfahrzeug
5. I shall soon receive it by post.
They may return it with a "not valid in Switzerland" sticker on it later.
Had it expired within a year?
  #997  
Old 05.10.2011, 13:20
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Last week i applied for driving license change (soon to complete 12 months) and got good service at Zurich Strassenverkehrsamt. Lady spoke good english, and managed to get change of category for bikes from A1 to A without driving test, to my surprise i got my licence in my post box just in 3 days.
  #998  
Old 24.10.2011, 17:23
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Hello

I arrived in Lausanne in Sep 2010 and am planning to apply for local car driving license. I had an American license which expired in March 2011. Do I need to give a driving test to get my license (if yes, then how do I get the car to go for test in first place - chicken-n-egg scenario). May be questions like these have been answered here before and I would be thankful if someone could advice me in this regard....

THnx

B-B
  #999  
Old 29.10.2011, 03:15
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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Was an affidavit for the Secretary of State required, or would a copy of your state driving record (sometimes available online/by fax) not have sufficed?
It might have been ok without the afidavt. I was told that the affidavit is to verify the validity of the copy of the record. In my wife's case she simply called the state in question and asked them how to proceed in acquiring the documents in question. After all was said and sifted, it was a very simple and straight forward process. Not to mention it only cost around ten dollars in our case.

Many people will act like it is a Herculean task when it is, in fact, just a bit of paperwork and note writing.

When in doubt I have always found it best to go into the offices and just ask for help until you get it. If that doesn't work, just ask the people you think should be helping you who's job it is to "actually help you." That usually gets the ball rolling.

Remember, you can get anything done in Switzerland, just don't be surprised when someone sends you a bill.

Good luck.

Edit: see that you are good to go. Still the info is valid.
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Old 29.10.2011, 14:25
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Re: [Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

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I made it through many pages (although not all) and have learned a lot but I still have one question. I curretnly hold a US (Rhode Island) drivers license. It expires at the end of next week on my birthday and I currently live in the EU so will not be able to renew it before it expires. I was in RI about 10 months ago but could not renew early as you must wait until 2 months prior to expiration. I learned that I have 3 years to renew the license without having to retake the test and thus plan to renew when I next visit family as I do not currently own a car and it is not valid where I live. I am planning to move to Basel as a trailing spouse next spring. However, by the time I have Switzerland residence I will have had a lapse on my US license (most likely less than 6 months). Has anyone been in a similar situation with a lapse of "unlicensed" time? Is this a problem when trying to convert a license because of the need for 3 years? Is it possible to convert my license before having residence (I assume this is a big fat no but happen to be visiting Basel on my birthday/date of expiration and if I can do it then I will). Has anyone sucessfully converted an expired US license?
I got an extenstion from my state to renew my DL later after it expired, they sent me a paper to carry with my DL until I got back home to renew it to prove it was still valid. You might check in RI for this also.
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