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Old 16.12.2010, 12:46
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - now what?

When we went to the Service des Autos here to exchange our licences, their explained to us that they had to take our UK licences, as it is illegal to have two. We tried to argue and explained that we still keep a car in the UK, so had to have our UK Licence for insurance purpose. They were categorical that this is NOT possible and it would be illegal for them to give us our UK licence back.
According to my insurance company, the information given above is correct. Despite the fact I still had a UK address and Car, they insisted that I must swap my licence to a Swiss one and re-insure the car as a Swiss Resident (my primary residence) with a Swiss licence.

For this they wanted a whole lot of money.

Essentially they said that keeping and using my UK Licence and insuring the car as a UK resident would void the insurance, if it was proved I was mainly living in Switzerland.
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Old 16.12.2010, 13:34
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

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Of course. Its an Australian drivers licence, Switzerland can't disable another countries licence.
Correct "Switzerland can't disable another countries licence"

Switzerland can take away the piece of paper (or card or plastic) that has written on it "driving licence" as a condition before they give the Swiss licence or they can write on it "not valid in Switzerland" & let you keep it.

But Switzerland cannot alter the official records in your home country that say you are licensed to drive.
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Old 20.03.2012, 12:57
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - now what?

Right, thought I'd add my experience here as this is where I first read about the changing of the drivers licence process for Switzerland.

I changed my licence over 2 weeks before the end of the first year and I asked the lady behind the counter some questions.

In Canton Vaud;
  • you may drive on certain foreign licences for the first year of residence in Switzerland only. If you do not drive in the first year, it does not 'carry over' to the next year. It is a grace period for the first year only.
  • You have a maximum of 4 years to change your licence over. So if you live here for 3.5 years without needing to drive, then need to drive, you can change your licence over.
My girlfriend had her licence changed after more than a year and we had no issues.

I will also state what was (in Canton Vaud) for us the quickest way of completing the process;
  • Go to an optomotrist
  • Ask for the driving licence test (was 20 CHF in Dec 2011)
  • The optomotrist may offer to print the form for you
  • Take the completed form to your local inhabitants office (I forget the name now)
  • They will ask for a passport photo and they will validate that your address is correct
  • Take the form along with your current drivers licence and residence permit to the licencing office
  • Hand in the forms, wait 5 minutes and leave with your new licence.
  • In 3-4 weeks you will receive a bill for 40 CHF for the new drivers licence.
We did this for 2 people both on B-permits, your mileage on other residence permits and drivers licences may vary. You may also choose to not hand in the forms in person, someone else may do this for you at the licencing office or you can mail the form, current licence and a copy of your residence permit to the office and they will mail back your Swiss drivers licence.

Good luck!

Last edited by BuggedSee; 20.03.2012 at 13:01. Reason: spelling and spacing
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Old 20.03.2012, 13:01
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - now what?

Changed my driving license in Zurich after 2 years without aby problems. I think it costed around 100 CHF.
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