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Old 17.11.2010, 17:56
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A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - now what?

Hi all. I live in Zurich for more than two years. I have my Israeli driving license but I have never had the idea of renewing them simply because I have never used them. Now, I am planing to rent a car during the winter holidays. I am figuring out only now that I should have applied for Swiss driving license during my first year here in Switzerland. How strict is this law (as strict as all Swiss law)?

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 17.11.2010, 18:41
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

From what I have heard, it's quite strict (though one friend got an exchange about 18 months in)

I never passed my test at home so I had to go from scratch here anyway, but I met someone at the first aid course last year who had let the exchange period lapse. He had to do the first aid course, traffic awareness course, practical test, hold a 3-year provisional licence...
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Old 17.11.2010, 18:47
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

These are the people to call and ask: http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/stva/de/home.html
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Old 17.11.2010, 18:47
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

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Hi all. I live in Zurich for more than two years. I have my Israeli driving license but I have never had the idea of renewing them simply because I have never used them. Now, I am planing to rent a car during the winter holidays. I am figuring out only now that I should have applied for Swiss driving license during my first year here in Switzerland. How strict is this law (as strict as all Swiss law)?

Many thanks in advance.
I think if im not wrong, and after 2 years (double the deadline) youll need to do a full driving test here in Switzerland... unlucky.
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Old 17.11.2010, 18:51
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

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I think if im not wrong, and after 2 years (double the deadline) youll need to do a full driving test here in Switzerland... unlucky.
You're definitely meant to have to redo it, but it seems that quite a lot of other people on here have changed it later than the one year deadline without hassle, but a smaller number of people have had issues.

It's all in here:
[Drivers licence] Conversion and questions

Go along to the traffic authorities, smile sweetly and explain that you've never driven here and would never never think of it without changing your licence, but now you would like to and they might let you change.

Last edited by ali_the_nomad; 17.11.2010 at 18:53. Reason: added link to old thread
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Old 17.11.2010, 18:51
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

Thanks very much!
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  #7  
Old 17.11.2010, 18:58
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

I exchanged mine after 30 months. No problem.

(as per Ali the Nomad: I was told that I shouldn't be driving on my UK license. I smiled and (truthfully) explained that I do not drive on my UK license and will not drive on my Swiss license but thought I should exchange it anyway just in case).
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Old 19.11.2010, 00:59
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

vlad_island,

I have nothing to add, but would really appreciate it if you let us know how it went.

Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 19.11.2010, 10:01
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

I called and said that I live in Switzerland for two years, and have used my driving icense only during the first year, and that now I intend to apply for Swiss driving license. They said it is OK, and that I should fill some forms, go to the optometrist and provide them with my driving license and residence permit. It will take me about 1 week or so, since I apparently need both my old and new driving license (it is indicated in my new driving license that I have them only since 2009 - it could be a problem - they may force me then to take some driving classes).

I will inform here about any further developments.
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Old 19.11.2010, 11:22
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

I don't see what is the problem with exchanging the licence after 2+ years. The law simply says that you are allowed to use your original licence only during the first year... If you didn't drive after the expiration of 12 months - where exactly is the problem? I didn't find a law article that talks about deadlines for exchange... After a month or after 10 years - should be completely the same! Correct me if I'm wrong... I just don't want people to be confused without reason.
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Old 19.11.2010, 11:25
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

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I don't see what is the problem with exchanging the licence after 2+ years. The law simply says that you are allowed to use your original licence only during the first year... If you didn't drive after the expiration of 12 months - where exactly is the problem? I didn't find a law article that talks about deadlines for exchange... After a month or after 10 years - should be completely the same! Correct me if I'm wrong... I just don't want people to be confused without reason.

after a year they can make you take a driving test here to get a licence, which if you don't speak one of the local languages will be a pita not to mention expensive.

I swapped mine after a couple of years and they didn't bat an eyelid, know a few people who also swapped way over the 12 months and never had an issue (all UK licences though)
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Old 19.11.2010, 11:39
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

Why SWAP?

do they take your original licence away? How can they do this?
I have an Australian and French licence do I have to give both away?
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Old 19.11.2010, 11:43
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

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Why SWAP?

do they take your original licence away? How can they do this?
I have an Australian and French licence do I have to give both away?
In my case, they took my Australian licence, put a huge sticker on the back saying "NOT VALID IN SWITZERLAND" and then sent me both my aussie and new swiss licence within a day
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Old 19.11.2010, 11:46
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

so can you still use your Aussie one in Australia for driving and ID?
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Old 19.11.2010, 11:47
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

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Why SWAP?

do they take your original licence away? How can they do this?
I have an Australian and French licence do I have to give both away?

yes they take your licence and send it back to the issuing country and give you a swiss licence (for uk at least, so I assume french as well). When you move back home you have to swap your swiss licence back again and your swiss one will be sent back and cancelled.
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Old 19.11.2010, 11:50
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

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so can you still use your Aussie one in Australia for driving and ID?
Of course. Its an Australian drivers licence, Switzerland can't disable another countries licence.
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Old 19.11.2010, 12:16
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

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I don't see what is the problem with exchanging the licence after 2+ years. The law simply says that you are allowed to use your original licence only during the first year... If you didn't drive after the expiration of 12 months - where exactly is the problem? I didn't find a law article that talks about deadlines for exchange... After a month or after 10 years - should be completely the same! Correct me if I'm wrong... I just don't want people to be confused without reason.
Not so.

You must exchange your license within one year of arrival in Switzerland.

Here's a few references top of my googled liost that you must have missed:

The law according to Vaud.

CCV


Angloinfo

and Mike's driving school.
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Old 19.11.2010, 12:19
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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.
Oh yes they can . For EU citizens the original license is sent back to the issuing authority where it remains until it's changed back, if ever.
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Old 19.11.2010, 12:21
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

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Switzerland can't disable another countries licence.
I understand from recent threads on this topic that EU driving licenses are not returned to you but sent back to the issuing country, i.e. you only possess one EU (plus Switzerland) driving license at a time. This was also our experience with UK licenses. It seems that non-EU licenses are simply marked invalid so you can keep it but not use it here.
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Old 19.11.2010, 12:24
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Re: A year has passed - i have not renewed my driving license - what's now?

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Oh yes they can . For EU citizens the original license is sent back to the issuing authority where it remains until it's changed back, if ever.
But thats a generalised EU licence. Theres no point having two licences in that case. And as far as I've heard switzerland is signed up to that agreement in terms of EU guidelines

So yes, Switzerland does not have the authority to cancel you licence (excluding EU)
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