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Exchanging a foreign driver’s license in Switzerland


Exchanging a foreign driver’s license in Switzerland:

Swiss Flag





Switzerland recognizes foreign driver’s license and people can drive for the first 12 months with their existing license (an International Driver’s license is needed when the language of the driver’s license is not recognized by the Swiss authorities.) After 12 months people need to take and pass a test to drive a car in Switzerland.

  • EEA Citizens (EU plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) can exchange their existing license to the Swiss license without taking a test, as long as it is exchanged within 12 months.
  • Documents required for exchanging the license:
    • Application Form
    • Original foreign driver’s license (with translation, if applicable)
    • Certificate from a registered optician (eye exam)
    • Photograph
    • Aliens residency permit
    • Certificate of residence indicating the date of entry to Switzerland
    • Identification
  •  Citizens of other countries need to contact the Swiss authority (Vehicle Control office) to find out the requirements


Other Interesting Facts about Switzerland:


  • The Swiss elect a new President every year from a seven-member executive council. The Presidential and Vice Presidential roles are largely ceremonial though they do attend representative functions normally performed by a president or prime minister in single-executive systems.
  • The official name of Switzerland is Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin which means Swiss Confederation.
  • The Latin name is only used on official documents but it is the reason why Switzerland’s abbreviation is CH.
  • The Swiss consume the most chocolate per person in the world.
  • The Swiss Guards are the protectors of the Vatican City. Each guard is a dual-citizen and they are the only Swiss citizens allowed to serve in foreign armies.


Contributed by CAI‘s Mrs. Fischer-Lee