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Validation of foreign driver's license

Updated on November 15, 2023

Many expats coming to Switzerland don't know what will happen to their driver's license. Is it still valid in Switzerland? What is the further procedure? Here is a short overview over the foreign driver's license laws in Switzerland.

One year after moving to Switzerland, the foreign driver's license loses its validity. Therefore, it must be reissued within 12 months from the date of entry. It should be noted that the foreign license must be valid. If you miss the exchange deadline, we advise you to not drive in Switzerland anymore and exchange your foreign license as soon as possible.

In addition, the Swiss authorities require an eye test. Everyone must take it and the results, which are valid for two years, must be recorded on the application form.

Depending on the nationality of the card, you will have to pass a so-called control drive when converting, even if you already have a foreign driver's license of the same class. If you pass this test, the Swiss driver's license will be sent to you by mail.

Requirements for the conversion of the B driver's license by nationality

There are basically two categories. Both must have a Swiss eye test.

Category 1 are all nationalities which are exempt from the check driving. These include:

  • All EU/EFTA countries
  • Monaco
  • Andorra
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • San Marino
  • Israel
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Taiwan
  • Canada
  • Tunisia
  • Korea
  • USA
  • Morocco

Category 2 includes all other countries (not EU/EFTA). Anyone entering the country with such a driver's license must make a control drive.

Control drive

This is what you have to take with you to the control drive:

  • Foreign driver's license (original)
  • Invitation to the practical test
  • Identification papers (original)
  • A vehicle that is safe to operate
  • The vehicle identification card of the test vehicle

Important to note: You have three months from the date of registration to complete the test drive. The test cannot be repeated and if you fail it, you will no longer be allowed to drive in Switzerland. In addition, your foreign driver's license will be revoked, and you will have to obtain a Swiss driver's license through the regular procedure (including theory test, learner's permit, traffic knowledge, practical test).

Are you moving to Switzerland and need help finding a car, taking out the best insurance or have questions about the process? Contact us now, we will be happy to help you!

We wish you a lot of fun and success with your Swiss driving license!

Evgeniy Timoshenko

Do you have any questions? Get in touch with me.

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