Exchanging your driving licence in Switzerland

How to make your driving licence Swiss


You are only temporarily able to drive in Switzerland on your old driving licence. This must be exchanged for a Swiss driving licence within one year. You can find out here where you can do this, what you need in order to get your new license and how much the exchange will cost.

For how long is your foreign driving licence valid?


 

You are permitted to drive in Switzerland on your old driving licence for 12 months. You have a maximum of one year from your arrival date in Switzerland, which is recorded in your residence permit, to exchange your licence for a Swiss licence. The Road Traffic Office in your local municipality (in German, French and Italian only) is responsible here.

Should you continue to drive with your old driving licence on Swiss roads after this deadline expires, you will be deemed to be driving without a valid licence. This can have consequences: depending on the canton, you may, for example, be required to complete a test drive with an expert.

 

Good to know:

You are unfortunately unable to keep your old driving licence. It is returned to the issuing authority in your home country. To be safe, we advise that you therefore make a copy – even though the Swiss authorities register your data.

Documents required to exchange your driving licence


 

To exchange your driving licence, you must personally present the following documents at the Road Traffic Office:

  • Application form. This can be downloaded on the website of the responsible Road Traffic Office. 
  • Original copy of a valid driving licence.
  • Residence permit. If your residence permit is in cheque card format, your residence certificate is also required.
  • A colour passport photo.
  • Certificate from an ophthalmologist (confirmation in application form). Cost: approximately CHF 20.
  • For the driving licence classes C1, C, D, D1 or BPT and for class 3 you also require a medical certificate.

 The changeover process is subject to a fee. Depending on your canton, this will range between CHF 80 and CHF 140.