Switzerland Driving Licence or Driver Permit

Switzerland Driving Licence : To legally operate a motor vehicle in Switzerland, you must hold a valid driver’s license issued by the national road authority. Here are some key facts about getting licensed:

  • Minimum age is 18 years for cars and 16 years for motorcycles/mopeds.
  • Must pass theory test on traffic laws and practical driving exam.
  • Licenses can be obtained by citizens, residents and foreigners.
  • Licenses are valid for life once obtained but can be revoked.
  • An International Driving Permit allows driving abroad.

Types of Driver’s Licenses

Switzerland issues the following categories of driving licenses:

  • Category B: For cars and light vehicles up to 3,500 kg.
  • Category BE: For category B vehicles with trailers.
  • Category A1: For lightweight motorcycles and scooters.
  • Category A: For motorcycles of any engine size.
  • Category C: For trucks over 3,500 kg.
  • Category CE: For category C vehicles with trailers.
  • Category D: For buses with over 8 seats.
  • Category DE: For buses with trailers.

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a License

Follow these key steps to obtain your Swiss driver’s license:

1. Apply for Learner’s Permit

  • Visit local road transport office and fill out application forms.
  • Provide ID, residence permit if foreigner, passport photos.
  • Complete eye exam and medical statement of fitness.
  • Take basic theory test on road signs and rules.
  • Obtain 24-month provisional learner’s permit.

2. Enroll in a Driving School

  • Complete minimum lessons at certified driving school.
  • For cars, min. 12 theory lessons + 12 practical lessons.
  • For motorcycles, min. 8 theory + 8 practical lessons.
  • Focus on controlling vehicle and obeying traffic laws.

3. Pass Theory Exam

  • Take full theory exam on road rules, signs, vehicle mechanics, first aid, etc.
  • Answer multiple choice questions on computer. Passing score is 80%.
  • Theory exam certificate is valid for 2 years.

4. Pass the Practical Driving Test

  • Take practical test with approved examiner assessing driving.
  • Perform actions like parking, merging, intersections, etc.
  • If passed, obtain permanent photo license card.

Acquiring an International Driving Permit

With a Swiss license, you can apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) to legally drive abroad.

To get a Swiss IDP:

  • Apply at designated post offices with your license, passport photos, completed application.
  • Pay processing fee of around 25 CHF.
  • You will be issued an IDP valid for 1 year.

Over 150 countries recognize the IDP globally.

Renewing a Swiss Driver’s License

  • Swiss licenses are valid for life once obtained.
  • However, you must renew photo license card every 10 years.
  • Visit road transport office before card expiration.
  • Provide old card, new photo, completed application.
  • Pay renewal fee of around 35 CHF.
  • An updated license card will be issued.

Replacing Lost or Stolen Licenses

If your Swiss license is lost or stolen, promptly arrange for a replacement:

  • Report loss/theft to police and obtain a police certificate.
  • Visit road transport office and provide police report.
  • Complete application and pay replacement fee.
  • Have new photo taken and eye exam.
  • A duplicate license will be reissued.

Transferring Foreign Licenses

You can transfer a valid foreign driver’s license by:

  • Applying within 1 year of becoming a resident.
  • Providing current foreign license, translations, passport, photos.
  • Passing vision screening and medical exam.
  • Paying administrative transfer fee.
  • No need to retake driving exams.

Penalties for Driving Violations

Switzerland enforces strict traffic laws and regulations. Some example violations:

  • Speeding – Large fines + license suspension
  • DUI – Imprisonment, large fines, revocation of license
  • Reckless Driving – Fines, license suspension
  • Running Red Light – Fines up to 300 CHF
  • Driving Unlicensed – Fines up to 5,000 CHF

Cost of Obtaining Swiss Driver’s License

Typical fees to obtain a Swiss driver’s license:

  • Learner’s Permit – 30-40 CHF
  • Theory Exam – 140 CHF
  • Practical Exam – 140 CHF
  • Driving Lessons – 50-70 CHF per hour
  • License Renewal – 35 CHF
  • Replacement License – 70 CHF
  • International Driving Permit – 25 CHF

Expect to pay 2,000-4,000 CHF in total for a new license.

Booking Tests and Checking Results Online

Switzerland offers an online portal for licensing services:

  • Book theory and practical driving test slots.
  • Pay fees securely online.
  • Get digital license ownership card.
  • Check exam results status.

Visit www.asa.ch to use the licensing portal.

FAQ on Switzerland Driving Licence

How long are Swiss licenses valid for?

Swiss licenses are valid for life once obtained. However, the photo card must be renewed every 10 years.

What is the minimum driving age in Switzerland?

18 for cars, 16 for motorcycles under 50cc, and 21 for transporting passengers professionally.

Can I drive on an International Driving Permit?

No, an IDP itself does not allow driving. You must also carry your national license.

Does Switzerland recognize foreign licenses?

Yes, Switzerland recognizes foreign licenses for up to 12 months.

How many times can you take the driving test?

Can take practical test up to 3 times. After failing 3 times, have to take more lessons.

Driving Safely on Switzerland’s Roads

Obtaining your Swiss driver’s license grants the freedom to properly explore the scenic Alps and cities. Make sure to renew it on time and always obey traffic laws. Drive attentively and prevent accidents!