Rewriting a foreign driver’s license

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Transcription of a foreign driver’s license –
You have been less than a year in Switzerland and already have a foreign driver’s license?

Very good! Then you can easily apply for a driver’s license for Switzerland. What you need for this:

  • Download the exchange application and fill it out completely. Here you can find that for Zurich and here this for Zug
  • Take a passport photo and stick it on the form
  • Go to an optician and have the eye test confirmed on the application form on the right
  • A translation of the driver’s license if it is not written in Latin letters. You can get this at the embassy or consulate
  • Sign the form on the right under your photo

Now go to the nearest road traffic office in your canton or to the residents’ registration office in your municipality and submit your application. Please take the following with you:

  • Completed form
  • Foreign driver’s license
  • Immigration card (Ausländerausweis)
  • If necessary, the translation of the driver’s license

Now you will find out in the next few days whether the driver’s license can be changed without an examination or whether you have to make a Kontrollfahrt (Test). This is necessary depending on the agreement with Switzerland, as the traffic rules differ greatly.

By the way: With DriveLab you save 20.-/driving lesson if you book with your own car. Just use the coupon code “gotmyowncar”. You can find the available dates here:

Exchange driver’s license

From CHF 130 – 75 minutes

AB CHF 135.-

Exchange driver’s license

From CHF 130 – 75 minutes

AB CHF 135.-

Here are a few more important questions on the subject:

Do I have to take driving lessons before the inspection drive?

No. There is no obligation to take driving lessons. However, we strongly recommend that you prepare yourself with driving lessons in the event of a control drive. Because if the test drive is not passed, the entire driver training with emergency training course, theory test and practical driving test must be done. It often takes 2-6 hours to get used to the special features of Swiss roads.

What is being tested?

The inspection drive takes about 45 minutes. During this time, the behavior in traffic, speed, maneuvers, motorway, etc. is checked. You can see the exact description of the requirements here. Experience has shown that the “Kontrollfahrt” require less preparation than the normal driving exam, because experience has developed a good sense of traffic.

Can I go to the inspection drive with my own vehicle?

Yes, of course. We even recommend it because it’s usually best to drive your own car. Make sure your car is safe to use. Right at the start of the exam, the lights, tires, mirrors, horn, windshield wipers and brakes are checked for obvious defects. If you are not sure whether your car meets the requirements, you can ask us during the driving lesson. You are also welcome to book driving lessons during the exam and go with our car.

Here is the training video on how to behave in Swiss road traffic:

Do you have any other questions about exchanging your foreign driver’s license?
Write in the comments. We will reply as soon as possible.

2 thoughts on “Rewriting a foreign driver’s license”

    • Hi Karina
      This higly depends on your experience. For experienced drivers I suggest to do a 75mins class as early as possible in the process. Then you have a overview, what to practice with your car. Before the exam I would do at least two more classes to prepare the exam.

      I have to say, there is no minimum number of classes tough. Also no maximum. 😃


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