We officially have Swiss driver’s licenses. As a foreigner from the U.S, you are permitted one year to get them. Guess how long it took us? Yup….. 11+ months.
It is a good thing we got them in time. If you don’t do it within the year time frame, you have to take a driving test. With a French-speaking DMV person. With a stick shift. No one wants that. Especially me.
You have to pay 150 francs for the license. I think the pleasure of taking the formal driving test costs an additional 120 francs or so.
If you are from a country that drives on the left hand side like the UK or Australia, you must take the test to prove you can handle the right hand side.
In addition to the normal stuff (residency card, cash), we also had to prove we had valid driver’s licenses in the US for the past 3 years. If you don’t have that, you have to take the driving test.
You also have to bring a eye test from an authorized eye doctor with you. We did this the evening before at our local Visilab.
Even though the entire thing went down in French, it was remarkably easy. It only took 20 minutes, far less time than I spent in any DMV in the US.
And the DMV people are remarkably happy. Friend T commented she wanted to work there if she could as they appear as they have a jolly good time having conversation, enjoying coffee and dolling out drivers licenses. You don’t really see that back home.
Now all I have to do is learn how to drive a stick shift, and I’ll actually be able to use my new drivers license.