I got my Swiss drivers license in the mail today.
It is good only until June of next year. I am required to take 16 hours of instruction before I can get a permanent Swiss license with no expiration. (edit: read here to see how I fixed this issue and now have a Swiss drivers license with no expiration date)
Because my Ohio drivers license was issued in 2006 and by Swiss law this makes me a new driver even if I have been driving for 20 years. I had to get a new Ohio license because my old one expired while I was living in France.
It really wouldn’t have mattered because in Ohio when you renew your license the renewal date is listed as the issue date. In Ohio, a drivers license must be renewed every four years. The date you first obtained a license is not listed anywhere on the card. Therefore, I would still be considered a new driver for the Swiss.
When I called to ask why I didn’t get a permanent license I was told what I detailed above. However, if I can prove with official State of Ohio documents that I am not in fact a new driver, I can have a Swiss license without expiration. I will not be required to take the 16 hours of drivers training which is at least 600 Swiss francs. Not to mention, I would be required to pay a higher car insurance as a new driver as well.
I called the State of Ohio BMV and found out what to do to get my entire driving record from day one sent to me here in Switzerland. I was told it wasn’t an issue at all and I should get it about two weeks after they receive my request. So, I pray this all works out and I can get my Swiss drivers license like everyone else!
I have been reading online and every other American in Switzerland has switched over from an American drivers license to a Swiss licence without a problem.
To be honest, I am not feeling too confident about it all. I know it is because I am feeling sorry for myself and once that passes it’ll be better. I will send out the request as soon as I can figure out how to print the damn thing off my computer! You see. Our printer is out of ink.
Nothing is ever, ever, ever easy for me! But, don’t mind me. I am going to go sulk in a bowl of ice cream.
Before I grab my spoon, I would like to warn all of you out there to get your drivers record from day one of issuance BEFORE you move to another country!