Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Swiss driver's license

I got my Swiss driver's license yesterday. I left Morges around 6:30 on the train for Lausanne. It is about a 3.8 kilometer walk from the Lausanne station. I thought it would be good exercise, so I didn't bother to figure out what trains I could take. After walking for about 45 minutes I got to where I thought the office should be, but I couldn't find it. I wondered around for about 30 minutes before looking at my notes and realizing that I was looking for Avenue de la Gray 110, not Aveneue de la Gray 10. It took about 10 minutes to get to the office once I had the correct address.

The process to get a Swiss license is fairly easy if you have a US license. I only had to do the following:
  • Fill out application form
  • Show my current US license
  • Get a vision test
  • Get my commune (town hall) to verify that I actually live in Morges
  • Show my residence permit

I did have two small issues. At first the clerk couldn't find the date of issue on my license. No date of issue = no Swiss license. I guess some people have had to get letters from their state indicating when their license was issued. The 2nd issue was that my license didn't indicate what I was allowed to drive. I tried to exlplain that the lack of any special indorsements meant I could drive a regular car, but she needed to go check a book. It turns out I am certified to drive cars and cars pulling a trailer. I think I can also drive a small U-haul like truck, but I'm not sure.

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