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Drivers License: 7 Steps to convert yours to a Swiss one

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7 Tips For Converting Your Foreign Drivers License to a Swiss One: A Guide with the Driving School Perspective.

Are you an international driver planning to settle in Switzerland? Or perhaps you’re already living here and have been driving on your foreign license? Switzerland, with its breathtaking landscapes and efficient transportation system, offers an inviting environment for drivers. 

However, the process of converting your foreign drivers license to a Swiss one can be intricate. One pivotal step in this journey is the “Kontrollfahrt,” a comprehensive driving test that evaluates your skills and ensures you can safely navigate Swiss roads. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to converting your foreign drivers license to a Swiss one, with insights from a driving school’s perspective.

1. The Initial 12-Month Period

Firstly, for individuals from outside the European Union (EU) or EFTA, you have the privilege of using your foreign drivers license to drive legally in Switzerland for the first 12 months following your arrival. During this period, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Swiss driving regulations, road signs, and local driving customs. However, it’s important to note that after these initial 12 months, obtaining a Swiss drivers license is mandatory to continue driving legally.

2. Understanding the Kontrollfahrt

The Kontrollfahrt, or control drive, is a vital component of the process to convert your foreign drivers license to a Swiss one. This examination evaluates your ability to drive safely in various situations and ensures that you are well-versed in Swiss traffic rules and regulations. Let’s delve into what to expect during this test from both a driving school’s perspective and the process of converting your drivers licenses. Following link shows you the informations of the road traffic offices:


Zurich         Schwyz         St.Gallen         Aargau



3. Location and Duration

The Kontrollfahrt typically takes place in the town or city where you reside, and it lasts for approximately 45 minutes. The test commences at the road traffic office of your home canton.

4. Language Requirement

One crucial aspect of the Kontrollfahrt is that it is conducted in the German language. You must understand the examiner’s commands in German. This language requirement can be particularly challenging for many expatriates, underscoring the importance of language proficiency for drivers at the Kontrollfahrt. We as a driving school can help you with the preparation here as well. Follow this links:

Zurich      Schwyz      St.Gallen      Uster


5. Test Components

The Kontrollfahrt assesses various aspects of your driving skills, encompassing:

Driving in the Town: You’ll navigate through urban traffic, adhering to traffic rules, signals, and signs commonly found in Swiss cities. This component is vital for drivers to grasp.

Driving Out of Town: This segment evaluates your skills on rural roads, including different driving conditions and speed limits.

Highway Driving: You’ll be required to merge onto and drive on the highway, maintaining a safe and steady pace while following highway regulations.

Parking Skills: Parallel parking, perpendicular parking, and diagonal parking are all part of the test. Proficiency in parking is crucial for all drivers.

Turnarounds: U-turns and three-point turns are part of this test to demonstrate your control over the vehicle.

Driving in Reverse: This section assesses your ability to drive backward for an extended distance, simulating situations where precise maneuvering is essential.

Emergency Brake: You’ll be asked to perform an emergency brake maneuver safely, a critical skill for any driver.

6. Preparing for the Kontrollfahrt with a Driving School

Given the complexity of the Kontrollfahrt, meticulous preparation is imperative. Here are some tips for drivers looking to prepare effectively:

Language Proficiency: Ensure you have a strong command of the German language, particularly in understanding and responding to driving-related commands.

Driving Skills Enhancement: Regular practice of your driving skills is essential to become more comfortable with Swiss traffic rules and road conditions. Consider enrolling in additional lessons from a reputable driving school.

Studying Swiss Traffic Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Swiss traffic rules, road signs, and driving customs. Access to a reliable driving school can provide you with the necessary insights.

Mock Tests: Many driving schools in Switzerland offer mock Kontrollfahrt tests, providing you with a realistic preview of what to expect during the actual examination.

Maintain Composure: While it’s natural to feel nervous, strive to remain calm during the Kontrollfahrt. Confidence and composure are essential for a successful test, especially for those seeking to convert their foreign drivers license.

7. After the Kontrollfahrt convert your drivers license

Upon successfully passing the Kontrollfahrt, you’ll receive a certificate attesting to your achievement. This certificate, in conjunction with other requisite documents, will be submitted to the road traffic office to complete the process of converting your foreign drivers license to a Swiss one.


Converting your foreign drivers license to a Swiss one, especially from a non-EU context, can be a multifaceted and challenging process. The Kontrollfahrt is a significant milestone in this journey, and with the right preparation and a clear understanding of the test’s requirements, you can navigate it successfully. 

Driving in Switzerland is a privilege, and adhering to local traffic regulations and safety standards is imperative. Safe travels on Swiss roads, and best of luck with your Kontrollfahrt, whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced driver looking to make the transition!



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