Swiss Review 4/2022

SwissCommunity Answer: That’s right, the old blue paper driving licence will no longer be valid from February 2024. As it stands, you can no longer swap your old driving licence either. The reason is as follows: From the date on which you begin residing abroad, the Swiss authorities can no longer issue you with a new driving licence in credit card format, nor can they provide you with an international driving licence. When you are domiciled abroad, it is the authorities of your country of residence that have authority with regard to your driving licence rather than Switzerland. This is based on the principle of territoriality, whereby you are subject to the legal system of the country in which you reside. This also applies to the area of road traffic, which is also governed by the law of your country of residence. The cantonal road traffic authority that issued your driving licence can only provide you with an attestation stating that you are the holder of a Swiss driving licence. This attestation certifies that you have obtained a driving licence based on the conditions stipulated by Swiss law. You will then have to inquire with the authorities responsible in your country of residence as to which conditions have to be met for a driving licence to be issued to you (confirmation of the information contained in the attestation, driving test, etc.). Should you take up residence in Switzerland again later, you must get in touch with your cantonal road traffic authority in order to obtain a driving licence in credit card format. For the contact details of the cantonal road traffic authorities, visit: Ursula Schindler, OSA Legal Service, I want to change my old Swiss driving licence. What do I do? Question: I have been living abroad for many years outside the EU/EFTA area and have now learned that Switzerland’s old blue paper driving licence will no longer be valid after 31 January 2024. It must be changed into a driving licence in credit card format, apparently. Neither the Swiss consulate nor my road traffic office in Switzerland were able to assist me. Surely there should be a way for Swiss Abroad to avoid losing their old Swiss driving licence. What can I do? Fresh new look, but concerns remain The previous issue of “Swiss Review” came with a revamped layout. This demonstrates our commitment to the hard copy edition. For our publisher, the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad, it is an acknowledgement of the continued backing that the printed magazine enjoys from our readers. The print edition is popular among many Swiss Abroad, as it provides a tangible, tactile connection to Switzerland. Some 325,000 readers currently subscribe to it. However, we are experiencing choppy waters at the moment. Paper shortages in Europe drove up our printing costs in 2021. With the war in Ukraine turning the market for raw materials on its head, the price of paper has skyrocketed further this year. In view of this, please note again that you can pay a voluntary subscription to help fund the print edition of “Swiss Review”. Your kind support will allow us to continue publishing on paper for the foreseeable future. For a voluntary subscription, please make your payment to the following account (note that cheques cannot be cashed): IBAN: CH97 0079 0016 1294 4609 8 Bank: Berner Kantonalbank, Bundesplatz 8, CH-3011 Bern BIC/SWIFT: KBBECH22 Beneficiary: BEKB Bern, Account 16.129.446.0.98 Organisation of the Swiss Abroad Fao Mr A. Kiskery Alpenstrasse 26, CH-3006 Bern Reference: Support Swiss Review Payments by PayPal: Driving licences in Switzerland are now only available in credit card format. Photo: Keystone 38 Swiss Review / August 2022 / No.4