Learning Permit

  • What do I have to do to apply for a learner's permit?

    You need to take a vision test (not more than 2 years old) and present a valid emergency first aid provider ID card (not more than 6 years old).

  • How do I apply for a learner's permit?

    You complete the application form for the learner's permit and attach the vision test and the emergency first aid provider ID card. Then, send everything together to the cantonal motor vehicle department of your residential canton.

    The application form can usually be downloaded from the internet site of the cantonal motor vehicle department of your canton of residence, or you can get it directly from the motor vehicle department of your canton of residence. In many municipalities, you can also obtain it directly from the residents registration office.

    You can find the contact details of all motor vehicle departments in Switzerland here: https://asa.ch/strassenverkehrsaemter/adressen/

  • When will I receive my learner's permit?

    After applying for your learner's permit, you will receive approval from the motor vehicle department to take the written test. You'll receive your learner's permit after you've passed the written test.

Theory Test

  • How old do I have to be to take the written test?

    Beginning January 1, 2020, a learner's permit can be issued to individuals who are 17 years of age. Until then, the minimum age is 18. The written test can be taken no earlier than one month prior to reaching the minimum age.

  • I was born in 2003. Are there any special provisions regarding this?

    Persons born in 2003 can obtain a learner's permit as of January 1, 2021 even if they are not yet 18 years old. If they obtain a learner's permit in 2021, they may take the driving test as of their 18th birthday, even if they have not yet had their learner's permit for 12 months. Persons born in 2003 who do not acquire a learner's permit until 2022 or later must complete the 12-month learner's phase.

  • What languages can I take the written test in?

    The written test can be taken in German, French and Italian. In some cantons, the written tests can also be taken in English (consults the motor vehicle department in your canton of residence).

    You can find the contact details of all motor vehicle departments in Switzerland here: https://asa.ch/strassenverkehrsaemter/adressen/

  • How do I register for the written test?

    Please contact the motor vehicle department of your canton of residence. You can find the contact details of all motor vehicle departments in Switzerland here: https://asa.ch/strassenverkehrsaemter/adressen/

  • How can I prepare for the written test?

    There are several ways you can study for the written test. Many driving schools offer special courses on driving regulations which teach you the required knowledge. You can also learn the material by studying yourself, by using apps, online learning software, books or CDs.

    Switzerland's official market leader is iTheorie: App_Link

    You can obtain a book with study softwarehere: https://shop.itheorie.ch/products/autofahren-lernen-kompakt-mobil-lernen-2018-2019?variant=10857024389235

  • What does the written test look like?

    The written test lasts 45 minutes and is taken on a computer. It consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The maximum score is 150. You pass the written test if you have fewer than 15 error points (i.e., score at least 135 points).

  • How often can I repeat the written test?

    The written test can be retaken as often as required.

  • I already have a driver's license for a different class. Do I still have to take the written test?

    If you have a class A, A1 or B1 driver's license, you do not need to take the class B written test.

  • Once you pass the written test, how long is it valid?

    As of January 1, 2021, any training you complete and tests you passed are valid indefinitely.

    Until December 31, 2020, you must have taken the driving test no later than two years after you took the written test. Otherwise you must repeat the written test.

  • What does the written test cost?

    Costs vary depending on the canton.

    Consult the motor vehicle department in your canton of residence.You can find the contact details (phone, email, website) of all motor vehicle departments in Switzerland here: https://asa.ch/strassenverkehrsaemter/adressen/

  • Do I have to take the written test in the canton in which I reside?

    No, most cantons allow you to take the written test in another canton for a fee.

Transport Knowledge

  • Is the VKU road safety course mandatory?

    Yes. You must take the VKU course, otherwise you will not be able to take the driving test.

  • When do I have to take the VKU?

    You must take the VKU before you take the practical driving test. You must have a valid learner's permit to take the VKU course.

  • How long is the VKU valid?

    As of January 1, 2021, any training you complete and tests you passed are valid indefinitely. This means that the VKU is valid without indefinitely as of this date. Until December 31, 2020, the VKU is only valid for two years.

  • I already have a driver's license for a different category. Do I still have to take the VKU course?

    If you have a class A, A1, or B1 driver's license, you do not need to attend the VKU course.

  • Where can I take the VKU? How long does the course last?

    The VKU course is offered by driving schools and driving instructors. It lasts a total of 8 hours, which are spread over four days.

Driving School

  • Where can I find a driving instructor?

    The best driving instructors in Switzerland can be found on https://www.superfahrlehrer.ch.

  • Do I have to take driving lessons with a driving instructor?

    You are not obliged to take driving lessons with a driving instructor, but this is highly recommended since a driving instructor teaches you how to drive correctly from the start and knows what the experts are looking for on the driving test.

    An annual reassessment of driving instructors can be found at: https://www.superfahrlehrer.ch/de/fahrlehrer-des-jahres

  • What are the regulations on private driving?

    You can also drive with people other than your driving instructor. The following rules apply to individuals who accompany you: they must be at least 23 years old and have had their driver's license for at least 3 years. Holders of a probationary driver's license may not accompany learner's permit drivers. In addition, the handbrake must be accessible to the accompanying individual.

    You can find a guide, maneuver cards and the L-plate for self-study here: https://shop.itheorie.ch/collections/auto/products/ratgeber-autofahren-mit-begleitung-inkl-manoverkartenset

  • How many driving lessons do I have to take until I'm registered for the test?

    There are no regulations regarding the number of completed driving lessons. The driving instructor will register you for the test when you are ready for it. Every person learns differently, so the number of driving lessons they need varies greatly.

  • Does it matter if I learn to drive with an automatic or manual transmission?

    As of February 1, 2019, the automatic transmission entry will no longer be used. This means that you can take the test in a vehicle with automatic transmission and still drive a car with a manual transmission. You can also learn to drive with a manual transmission but take the test in a car with an automatic transmission.

  • Can I also take trips to nearby countries while I have my learner's permit?

    The learner's permit is only valid in Switzerland. If you want to travel abroad with your learner's permit, you must inform yourself of applicable rules by contacting the consular representation of the relevant country or customs offices.

  • Can I transport other people on while I have my learner's permit?

    Yes, you can take other persons along when driving with your learner's permit.

  • When can I drive on expressways and highways after I have my learner's permit?

    You may only drive on highways and expressways when you are ready for the practical test. "Ready for the practical test" means that you have registered for the test or that the instructor confirms that you are ready for it.

Practical Exam

  • When can I take the driving test?

    Beginning January 1, 2021, the following applies: Anyone under the age of 20 who wants to take the practical driving test must have at least 12 months of driving experience with a learner's permit. There is no such rule for persons over 20 years of age. The driving instructor decides when you are ready for the test.

  • Is my driving instructor the only person who can register me for the driving test?

    No. As long as you meet the requirements, you can also sign up for the practical driving test yourself.

  • Does it make a difference if I take the exam with an automatic or manual transmission vehicle?

    As of January 1, 2019, the automatic transmission entry will no longer be used. This means that you can take the test in a vehicle with an automatic transmission and then still drive a car with a manual transmission - provided you know how to drive a car with a manual transmission.

  • What is checked during the driving test?

    During the practical driving test, the expert wants to see that you can move about safely in traffic and respond appropriately to different situations.

  • What is the procedure for the driving test?

    Usually, you'll meet with your driving instructor before the test so that you can familiarize yourself and answer any final questions. The driving test takes place with an expert. The test lasts about 45 minutes.

  • I didn't pass the test on the first try. What happens now?

    You can repeat the test once without worry.

  • I didn't pass the test on the second try. What happens now?

    If you fail the test twice, you may only take the third test if your instructor confirms that you completed driver training.

  • I didn't the test on the third try. What happens now?

    You can repeat the practical driving test twice. If you don't pass the test the third time, you must pass an aptitude test. This test clarifies whether you are suitable at all to drive a motor vehicle. A doctor may check your physical and mental performance. You may only take the practical driving test for the fourth time if you pass this test.

  • I passed the driving test. What's next?

    The expert will tell you the result immediately after the test. You will receive a stamp on your learner's permit stating that you passed the exam and can now drive by yourself. Attention: The stamped learner's permit is still valid only in Switzerland. You will receive your probationary license within roughly 10 business days and can then drive abroad as well.

  • Do I have to take the driving test in my canton of residence?

    No, you can take the practical driving test in a canton of your choice. Your canton of residence will issue you the necessary authorization. You may have to pay required fees.

    Consult the motor vehicle department in your canton of residence.You can find the contact details (phone, email, website) of all motor vehicle departments in Switzerland here: https://asa.ch/strassenverkehrsaemter/adressen/

  • Can I also take the driving test with my own car?

    Yes, as long as the car is safe (e.g., winter tires in cold or snowy conditions). However, it is recommended that you take the practical test with the car of the driving instructor.

  • Can the examiner deliberately set a trap for me?

    No, this is prohibited. But you should still pay attention and decide for yourself whether you're e.g. allowed to go down a street or not.

  • Can you challenge a failed driving test?

    Yes, you can, although your chances are usually not good. Traffic experts have a certain amount of discretion. Make sure to ask for a written explanation, which can also be contested.

Probationary Driving Licence

  • How long is the probationary license valid?

    The probationary period is 3 years.

  • My probationary license will expire in 2019. Which courses do I need to take?

    If your probationary driver's license expires in 2019, you will only receive the permanent driver's license by December 31, 2019 if you have completed both training courses (WAB1 and WAB2).

  • My probationary license expires before January 1, 2020. Can I forego course 2?

    Persons who do not want to take the second course (WAB 2) (not recommended) can let their license expire and apply for the permanent licence in 2020. Attention: You are not allowed to drive after your license expires and until you receive your permanent license. The penalties are severe!

  • My probationary license will expire in 2020 or later. Which courses do I have to take?

    If your probationary driver's license has an expiration date in 2020 or later, you need only complete the new training course or prove that you have attended the current training course 1 (WAB 1).

  • I obtained my driver's license before December 31, 2019. Which courses do I have to attend?

    If you obtained a probationary driver's license prior to December 31, 2019, you can take the current training course 1 (WAB 1) instead of the new training course. Training education must be completed within 3 years.

  • I acquired my probationary driver's license after December 31, 2019. Which courses do I have to take?

    If you obtain a probationary license after December 31, 2019, you must pass the training courses within 12 months of the date of issue of the probationary license.

  • Which alcohol limit applies to new drivers?

    For new drivers in Switzerland, the maximum blood alcohol limit of 0.1 per mil applies.

  • What do I have to do to get a permanent driver's license?

    You can only apply for a permanent driver's license if you have completed the compulsory course. The application can be submitted no earlier than one month before the expiry date of the probationary license. In most cantons, you can order the permanent driver's license online. Inquire at the motor vehicle department of your canton.

    You can find the contact details (phone, email, website) of all motor vehicle departments in Switzerland here: https://asa.ch/strassenverkehrsaemter/adressen/

  • Where can I get the "green L" to attach to my car during the probationary period?

    You won't find it anywhere, because the "green L" does not exist. While it's a persistent rumor, the probationary license by itself is sufficient for you to take to the streets.

  • I didn't come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Does that have a negative impact on the probationary period?

    A "rolling stop" is punishable by a fine. However, a single offense usually has no effect with regard to successfully completing the probationary period if the violation does not endanger or injure other persons. The only individuals who can expect to have theirprobationary period extended are those who commit a moderate or severe violation against road traffic law that results in their license being revoked.

  • My probationary license was revoked for the second time. What happens now?

    If your driver's license has been revoked a second time, it will be canceled. In this case, you can only reapply for a learner's permit after waiting one year and must start over from the beginning. However, a declaration from a traffic psychologist is a prerequisite for the application.