The international driving licence is an international version of your Swiss driving licence, allowing you to drive in a foreign country. It is only valid when accompanied by your Swiss licence. You need to have both valid documents with you when you drive abroad.
People with a Swiss driving licence
An international driving licence is recommended when driving in countries outside the EU and EFTA. Several countries and many car-hire services require you to have an international driving licence.
Before travelling abroad, ask your travel agent, the foreign representation of your destination country or a road transport association which driving documents are required.
European countries accept the Swiss credit-card format driving licence. If you still have an old blue paper driving licence, it is easy to replace it at your canton’s road traffic office.
People with a foreign driving licence
If you live abroad, you need an international licence to drive in Switzerland only if your driving licence does not mention the authorised vehicle categories in Latin characters. If you live in Switzerland, you may have to exchange your foreign licence for a Swiss licence.
You can order your international driving licence at your canton’s road traffic office (website available in German, French and Italian).
In some cantons, you can also contact the Automobile Club of Switzerland or the Touring Club of Switzerland. These associations will also provide you with information on the documents required.
The international driving licence is valid for three years, but not beyond the expiry date of your Swiss driving licence.
You cannot renew your international licence, but you can order a new one if it expires.
The price of an international licence varies from canton to canton. It is around CHF 30.
Contact the road traffic office (website available in German, French and Italian) of your canton.
ch.ch also has a web page about changing your driving licence.