Wednesday, 23 April 2008

exchange that license my friend....do it.

for those who have known me for years, you'll undoubtedly have heard of my stories trying to exchange my Canadian drivers license for my UK one back in 2003/2004. for those who don't, quick synopsis:

As a Canadian, you can only exchange your Canadian license for a UK "Automatic" driving license unless You can prove that You have taken a driving test in a manual car.

I contacted the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) for a copy of my driving test (which was done in the 99 VW Jetta - VR6 manual transmission) and they advised that after you pass your test and you are entered into the computer, the paper is destroyed. They do not record what type of transmission you used to do your test on. This meant in the UK I would have to do a road test to prove I could drive safely a manual machine. No thanks. I'll move to Switzerland. They seem more clever there.

Now here we are, in Switzerland. To date now, I have been 3 times to try and exchange my Canadian license for my Swiss license. Each time it has been one disappointment after another. They never give you a form saying make sure you bring all these different pieces of paper, identity, medical forms, etc. Depends on who you speak with ... and their mood ... dictates what you need to bring with to exchange your license.

So, keeping this in mind, I showed up to exchange my license (sorry ... not exchange ... obtain a swiss one and still keep my canadian ... just makes my canadian one not valid in switzerland. they put big yellow stickers on it to say so) ... i go to the desk, give over all my information, etc. Things are going well. I've managed to do it all right this time.

No.

Not this time.

Again.

Turns out, because i have a "G" class license from Ontario, I am allowed to drive vehicles in Switzerland that are B, BE and C. Turns out B is a normal car. Great. BE is a normal car with a trailer. Cool. C is a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes. Because I'm allowed to drive a C type vehicle, I need to go and get a medical test. This would mean a fifth trip. Thankfully I was able to explain that I have no desire to drive a big truck or Winnebago ... so I filled in a form that excludes me from the right to drive a C class vehicle.

Finally. I should have my swiss license for driving in a few days. Then they can take it away for speeding and other great things that unusually happen when i am driving minding my own business...
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