Recently, The Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive, decided to reduce Switzerland’s minimum driving age to 17.
Currently, residents of Switzerland need to be 18 before they can obtain a learner’s driving licence, a licence that allows driving while accompanied by a licensed driver. From 1 January 2021, this age will drop to 17.
The process of getting a full licence in Switzerland starts with a trip to the cantonal vehicle registration office no earlier than one month before turning 18. With the required identity documents, a passport photo, an eye test certificate and proof you’ve completed a first aid course, you can apply for a learner’s driving license. Then, once you’ve passed an online theory test, your learner’s license will come in the mail.
This licence allows you to drive accompanied by a driver 23 or over who has had a full driving license for at least 3 years.
The final step, after completing practical driving training, is to take a test. If successful you’ll be issued with a provisional driving license, which upgrades to a full license after 3 years and on completion of an extra training course.
Other changes to Swiss driving licences include the length of validity of learner’s licences and the length of the extra training required to upgrade to a full licence. Currently learner’s licences last 2 years. Under the new rules they will not expire. In addition, the extra training will change to one day instead of two and will need to be completed within one year of passing the practical test.
Minimum ages for motorcycle licences will fall too. From 1 January 2021, the minimum age for motorcycles of 125 cm3 will fall from 18 to 16, bringing Switzerland into line with the EU. And, licences for motorcycles of 50 cm3 or less will be obtainable at the age of 15, down from 16 currently. Access to more powerful motorcycles will be restricted to those who have had a full motorcycle licence for at least two years.
Finally, from 1 January 2019, there will be no more blue licences, issued to those who can only drive automatic vehicles. All licence holders will be allowed to drive both manual and automatic vehicles.