OSA advice

Question: I live abroad and I have lost my driving licence, which was issued in Switzerland. Can I get a new one from the cantonal authority that issued it or from a Swiss representation abroad?

The Swiss authorities are not able to issue a new Swiss driving licence. From the date on which you begin residing abroad, it is the authorities of your country of residence that have authority with regard to your driving licence rather than Switzerland. On account of the principle of territoriality, you are subject to the legal system of the state you reside in. Consequently, the area of road traffic is exclusively governed by the law of the country of residence. The cantonal road traffic authority that issued the driving licence can therefore only provide you with an attestation stating that you are the holder of a Swiss driving licence. By issuing this attestation, the cantonal authority certifies that you have obtained a driving licence based on the conditions stipulated by Swiss law. You will then have to check with the authorities responsible in your country of residence 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.). The attestation from the cantonal road traffic authority may be useful to you at this stage.

The contact details of the cantonal road traffic authorities can be found at: www.strassenverkehrsamt.ch


The OSA’s Legal Service provides general legal information on Swiss law, particularly in areas which concern the Swiss Abroad. It does not provide information on foreign law or intervene in disputes between private parties.


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