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International Driver's License In Switzerland: Renting a Car made easy

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IDP is essential when driving abroad

driving abroad with idp

International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.

documents needed for international driving permit

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world.

How to get your IDP

01

Fill in the forms

Have your driver’s license and delivery address handy

02

Verify your ID

Upload pictures of your driver's license

03

Get approved

Wait for confirmation and you’re ready to go!

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how to get international driving permit
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Mountain Road Surrounded by Forest

Photo by Pierre Jeanneret on Unsplash

Driving in Switzerland means you can tailor your journey to your preferences, uncovering hidden gems from the majestic Alps to the serene lakes and charming villages.

Whether winding through mountain passes, cruising alongside scenic vineyards, or navigating the cobblestone streets of historic towns, a road trip through Switzerland promises adventure, tranquility, and cultural enrichment.

International Driving Permit FAQs

Is an International Driving Permit (IDP) Required While Driving in Switzerland?

It is advisable to carry an International Driving Permit as it acts as a translation of your existing driver's license.

An IDP is valid in Switzerland when accompanied by your valid national driving license. This permit is especially important for renting vehicles and for the official recognition of your driving qualifications in Switzerland.

The IDP translates your national driver's license into 12 widely spoken languages, which is particularly useful for drivers from abroad in Switzerland.

How Can I Get an International Driver's Permit for my Swiss Trip?

Securing an International Driving Permit for your trip to Switzerland is a relatively easy process. You can apply for an IDP through the International Driver’s Association website, which offers international delivery.

There is no requirement for a driving test to obtain an IDP. The application process involves filling out a form, submitting passport-sized photos, and paying the fees, which can be done via credit card or other payment methods.

To obtain an IDP, visit the International Drivers Association and follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the "Start My Application" section at the top right of the page.

2. Complete the application form and attach your valid driver's license.

3. Include two passport-sized (2x2) photos.

4. Pay the applicable fee using your credit card.

After submitting the requirements, you will receive a digital copy of your IDP within two hours. You can also opt to obtain a physical IDP at your home address. Just reach out to our customer service for assistance.

A translation of your driver’s license in English, French, German, or Italian is sufficient to legally drive in Switzerland with a foreign license.

Switzerland's Driving Regulations

Switzerland offers picturesque landscapes and tranquil environments, making driving a popular choice for exploring the country. Here is an overview of the essential driving rules in Switzerland:

  • Right-Side Driving: Vehicles must be driven on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Age Requirements: The minimum legal age for driving is 18 years, and 20 years for renting a car.
  • Seat Belt Usage: Wearing a seat belt is mandatory for all passengers.
  • Hands-Free Devices: Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited unless a hands-free system is employed.
  • Alcohol Limit: The legal blood alcohol limit is 50 mg per 100 ml. For drivers with less than three years of experience, the limit is zero.
  • Motorway Vignette: A Swiss motorway vignette is required for using national highways.
  • Headlight Usage: Headlights must be kept on at all times.
  • Safety Equipment: Vehicles should be equipped with an early warning device and a reflective vest.
  • Speed Limits: Adherence to speed limits is mandatory, which varies based on the area (30 kph in residential areas, 60 kph in towns, 80 kph on country roads, 100 kph on expressways, and 120 kph on highways).
  • Child Safety: Children under 12 years old and shorter than 150 cm must use appropriate child seats.

Additional Considerations

  • License and IDP: Drivers must carry a valid driver’s license. An International Driver's Permit (IDP) is required for foreign drivers, especially when renting a car.
  • License Conversion: A foreign driver's license is valid for up to 12 months. Long-term residents may need to exchange their foreign license for a Swiss one.
  • Drunk Driving Laws: Driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited and carries severe penalties.
  • Winter Driving: In winter, it is advisable to have winter tires and to carry an emergency kit in the vehicle.

Switzerland's Top Destinations

Switzerland, modest in size compared to neighbors like France, Germany, and Italy, is home to some of the top destinations to visit in Switzerland, boasting a rich array of attractions. With numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites and the Swiss Alps, it invites visitors to step back in time and enjoy its stunning vistas.

Bern

Bern, Switzerland's medieval capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Central Europe's most charming cities. Its location on the River Aare peninsula, combined with cobbled streets, creates an atmosphere of ancient Helvetia.

Major attractions include Switzerland's tallest cathedral, 16th-century fountains, the Zytglogge clock tower with its moving puppets, and the Albert Einstein Museum in his former residence.

The Matterhorn

This iconic mountain, which familiarity comes from the Toblerone packaging, is a magnet for tourists and mountaineers. Near Zermatt, the Matterhorn stands as one of the highest and most striking peaks in the Alps. For those content with gazing at its grandeur, viewpoints like Gornergrat and the Rothorn offer spectacular views, and the Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt delves into its history.

Château de Chillon

History enthusiasts will treasure Château de Chillon, a 10th-century fortress on Lake Geneva. Celebrated by poets like Lord Byron, Rousseau, and Hugo, the castle showcases art and treasures within its 25 buildings and three courtyards. It's worth mentioning that the surrounding Lake Geneva views are mesmerizing.

Jungfaujoch

Labeled "the Top of Europe," Jungfraujoch is a premier high-altitude destination in the Bernese Alps. Besides breathtaking views, activities like zip-lining, mountain climbing, and sledding are available. Not to be missed are the Sphinx Observatory and the Ice Palace.

Lake Geneva

As Europe's largest Alpine lake, Lake Geneva offers a tranquil and picturesque setting. Activities range from water sports to cultural experiences at the Opera House and Grand ThÊâtre. The lake's parks, gardens, and boardwalks provide serene spaces for relaxation.

Lucerne

A medieval gem, Lucerne is surrounded by mountains and sits beside Lake Lucerne, offering stunning views. The city is adorned with ancient churches, vibrant squares, and the iconic Chapel Bridge. It's also a hub for music, hosting the International Music Festival.

Lugano

Lugano, in the Italian-speaking Ticino district, exudes a Mediterranean ambiance. A summer resort beside Lake Lugano, the city offers boat tours and is a significant financial center.

Swiss National Park

Nature lovers will find the Swiss National Park, the country's sole national park, an Alpine paradise. Established in 1914, this 170.3-square-kilometer park teems with wildlife and natural beauty.

The Rhine Falls

Central Europe's largest waterfall, the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen, impresses with its power and beauty. Various activities, like canoeing, biking, and tours, enhance the experience, with a stunning fireworks display in August.

Zurich

Often mistaken for Switzerland's capital, Zurich is a blend of cultural and economic vitality. As the largest city, it offers museums, historic architecture, and art, making it an essential stop for travelers.

Get an IDP to Explore Switzerland

A country blessed with natural beauty and wealth, Switzerland offers a stunning landscape, exquisite architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. Get an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) for a magical holiday experience driving through Switzerland!

Ready to check if an IDP is accepted in your destination?

Use the form and find out in seconds whether you need an international permit. Documents vary, based on the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic.

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