Driving licence and vehicles

If you are planning to leave Switzerland and move abroad, or you have already done so, this page explains the steps you need to take with regard to your Swiss vehicle registration document and Swiss number plates, as well as the requirements you need to meet in order to drive on your Swiss licence in other countries. It also explains under what conditions you may drive in Switzerland on a foreign licence.

International driving license

An international driving license is required to rent and drive a vehicle. This is only valid together with your national driving license and can be obtained from the Road Traffic Office in your canton of residence.

The international driving license is valid for 3 months. When taking up residence, the Thai driving license must be exchanged or acquired.

Thai driving licence  

The following authority is responsible for issuing Thai driving licenses:

The Department of Land Transport
1032 Phahonyothin Road
Opposite Chatuchak Park
Bangkok 10900
Tel: +66 2 271 8888
Call Center 1584

Before they will issue a Thai driving license, the Thai authorities often require a translation of the Swiss driving license from the Regional Consular Centre. For this please send in your original Swiss driving license and pay the fees by postal money order* or cheque (payable to the Embassy of Switzerland) in accordance with currently applicable fees (confirmation & postal charges). The documents will be returned to you as quickly as possible.

*Procedure for Postal Money Order

Payment of fees at the post office addressed to:

Embassy of Switzerland
G.P.O. Box 821
Bangkok 10501

The receipt no. 1, issued by the post office, has to be sent to the same address.

Loss of Swiss driving licence

Unfortunately the Regional Consular Centre cannot issue driving licences. The various cantonal road traffic authorities in Switzerland are responsible for issuing these documents to people with domicile in Switzerland. For questions related to the possibility of issuing a replacement Swiss driving licence, the Regional Consular Centre recommends consulting the website of the Federal Roads Office. Old Swiss driving licences will only be reissued, or new ones issued, if the holder is resident in Switzerland.

For Swiss citizens resident abroad it is not possible to apply for a Swiss driving licence at either the responsible Regional Consular Centre or at a cantonal road traffic office in Switzerland. If you should lose your Swiss driving licence in Thailand, you should go to the Department of Land Transport with a police report and ask to be issued with a Thai driving licence. It lies exclusively within the power of the Thai authorities to decide whether and on what conditions a Thai driving licence should be issued on the basis of a police report (possible new driving test, confirmation of the data contained in lost driving licence, etc.).

You can also try to get a confirmation of your Swiss driving licence from a cantonal road traffic office in Switzerland. You can then have this confirmation translated into Thai by a translation company, in accordance with separate list, and then have this translation notarized by us (fees in accordance with those currently applicable for a confirmation). It is possible that this type of document will be accepted by the Thai authorities as the basis for issuing a Thai driving licence.

Swiss driving license – medical control examination as from 70 years old

According to the regulation for the license of the person and vehicle for road traffic (only German, French & Italian), the control examination by reliable doctors must be performed in certain cases. This obligation exists for the license holder, being older than 70 years old. If the medical reports have not been submitted, the driving license can be revoked. In order to avoid it, the Embassy would recommend all the persons who might be affected from this, to not only cancel the registration from the residents control office of your last residence, but also from the land transport office. For possible return to Switzerland, the new registration at both offices must be done as well.

Further information

Federal Roads Office ASTRA