Starting April 15, 2023, the Swiss driving license will adopt a new look and offer a higher level of security. This update meets the strictest international standards and aims to strengthen protection against fraud.
But who can benefit from it? The new Swiss driving license will now be issued to any citizen of the confederation who requests it from the Automobile Service of the concerned canton.
We now invite you to discover the most important information about this official document that you are likely to present during a police check.
The Swiss Driving License 2023: New Look and Optimized Protection
First of all, it should be clarified that the new Swiss license will maintain its current format, namely the credit card format. Therefore, it will still be as easy and convenient as before to store it in your wallet.
As for its material, it will be made of polycarbonate (like the identity card). This will allow it to have a lifespan as long as before, or almost unlimited, due to the resistance and durability of this material.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at its new look while comparing it to the old one.
A different look from the old Swiss driving license
To allow you to better visually compare the changes that have been made to this new driving license, here is a series of photos illustrating the noticeable differences between the old and new model.
New look of the Swiss driving license 2023
Old look of the Swiss driving license
A new look close to the European driving license
As you can also see with the photo below, the new design of the Swiss driving license meets the highest international and European safety standards.
Its look is similar with a few minor details to a European license like the French driving license.
A driving license with higher security standards
It was the wish of the Swiss Confederation authorities: to offer a driving license with higher safety standards.
Here are the main security elements introduced to avoid counterfeiting as much as possible.
Laser engraving of personal data
This technique allows for extremely precise and durable characters, which cannot be easily counterfeited or altered. Indeed, laser engraving creates microcavities in the license material, making the falsification or alteration of data practically impossible.
In this way, the driver’s personal data is optimally protected, thus ensuring the security and authenticity of the Swiss driving license.
Tactile security elements
Now, the new Swiss driving license is equipped with innovative security elements, such as raised patterns on the smooth surface of the license.
These patterns are tactile and allow for quick detection of any alteration of the license or any attempt at counterfeiting.
Thus, by simply running your finger over the license, it is possible to check the authenticity of the document and protect the driver’s personal data.
Changing image depending on the viewing angle
The front of the new Swiss driving license has a changing image that varies depending on the viewing angle. This image can represent either the issuing authority of the license or the date of birth of the holder.
Changing Cross and QR Code
On the back side of the license, the crosses change color depending on the viewing angle. This security measure makes the Swiss driving license even more difficult to falsify or alter, as it requires cutting-edge technology to be reproduced.
In addition, a QR code is now laser-engraved on the same side. This can be read with a smartphone and contains some of the data visible on the front of the license.
Security images visible only under special UV light
The peculiarity of images visible only under a special UV light is that they are difficult to reproduce and are therefore more secure. These security images are not visible to the naked eye, making them even more difficult to falsify or alter.
What Happens To Old Swiss Driving Licenses?
Depending on the type of driving license you currently have, it is either possible to keep it or exchange it for the new model.
Regarding the old credit card format (PCC) license
Driving licenses in credit card format (PCC) were introduced over 20 years ago and will remain valid indefinitely.
However, the addition of new or additional data to the PCC, such as the wearing of corrective lenses or the acquisition of a new category, requires the issuance of a new driving license.
Those who wish to obtain a new driving license can exchange their old PCC from April 15, 2023 at the automobile service of their canton of residence.
The fees for issuing a new driving license remain unchanged.
Regarding the old blue paper format driving license
Holders of blue paper format driving licenses must exchange them soon, as these licenses will no longer be valid in 2024.
The Federal Office of Roads (FEDRO) and the cantonal automobile services will provide information on exchange procedures and deadlines in the coming weeks.
However, for people living in the canton of Geneva, a specific date has already been communicated. Thus, the blue driving license will no longer be valid from February 1, 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions About the New Swiss Driving License
We have compiled below the list of most frequently asked questions about the implementation of the new Swiss driving license.
How to obtain this new driving license?
To obtain the new Swiss driving license that came into effect in April 2023, you must go to the Automobile Service of your canton of residence. Once your request is made, it will be sent to you by mail within a few days to a maximum of two weeks.
Also, it should be noted that its cost varies depending on the canton where you reside. But in general, expect a few tens of francs.
Am I obliged to exchange my old Swiss driving license for the new one?
Apart from the old blue paper format driving license which will need to be replaced during the year 2024, all driving licenses issued before this date will remain valid without time limit.
However, it is strongly recommended for license holders to opt for the new version to take advantage of its security benefits.
What can I see by scanning the QR code of the driving license with my smartphone?
The QR code of the Swiss driving license (back side) displays personal data such as first name, last name, date of birth and driving license number. Thanks to this, police authorities can quickly and easily read this data on their terminals during police checks to verify driving authorization.