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While being in Switzerland and holding a Swiss driving license, it is possible to ask for an international driving license in the traffic authorities in Switzerland.

I would like to know, is there any way to get the international driving license from a Swiss driving license, by visiting a Swiss consulate abroad? i.e. if I am a tourist in Japan, can I go to a Swiss consulate and ask for an international driving license, provided I have my documents with me?

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You can get an Internation driving license in Switzerland if you have a Swiss driving licence in credit card format. You need to go to your canton’s road traffic office or send them a photo and a copy of your driving license. For more information visit ch.ch

For ordering an international driving license while abroad there is no standart answer and this will differ from country to country.
For Japan you don't need an international driving license but your original driving license and a Japanese translation of such issued by JAF, foreign embassies or consular offices in Japan.

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Having done so myself, yes. It's called an International Driving Permit in English - it has three other language translations: German, French and Italian. I used this website: https://www.ch.ch/en/international-driving-licence/ I did this by post and I remember the fee being CHF 30, it varies depending on canton and may have increased.

The website has

Ordering an international driving licence

To order an international driving licence in person at your canton’s road traffic office, you will need the following:

  • a passport photo
  • a Swiss driving licence in credit card format

You can also order an international driving licence by post by sending a passport photo and a photocopy of your Swiss driving licence (both sides) to your canton’s road traffic office along with a brief note stating that you wish to order an international driving licence.

To your second question, I do not know, as I applied while resident and by post. The permit is delivered by post to a Swiss address, so you would need someone to collect your Swiss post and forward to you. I cannot remember whether the permit arrived with "signed for" post in which case I probably went to the post office to pick it up.

In case you are in Zurich the web page is: https://stva.zh.ch/internet/sicherheitsdirektion/stva/de/StVAaw/AWinternat.html where they state the fee is CHF 15.

  • Certainly, if one holds a US license and is outside the US, one must apply by post (or by mail, in US-speak) to an office in the US. But US IDPs are issued by one of two private organizations rather than by the government. Still, it seems likely that the Swiss foreign service does not issue IDPs. It shouldn't be too hard to find out, though. – phoog Aug 2 at 8:32
  • You don't answer the question asked. OP asks whether it is possible to obtain an IDP at a Swiss consulate abroad, not by post. – fkraiem Aug 2 at 10:27

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