FAQ about the new driver’s license


Since 15.04.2023, the new driver’s license will be issued in credit card format (FAK). It has special security features. (Video available in German, French or Italian.)

Frequently asked questions about the new DL

Why was the design of the driver’s license updated?

The previous driver’s license in credit card format had already been in use for 20 years. The new driver’s license meets the highest international and European standards for identity card security.

Why are there security elements? What distinguishes them?

Security elements have been added to the driver’s license to protect it against counterfeiting and to better detect forgeries. The security of the new driver’s license is created by the combination of different security elements. There are security elements that are directly incorporated into the material, others that are created during card production, and others that are only added during the personalization of the card.

What appears when I use my smartphone to read the QR code on the back of the driver’s license?

The image may vary depending on your smartphone. The same personal data that is listed on the front of the driver’s license appears. Namely: first name, last name, date of birth, and driver’s license number. Depending on the smartphone’s browser settings, the data in the QR code will be displayed directly in the browser. The purpose of the QR code is to enable the police to read the data quickly and without media disruption on their devices during a traffic stop so that they can verify your eligibility to drive.

What is visible on the driver’s license under special UV light?

Complex images made up of UV fluorescent colors that change color depending on the viewing angle. These images are a key security element of the new driver’s license.

Why is the photo now black and white and no longer in color?

The laser engraving printing process used only creates black-and-white images. When exchanging or applying for a driver’s license, a current color passport photo must still be submitted.  Alternatively, it may be possible to submit a current color photo in digital format if the relevant vehicle licensing office can process it.

How is the data security of personal data on the driver’s license guaranteed?

The regulations concerning ID card law and data protection law are very strict and have been rigorously implemented in technical terms. The data security used in the licenses complies with high standards. The data can only be viewed by the employees of the driver and vehicle licensing offices and by the police authorities.

Is the previous driver’s license in credit card format still considered secure?

The security concept of the existing driver’s license was developed 20 years ago. However, the card is still considered secure.

Is the previous driver’s license in credit card format still valid?

Yes, provided that there are no changes to be entered on the driver’s license, for example, an entry for eyesight restrictions, the existing driver’s license in credit card format continues to be valid without restriction. This is a special legal provision in Switzerland. European driver’s licenses have a limited period of validity.

Is the blue paper driver’s license still valid?

The blue paper driver’s license no longer meets today’s security standards. Holders of a blue driver’s licence must exchange their licence for a credit card format driver’s licence at the driver and vehicle licensing office in their canton of residence by 31 October 2024 at the latest. The paper driver’s licences will lose their value as proof of driving authorisation after this deadline. Anyone who cannot present a driver’s licence in credit card format at a police check after 31 October 2024 risks a fine.

Why is the new driver’s license not digital?

The development of a digital driver’s license has already begun independent of the introduction of this new driver’s license. The digital driver’s license is expected to become an app within the E-ID. More information about the E-ID is expected to be available by the autumn of 2023. A pilot project to digitalize learner’s licenses will be launched toward the end of 2023 to gain experience with digital licenses. 

How do I get the new driver’s license?

The cantonal driver and vehicle licensing offices will issue the new driver’s license. As of April 15, 2023, you can contact the driver and vehicle licensing office in your canton of residence if you would like a new driver’s license. The forms for applying for a driver’s license can be downloaded from the websites of the driver and vehicle licensing offices. Once you have applied for your new license, it will be sent to you within ten working days. 

Why is the new driver’s license no longer printed at the driver and vehicle licensing offices?

Until the end of 2022, driver’s licenses were produced at the respective driver and vehicle licensing offices using a thermal printing process. To meet demand, over 50 printing presses were in use to print approx. 600,000 driver’s licenses each year. From January 2023, all driver’s licenses will be produced in a central printing center using state-of-the-art technology (laser engraving). The new, centralized production process will also help to increase security.

How much does the new driver’s license cost?

The fees for the new driver’s license are regulated by the cantons but will not be changed because of the new license.