Driving license in France
Posted in France forum 25 Sep 2008, 09:21
As I already wrote in another post, I'm moving to France with my family.
I now wonder if my driving license would still be valid in France and how long for?
Or do I have to renew it? In this case I would need a driving course in English as my French isn't that good!
Can anyone help me? Thanks in advance!
posted by in France forum 14 Oct 2008, 14:32
Hi Camille! I just found this text about driving license in France (it's actually about UK-expats, but as Belgium is a member of the EU, too, I think it will be quite the same):
Driving Licence FAQ
Q. Is my UK licence legal to drive on?
A. Yes, citizens of EU countries are permitted to drive within France on the driving licence issued by their country of origin. UK driving licence holders moving to live in France should be aware that the DVLA in the UK do not allow foreign addresses on UK licences. If you inform them that you have a foreign address they will send you a form which you can use to obtain a French licence. You should also note that if you commit a driving offence in France which involves the addition of penalty points to your licence you will be obliged to change from a foreign to a French licence.
Q. Must I carry my licence with me whilst driving?
A. Yes, French law states that you must have your driving licence, your insurance documents and your car registration papers (carte grise) with you. Given the Gendarmerie’s penchant for random stops this is one rule worth observing religiously.
Q. How do I obtain a French licence?
A. Assuming you hold a valid licence from an EU or EEA (European Economic Area) member state you can request to change from your current licence to a French licence. However thanks to an EU directive you are not obliged to exchange your UK licence for a French one if you are resident in France. To request an exchange you should apply to your local Prefecture (the form is called the demande d’échange de permis de conduire). You will need to provide:
- a valid current licence (an official translation may be necessary including details of any penalties or suspensions)
- proof of domicile
- 2 passport sized photographs
- your carte de séjour (or passport)
- the fee, in the form of timbres fiscale
It is worth keeping your original licence as the French licence will not show how many years you have been driving prior to the issue of the licence.
posted by in France forum 27 Oct 2008, 10:56
According to the French government, this is what you need to get a French Driver's License:
1. Passport + copy
2. Residence permit + copy
3. Current driver's license + copy
4. Certified translation of current driver's license
5. Letter from home country stating the date that original license was obtained
6. Translation of above letter
7. Copy of utility bill proving residency (no, an original is not acceptable)
8. One pre-addressed A5 envelope with 3,34 euro postage
9. One application form
10. One whole morning to spend at the prefecture
posted by in France forum 11 Nov 2008, 09:58
Yes, sounds quite complicated, but I'm sure you want to get your license if you gonna stay for a longer time in France. Additionally, in some cities the public transport service is just kind of bad!
Good luck for it!