Driving licence in France

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Heyupluv, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Hi
    Just a little bit of information or an update on our driving licence application in France.

    Some or most of you may already know this info....but it may help some person thinking of living in France that are driving a vehicle over 3500kg or want to drive a vehicle over 3500kg.

    As a most of you know we are applying for our exchange French driving Licence (the wife and myself).

    Having filled all the forms requested by the Prefecture, all the photo copies and photos needed,….. We were then told it would take a month for our new French driving licence.

    The wife has now received a letter from the prefecture requesting a copy of her original driving licence for when she passed her driving test (in 1968), The copy of the pink licence we submitted when we applied for the licence shows a date from 1976 to 2017 when the pink licence was issued.

    Now in England a motor car licence issued before 1997 allowed you to drive over 3500 kg up to 7500 kg

    In France it is the same but the date is different, the date is 1975,…… ( 22 years sooner )…… .........that is why they are asking for the proof/copy of original driving licence.
    Now I have just telephoned the DVLA in England to ask them to send a copy of the wife’s original Driving licence and proof of her passing her test in 1968

    NO NOT POSSIBLE......this is what the young lady said ”when we took over the DVLA driving licence department in 1976 and issued the pink licence, all information and original driving licence and test dates has been destroyed” (meaning the little red licence book and before)


    And because she has no proof, and as she has not kept the little old red driving licence book, stating a date before January 1975, means she will not be allowed to drive anything over 3500kg,
    As I can not see the French Prefecture allowing her to drive over 3500kg on just word of mouth.

    The only solution is to keep her original UK licence, and as I do most of the driving now
    The issue of the wife getting any points deducted and an automatic licence exchange, for a traffic offence should not arise

    Mel
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Ask any biker - biggest load of tossers on the planet.

    Many, many bikers swapped to the new photo licence only to find no bike entitlement. The answer, sorry we don't have your test results you will have to re-take your tests.

    Even worse, they will not accept a photocopy of the licence *they* destroyed.

    I think "tosser" is a bit on the generous side.
     
  3. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    what is the advantage of changing to a french driving licence mel ?
     
  4. Chas17

    Chas17 Funster

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    It allows points to be deducted immediately if you are caught speeding - or any other relevant offence!!!!!:Sad:

    In any case you will have to change it at 70 if resident in France as your UK licence cannot be renewed without a UK address.
     
  5. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Well Lebesset I look at it this way is it best to change when you have a little say and control over the licence .......or do you wait till one silly mistake and having your licence exchanged for you by law to have points taken off.................although I have gone 40+ years without any points ....but now there are that many camera's and with the modern car it is so easy to just go over the limit without knowing....and like Chas17 says
    Mel
     
  6. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Chas..............about the 70 age limit, I have read somewhere, that your UK licence does not expire at 70 (if the country you are living in, in the European union does not expire at 70) meaning it would carry on till you die like a French licence does,.......BUT I can not find the information......not sure if it was in the French property news or the Connection paper or the internet where I read this information????


    The information is like the elusive Pimpernel........I can not find this info anywhere

    Mel
     
  7. Brimal

    Brimal Funster

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    Think you'll find that DVLA is in Swansea which believe it or not is in WALES.
     
  8. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Brimal........I see what you are trying to say ...Mmmmmmmm

    Swansea is near Port Talbot, "Wales", unless they have moved it while I have been out of the country....... slip of the tongue....... or I should say slip of the typing finger…I don’t want to pulled up again

    Mel
     
  9. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Chas17

    I spent last night searching the web, and this is some of the info I found about it carrying after 70 like a french d/licence, (but not the info that I was looking for )

    "Driving Licence Issued by an EU or EEA Member State
    A driver with an EU-member state driver's licence who takes up residence in France is not required to exchange the licence for a French one.

    Note: French licence regulations apply to the non-French EU licence regarding:

    The period of validity of the licence (lifetime with no age-related medical examinations)
    Medical checks
    Minimum driver's age (18 years)
    Penalties and restrictions, including suspension, withdrawal and cancellation of the licence "

    This is the web site....just scroll down

    http://france.angloinfo.com/countries/france/exlicence.asp

    and this is another website on D/Licence in France

    http://france.angloinfo.com/countries/france/drivlicence.asp

    Mel
     
  10. gunerdoo

    gunerdoo Read Only Funster

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    70+ Licence

    I wonder what would happen if I moved to France and my 70+ Licence runs out after 3 yrs.
    And I no longer have an English address how would I proceed as I dont want to be taking
    my Test again.:Blush:

    By 70+ I mean I have to renew my Licence every 3 yrs !
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  11. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    You would have a French licence............I will put a bit of info below (that is if Jim does not mind as it is a bit long

    it mentions elder drivers if you scroll down.......

    Mel

    Driving Licence
    Recognition of foreign licenses and French licenses
    The minimum age for driving a car in France is 18, although sans permis vehicles can be driven at 14. Those between 16 and 18 may follow an accompanied or ‘anticipated’ learning programme consisting of at least 20 hours’ instruction by a qualified driving instructor, culminating in a written test, followed by 3,000km of accompanied driving; the practical test cannot be taken until the age of 18.
    Note that, if you wish to accompany a learner driver, you must obtain your insurance company’s permission. The cost of a course of 20 hours’ instruction, including the theory and practical tests, is around €675, although 16- to 25-year-olds can now obtain an interest-free bank loan to cover the cost. Almost 200,000 teenagers every year opt for the accompanied apprenticeship and 80 per cent of them pass compared with only 50 per cent of those who start learning as adults.
    Irrespective of your age, you now have three years (previously two) to pass the practical test after passing the theory test and may take it up to five times during this period; if you fail it on the fifth attempt, you must retake the theory test ( code) as well as the practical (or give up). If you fail the practical test, you must wait at least two weeks (or a month if you fail at the second or subsequent attempt) before you may retake it. There are further courses available to those who pass ( stage post-permis), although uptake is understandably low.
    Note that the practical part of the driving test has recently been increased from 20 to 35 minutes and, in accordance with new EU directives, tests will in future include use of a car’s instruments and systems, including checking tyre pressures and oil and water levels. New drivers have fewer points on their licences and must observe lower speed limits than other motorists for three years after passing their test.
    Elder drivers in France
    Drivers over 75 years of age must pass a medical examination every two years in order to retain their licence. A standard car licence (called a permis B) also entitles you to ride a motorcycle up to 125cc, provided you’ve held it for at least two years (although you must retake the theory exam if you’ve held a licence for more than five years without riding a motorcycle).
    Note, however, that you must have a licence E(B), for which additional training is required, to tow a caravan or trailer weighing more than 750kg (1,650lb) if it’s heavier than your car or if the combined weight of the car and caravan/trailer is more than 3.5 tonnes. If a caravan or trailer exceeds 500kg (1,100lb), it must be insured and have its own registration document.
    A French driving licence is pink and contains a photograph. It’s issued for life, and recent proposals to make licences expire when the holder reaches the age of 70 were dismissed, as were suggestions that French licences should be superseded by European ones. However, if your foreign licence has limited validity (UK licences expire when you reach 70), you may be unable to renew it in the country of issue but must apply for a French licence.
    How long can you use your foreign licence in France?
    You can drive in France for at least a year on most foreign driving licences or an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). An IDP must be obtained from the country where your current licence was issued. (If you hold a French licence and want an IDP for driving in other countries, it can be obtained from your préfecture on production of your current licence and two passport-size photographs; it’s free and is valid for five years at a time.) The Second EU Driving Licence Directive provides, among other things, for the mutual recognition of driving licences issued by EU member states. If EU citizens move from one member country to another, it’s no longer necessary for them to obtain a local driving licence after one year.
    However, a resident who commits a motoring offence in France involving a loss of licence points is obliged to exchange his foreign licence for a French one so that the penalty may be applied (non-residents escape the penalty but must still pay fines). Note also that most French officials (including gendarmes) are unaware of the aforementioned Directive and none too impressed when it’s quoted to them.
    You can expect the procedure to take at least two months, so you should apply to your local préfecture or sous-préfecture well in advance (i.e. before your year is up or, if you’re an EU citizen, before your home licence expires). You will need a valid, translated driving licence, proof of residence, your carte de séjour (if applicable), two passport-size photographs, a self-addressed registered envelope and the fee (currently around €25) in the form of fiscal stamps ( timbre fiscal), obtainable from tobacconists’, as well as a copy of the penalty notice ( PV) if applicable.
    Some non-EU countries and some US states (e.g. Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and South Carolina) have reciprocal agreements with France to waive the driving test, but applicants must take the written exam concerning rules of the road (including road sign recognition). If you need to take a driving test, it’s wise to take a course through a certified driving school, some of which have sections for English-speakers.
    When you leave France
    The French authorities will confiscate your foreign driving licence and return it to the country of issue or retain it and return it to you when you leave France permanently. However, you should take a copy of your foreign licence before surrendering it, as your French licence will show that you have been driving only since it was issued, which may make life difficult if you want to rent a car and could affect your insurance no-claims bonus.
    If you’re a UK citizen and become resident in France, you should note that the DVLA won’t renew a British driving licence with a foreign address, so when it expires you must either give a fictitious address or exchange it for a French licence. In the former case, to prevent ‘misunderstandings’ with the police, you should obtain a form F.45 ( enregistrement d’un permis de conduire de l’Union Européenne), which you should staple to your UK licence; it’s free, but (like everything to do with motoring documentation) can take a long time to obtain. If your UK licence is due to expire, you should take the F.45, along with the documentation listed above, to the préfecture in order to be issued with a French licence (take a good book!).
    If you lose your French driving licence or it’s stolen, you must report the matter to the police and obtain an acknowledgement ( récépissé de déclaration de perte ou de vol de pièces d’identité), which is valid until a replacement licence is issued. Note, however, that a replacement licence may cost twice as much as the original.
    Points in France
    Driving penalties in France are based on a points system. Drivers normally start with 12 licence points, and between one and six points are deducted for each offence, depending on its gravity. However, new drivers are allowed only six points for three years after passing their test (two years if they’ve followed an accompanied learning programme) and, if they lose any points during that period, they must wait three years from the date of the offence to obtain the remaining six points. If they lose all six points during the probationary period, their licence is suspended and they must wait six months before being able to retake their test.
    When an offence is registered, you receive a letter of notification from the préfecture stating the number of points lost and the number remaining. Points are automatically reinstated after three years but, if you lose all 12 points within this period, you receive a demand to surrender your licence within a week to your local préfecture and you’re usually banned from driving for a minimum of six months (six years or more if you’ve been convicted of manslaughter). Depending on your record, you may need to pass a written test, a practical driving test and/or medical and ‘psychotechnical’ examinations to regain your licence.
    You can reinstate four licence points at any time (but not more than once every two years) by undertaking a two-day ‘awareness course’ ( stage de sensibilisation) run by Améliorer la Sécurité et le Comportement des Usagers de la Route (ASCUR). All drivers who have had a licence for less than two years and who lose four or more points are obliged to take an awareness course, which costs €230 (but any fine you’ve had to pay is refunded!). To find your nearest ASCUR centre, contact your préfecture or visit www.securite-routiere.equipement.gouv.fr .
    Information
    For more information about driving licences, contact the Ministère de l’Équipement, des Transports et du Logement, Arche de la Défense, 92055 La Défense (www.equipement.gouv.fr ). The points system is explained in a booklet Permis à Points available from police stations and on www.permis-a-points.com
     
  12. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    the reason i asked about advantages of obtaining a french licence is that one of my friends has done this and given up his english licence

    unfortunately it means that , having arrived at 70 , he can no longer drive in the uk as his french licence specifically excludes driving there , presumably because the licence he handed in didn't allow him to do so beyond the age of 70

    and mel , am sorry but didn't understand your point about having some control ; maybe you could elucidate
     
  13. Chas17

    Chas17 Funster

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    The info Mel originally quoted from Anglo Info is incorrect - and not for the first time from this source! Having lived in France for 9 years until this year i did research the regulations quite thoroughly prior to exchanging my licence.
    The French government sites should always be the first port of call. To drive on an EU (UK) licence in France it must be valid in the country of issue and a UK licence becomes invalid at age 70. The appropriate info is below:

    Conditions à remplir

    Pour pouvoir être utilisé sur le territoire français, le permis de conduire :
    • doit être en cours de validité,
    • doit être utilisé par une personne qui a atteint l'âge minimal pour conduire en France le véhicule de la catégorie équivalente,
    • doit être utilisé conformément aux mentions d'ordre médical (port de lunettes obligatoire par exemple) qui y sont inscrites,
    • ne doit pas avoir été obtenu en échange d'un permis d'un pays tiers à l'EEE, avec lequel la France n'a pas conclu d'accord de réciprocité.
    Par ailleurs, le titulaire du permis ne doit pas avoir fait l'objet dans son pays d'origine d'une mesure de suspension, restriction ou annulation du droit de conduire.

    Further your French licence, once exchanged, is valid in the UK as a visitor or if returning to take up residence, as i have it is valid for three years or until age 70 whichever is the later. A common misconception amongst UK residents in France is that a code on the French licence which states UK 70 relates to ages whereas it is in fact the numerical code indicating that it is an exchange licence - in this case from Uk
     
  14. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Hi Lebesset......well if I don't get the groups required I will refuse the French licence and carry on with my GB D/L (if I can), not a lot of control but a little and I will try NOT to pick up any driving offences!!!! It is such a minefield with different pieces of information I am not sure who and what is correct anymore
    Mel
     
  15. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    thats good news for my friend's wife , she will not have to do all the driving when in the uk ! tks chas ... ~I admit I didn't look , just took his word for it !

    and my understanding for a uk licence is not that you have to have a uk address , but that you have to have a uk address at which you can be contacted ...is this wrong ? is every gypsy in the uk without a driving licence?

    and I have preferred to continue on my uk licence in france as you don't get points on your licence there with a uk licence ; if I change to french they will be able to take points away [ you start with 12 ]

    at 75 will be up for a medical every 2 years in france , but in the uk a declaration will do if your health is ok

    still can't figure out what you say is the advantage mel !
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  16. yorkshirepudding

    yorkshirepudding Read Only Funster

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    Many a true word......
     
  17. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Do you know ..................I am not sure myself now...................thought I was doing the correct thing ????????

    Mel
     
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