Almost 12 points and still have my English driving licence


I was wondering if anyone knew about how the points system works and still having an English licence. I have been living here for a year and very stupidly have managed to get 10 points from speeding fines. I have a French car registered to my French address so the fines- all from speed cameras- come automatically to my house and I have been paying them. I recently tried to enrol in a Stage de Sensibilisation to get back 4 points, but I was not allowed to do it as I had an English licence.

I think officially I can't actually have the points on an English licence, and I know the law says that you have to change your licence to a French one once you get a fine. So although I might not technically have the points on there, I still receive the notices in the post and have been paying the fines, but my question is whether if (by some terrible circumstance) I do get the last 2 speeding fines, and therefore reach the limit of 12 on my English licence, will I actually lose my driving licence?

Advice from anyone with any experience of this would be great- I understand that a lot of people just pay the money and don't change their licences for the one or two fines, but I'm wondering if anyone has got to the limit of 12?



I agree, later satnavs have these "workarounds" that older models often don't have.

The law still remains that if the satnav has exact positions in it's software it's potentially illegal. Other types of device that detect radar waves are very illegal if that can be!


I never go over a real 130 anyway Brian but I like the warning for when there’s a sneaky drop to 110 or lower that one might miss.

Danger zones John, as you say. The trick is that they begin 500m before and through to 500m after the radar/camera. Suits me, time to do what the speed signs say less a couple of km.

They are not really illegal Alan, the artice is way out of date. When it first came out speed camera locations were initially removed when maps were updated on devices but they’re now back in another guise. I have both a Garmin and a Tomtom and both legally warn of “dangerous stretches of road” which just happen to coincide with fixed speed cameras. So a little change in terminology was all that was needed to satisfy the lawmakers.

Seems nobody has mentioned that devices which warn of speed cameras are illegal in France.

This includes Satnavs.

Highly recommend using cruise control to stay within the law, good for legs on a long journey too!

If the limit is reduced from 90 to 70 there will be a sign. If there is not on the stretch of road where you were flashed that would be grounds to contest.

Finally worked-sorry took ages for penny to drop that I needed to use desktop view, may also be why my photo isn’t uploading too! Now sent them via email for approval.

Sorry ‘contest’ comment was meant for future reference. We are still learning how to differentiate indication of 90,70 changes without numbered sign boards, but well aware of village areas being 50 whether signposted or not.

I drove a hire car recently, can’t remember what it was, but it had cruise control and a speed limiter. A flick of a switch changed the function from one to the other.

Isabella, have you tried using cruise control?
It can be really useful, especially if you have a heavy right foot. It can be used on those stretches of road where there really seems to be no real reason for such a low speed and can be tempting.

Is this real? People who do not have French licences, not just UK citizens, laugh off being caught speeding or a bit over the booze limit. Ones without French cars shrug it off, however those with French cars but foreign licences believe they are somehow beating the system. If I had heard that once I would have dismissed it as a one off prat, but there is a Dutch bloke who will happily brag about how often he has beaten the system, a Spanish couple who think being caught is hilarious and certainly the former will tell of the other foreigners he knows who are beating the French with gusto. It may not be the most widespread view but given the driving performance of some people it would not surprise me if it was.

This morning taking my daughter to catch her bus at 0630, a very familiar red Honda with UK plates shot past me in the fog, headlights full beam, fog lights on, he crept up behind me, tailgated up to a straight stretch, then repeated the same on the car in front. He never indicates when overtaking either. I was over the 90 tops myself, being a bit late, so I reckon he was doing around 120 given the distance he made up to the next car. I don't know the man myself, but I know that he lives in a nearby village (they have an English 'godfather' figure who tells them not to use SFN, to keep UK cars unregistered and so on, nice place) even the house it is parked outside. Yet another car that has been there for at least four to five years in my memory, not re-registered, insured? and possibly one of those 'badge of honour holders' given how he normally performs. He darts through the traffic like that most times I see the car, usually two or three times a week. There are plenty of them, the foreign cars tend to stand out because number plates and the country sticker give them away, sure French cars are also driven that way but then we don't know who is driving them except that we can assume the majority are French.

I still don’t know who is supposed to see speeding points as a badge of honour. Where have you got that idea from?

I presume so, but no one else, RSI, carte vitale, have asked for this certificate, they all accepted the paperwork I had. Maybe if I go another time I won’t get such a jobs worth.

You contact the PrĂ©fecture of the department you will move to. Look at the departmental website which will tell you. If you do it online, then PrĂ©fecture X, EPE (Échange de Permis Étranger) should get you there, then look for 'le formulaire en ligne' link or follow instructions if they do not do it online. We both did forms online, sent in our existing licences LRAR (lettre recommandĂ©e avec accusĂ© de rĂ©ception - registered letter) together and got back the 'receipt' to cover us until we had the new licences very quickly.

Hi Brian

I am moving full time to France next May. Can you please advise who or where I need to contact to change my driving licence? Thanks a lot


Agreed, recalling the 'reason' for the error given in front of an appeal panel or court would attract so little sympathy it could only become humiliating. Yet, people appeal after losing first appeals and find themselves in those situations with the official cash register totting up the bill.

You were doing 83 in a 70 limit, what is there to contest?

1 Like

Caz - you need to update your name on your SFN home page - click the red SETTINGS button on the top right hand side of the screen and follow the instructions! x