Another license/driving question

Hello everyone.I know there are multiple threads relating to driving in France on this site but I have a specific situation i’d like some advise on.

Ive been in France for 5 years and driving on a UK licence all of this time. A few years ago a started my collection of points (I think I have collected around 6 points since then)

I understand that it is required to change to a French license once you get points but like many folks I didn’t.

So, recently my bag was stolen and in my wallet was my UK driving license so now I have to get a French one.

In order to do this I contacted the DVLA and they send me a ‘certificate of entitlement’ which basically says I can drive. Ive had this certificate translated by a sword translator and soon i’m going to attempt to get a French license.

However my questions are…

  1. When I go to change my license will the French authorities know that I’ve got points already?

  2. Will I get some kind of punishment for not changing my license when I first committed a driving offense?

  3. Will any points I’ve gained in the past be transferred to my new driving license?

    Many thanks for any advice,


Just an update on this for future reference.

I changed my UK license and this week received my French license.

The whole process tool almost exactly 5 months to the day.

I am now a happy owner of a French license :)

Hello Jason

My advice, as with anything involving admin/préfecture, is to go there and hassle them for it face to face, failing that phone calls and emails. Once you get hold of the person dealing with it you’ll be amased how much quicker things can happen.

Bonne chance !

Yes, it seems that the law states that one must change their licence to a French one once you get points.

I recently found this out when I was forced to change my UK licence to a French one following a theft.

So a follow up question… now that I don’t “offically” have a licence how am I supposed to drive? Should I be stopped would the police report of the theft and a copy of the DVLA ‘certiciate of entitlement’ get me off the hook?

Also does anyone know how long it might take to get my new license now that ive applied for it at the Pref in Paris? Ive been told from a couple of weeks to several months. That quite a range! I really can’t wait several months!

Thank you


they do have to change their licence but if they’re lucky no one will chase them and they’ll get away without losing the points - I think we’ve already had this conversation Karen… I managed to keep running for a number of years and escape points on several occasions but got summonsed in the end :open_mouth:

Not sure if this is the right thread, but a friend of ours was stopped after a “stop” sign, in which he did not actually STOP, wheel did not come to a complete standstill, and was fined, on the spot, 90 euros and 3 points. He however, has a UK diving license and the police told him he had a month to change it to a French one or risk another fine, and more points.

This is usual at our prefecture, arrives in the post. However it can take anything from a couple of weeks to several months just like any other official paperwork.

Everything takes time, I can’t remember exactly how long mine took as it was over the christmas period but it wasn’t too long: a few days or weeks rather than months. But i didn’t have to get anything translated by a sworn translator - I did it myself and was pushy!

Just an update on this.

I went to the Pref in Paris and handed all of my docs over including the Sworn Translation of the “certificate of entitlement” from the DVLA.

I was rather hoping that I would be walking out of the Pref with a permit but it seems that they have to send me a letter and then I have to go back to the Pref in order to pick up my permit.

Is this usual in the case where one is chaining from a foreign license to a French one? Any idea how long they take to react?

There were a few people waling out with permits as I guess they we not changing from a foreign license.

Thank you Andrew. At least that gives me some heart :slight_smile:

hello again Jason… no, no and no! see my reply on the other thread :wink: