British Embassy Outreach event

Yes the call yesterday from the British Embassy was only for beginners and not those already underway in the required processes and having problems.

I am glad it’s not just me who found the promise of “chat links” to be provided unclear as to where they could be found.

There were links in the “chat” but compared with previous sessions which had screeds of info, there were only, I think, 4 sparse items just showing links to the Living in France pages. Total waste of time…

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This is why I hope the British Embassy team will come to an event in early September with escalation links already prepared, on a slide and emailed to everybody.

The British and French authorities who are responsible for the definition and execution of the licence swap process should kindly note the following.

This subject becomes urgent for someone whose UK licence has now expired. Failure to provide a rapid exchange process or a process that allows driving on an expired licence in both France and the UK provided an aplication has been made to exchange the licence is negligence.

Additionally this failure in definition and execution is indirectly illegal dscriminaton based on age. This is because older people are disproportionally negatively impacted due to their British licences expiring at a fixed point, then at considerably shorter intervals than the licences of younger people. This discrimination built into the process definition and exacerbated by slow execution without clear communication of delays is unfair.

If what we saw yesterday reflects how this process been arranged then it does not give hope that particularly the impact on older more vulnerable people has been recognised.

Having been at a few of these things now, I would have to say that yesterday’s was not completely typical. At the last one, they had a representative of the French Interior Ministry and he was a completely different kettle of fish altogether - clear and helpful.
I suppose the Embassy’s actual main job is to present the UK to the world as almost a PR job. Looking after UK citizens who have fallen foul of UK government idiocy is not really within their competence I think.

Well that was interesting.

Our mayor could not understand why I have faced such a delay. She knows many Brits who have received their cards within 3-4 weeks of their RDV

After a heated discussion with St Lo, she confirmed that they were not in a position to give any information about my application, and recommended that I send another e-mail, which I have done.

So really no further forward, just getting more frustrated with another avenue proving a failure.

Think I will now start harassing the Embassy, for what good that will do.

Going for a drink and enjoy the sun


Thanks for the feedback, Andy. I have emailed them once, to no avail. @Seedmart emailed twice and got a RDV but whether that was connected or not who knows. The Embassy people yesterday were clearly in holiday mode and it sounds like they will not be at all responsive until September (if then).

I have been hunting forthis contact information for the interior ministry that the Embassy said they’d provide and didn’t. We may well do better to get things chased up by the French authorities than the British. I haven’t yet found it but will broadcast it if/when I do!

Meanwhile, I shall follow your excellent suggestion… I have a new terrasse to toast and there are bubbles…

You may need to harass your “défenseur des droits” or even your deputy?

Sorry Jane,

Showing my ignorance here, Who is my "defenseur des doit " and how do I find out who is my deputy.

Thanks Andy

Ask at your mairie. The secrétaire de mairie (who is a civil servant and who is independent of the conseil municipal) will be able to tell you everything. Lots of foreigners think secrétaires de mairie are just some crony or other of the maire who can type but oh no.

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@vero Is the secrétaire de mairie likely to be on the desk or is he/she someone we should ask for specifically? (The desk is usually occupied by a frightening woman who seems to hate women - I have to send my partner in :rofl: )

The canny way to approach it would be to ask a friend for the S de M’s name and then go in, check it is the right person you are talking to and suck up to them like mad, they are THE most helpful useful people you can imagine if they feel like it.

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Will do - thank you very much for the advice! If it turns out to be “her” I shall prime my partner - he can do charming very well if he puts his mind to it :smiley:

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Thanks all

The secrétaire de mairie was the person who rang St Lo for us. Lovely lady, always really helpful. Will give it a couple of weeks and go back if nothing has happened

Illegitimi non carborundum


And sometimes they are right…(except ours is pretty crap at typing too…)