Having found a possible problem with using your UK licence in the UK & as yet having not received a sensible answer from the DVLA I seem to have come across another anomily only on this side of the Channel!
I have over the years imported a few cars myself & have assisted others through this usually fairly easy process. I did have a problem a few years ago when re-importing a once French car. The previous owner, having lost the logbook, had applied for a new logbook from the DVLA informing them that both he & the car were now in France. The DVLA, being unable to supply a logbook with a foreign address on it sent him an export certificate. This contains most of the pertinent information about the vehicle & indeed the paragraph at the top reads "The details set out below are taken from the records held by the Secretary of State for the Department of Transport to whom the registation document has been surrendered. This certificate is given as proof thatthe registration details as set out below are correct. It is issued when a vehicle is exported from Great Britain for 12 months or more & it should be used to re-register the vehicle with the new licensing authority"
Although written in english it seems clear enough & to me fits the requirements of the French government site which among other things asks for "Previous registration certificate of the vehicle
(if the document has been preserved by the administrative authorities of the foreign country, you must provide an official document certifying that the certificate was revoked or an international certificate issued by the authorities of the foreign country)" - translation by google.
My reading of the above tells me that the export certificate IS such a document!
Another document which is required is a quitus fiscal. This is obtained from some regional Tresor Public offices (in your department) & requires one to produce the old logbook or, one would assume, an official document etc. This presented a problem a few years ago & required the presence of a fluent & tactful french speaker to persuade the clerk to ask someone else if the export certificate was acceptable. It was & I went on to re-register the car.
This week I have been guiding someone else through the procedure. The man bought a house here & found a UK reg 2005 Renault in the barn which he found was included in the sale - the female seller was happy to see the back of what used to be her husband's car! Informing the DVLA of the circumstances resulted in an export certificate being issued. I did not get involved until after this was done, however, having managed to do it a few years earlier I assumed that by now most Tresor Public offices would be up to speed with the paperwork. WRONG!! A visit to the Barbezieux office yesterday morning did not go well with an official adamant that only a logbook was acceptable. Even on being informed that the office in Riberac would accept the export certificate ( my man had tried to get one there but Riberac is not in his department) he went to check only to return with the same denial. At this point I broke my own rule & lost my temper, storming out & informing the official that we were going to Angouleme!
The regional office there would not issue the quitus, referring us back to Barbezieux, but did agree that the export certificate is acceptable! We were even given the details of the man the official in Barbezieux could ring to confirm, so back we went. After apologising for my earlier outburst I gave the official the details of the man to call. Whether he made the call I have no idea but we were now being told that we needed both the car's logbook AND the export certificate in order to get this tax form! We were even shown an example! It is possible to end up with both but only if you have a V5C, keep the front half, return the export slip AND ask for an export certificate to be issued. All this is not necessary!
My poor man cannot now apply for a logbook so we are stuck with the task of trying to convince the official to look at the procedure more closely.
Is there an ombudsman or even a Euro MP that we can seek clarification with? It is just bizarre that staff can interpret things so differently!