Driving licence conundrum

Jacqueline- No, I think there's more hoops to hula, but at least I'll have had a laugh on the way!
And Finland's the capital of Sweden, right?:-)

No worries, I read between the lines.
That something there's no confusion about in my Prefecture; there's one sign for carte grise/permis, and another one for asylum seekers!

I think this is the link I should have given you. Sorry. http://www.mfe.org/index.php/Thematiques/Demarches-administratives/Permis-de-conduire-etranger-Echange-en-France

In our prefecture, there is a place marked "etrangers" but it actually means non-EU citizens. We nearly made the mistake. I know there is a better link somewhere, but I can't find it. Maybe ours was so easy because we only had the paper ones which are identical to the paper ones issued by our prefecture. The roll-out of the plastic ones is being done this year throughout the EU so we will have to go back to the prefecture before end March next year.

Thanks for taking the trouble, Sheila. I've just had a chance to read the link you put up.
Well, that does seem pretty clear on the translation, then:

"Le permis doit être rédigé en langue française ou être accompagné de sa traduction officielle en français."

I'm glad there's less bureaucracy involved in other parts of France.

I didn't see anything about getting an attestation, but I guess I will have to produce one (in official French) or I will end up wasting even more time petitioning my local functionaries. Thanks for your help, anyway.

Hi Keith. I just meant the main plastic licence with the mugshot on it, as opposed to the paper bit. I'm on a time limit, I suspect. Once my photolicence runs out, it will be even harder to get anywhere.

I am, I can and I did!
Regarding the bit of paper she gave me, the front was headlined for non-EU nationals in bold, but the back was what she biroed and brandished, which is why I didn't clock it until later.
It's a big urban prefecture with long queues of people with even longer dossiers, so I fear anyting is possible :-(

This should help. http://www.mfe.org/index.php/Thematiques/Demarches-administratives/Permis-de-conduire-francais-Echange-a-l-etranger

Hi Amanda. Before we go any further, why did she give you the bumpf for non-EU nationals? I took a quick peek at your page before replying last time, and you give your nationality as British, and therefore, you are an EU national, n'est pas? You are resident in France as per your original post, and can furnish identity and utility bills.

At least you only got institutional biro. I got an orange highlighter splodged all over mine, then gently pointed out that Ireland was in the EU and had been since 1973! To be fair to my particular fonctionnaire, she apologised for her ignorance, and we received the new licences in the post a week later.

I do hope you're right, Sheila! I'm a translator myself but not assermentée, and it's pretty annoying especially after another wasted morning.

I was told to produce 6 months' worth of utility bills in originals and copies, so it struck me afterwards that they probably wouldn't accept a fax from the DVLC anyway.

I only noticed afterwards, but the print-off of required documents the functionary gave me says it is for non-EU nationals, with a small box on the reverse marked "Documents communs à toutes les situations' (that was the bit she ringed heavily in institutional biro!) So either they insist on bells and whistles from all foreign nationals in my departement (91), or she didn't know that GB is in the EU (depressing, but not impossible.)

Do you happen to know of anything I can point to to convince them I am entitled to this, without having to produce a certificate, a translation of the certificate and a translation of my driving licence?

Amanda, I'm not sure what DVLA is but your nationality is given as British, in which case you are entitled to a French driving licence on production of your existing licence, and proof of address, utility bill, etc. and up to date photos. You do not have to have it translated.

Well! I eventually got through to the DVLA and, just in case there is anyone out there who doesn't know (?) and may need to, Swansea will fax you a Certificate for Entitlement, fee £5. You then get it and the driving licence translated into French, and Bob's your uncle.