Driving licences

I have been told conflicting stories about driving licences. I have always had an English permit and have never changed it to a French one as I was told there was no need. Is this the case or not.

thank you.

makes no difference - mine was one of the new pink EU licences - it’s all about them being able to take the points away!

Here’s the link for the exact info :


I should have said, it’s a European licence issued in Germany. Why change a pink one for a pink one? I shall endeavour to drive within the law.

Then you’ve managed to slip through the net for the time being as I did. the actual law has already been posted on this forum and clearly states that you HAVE to change your licence for a french one once you commit an offence AND are resident in france.

I did commit an offence; I was speeding, 75kms in a 50 km limit. I did not have to change my licence.

French logic :open_mouth:

that’s right as long as you don’t commit an offence - as soon as you do then you have to change so they can remove the points (having said that I was only made to change mine (summonsed to the local gendarmerie to do the paperwork) after 5 years and having “escaped” losing points for speeding on about half a dozen occasions !)

i have lived in France since 1991 and was told by the Gendarmes that I never needed to change my German driver’s licence.

The 5 years is standard for all the extra classes that I have after transferring my licence. I’m also in the midst of applying for a Carte Professionelle for ‘chauffeur de voiture de tourisme’ this also needs a medical but every 3 years and is not the same as my bus medical!!!
Apparently the fact that I am medically competent to transport 55 people in a 10 metre bus does not qualify me to drive 4 pax in a people carrier!

Finally got my second permis de conduire back from the préfecture and I’ve managed to keep the UK classes - can tow what I like etc but they’ve only given the extra classes of vehicles for 5 years so I’ll have to go throught the whole process again, full PL/HGV medical every 5 years.

A defnitive version is here:- Vos Droits and the full text can be found here:-Echange permis EU

seems pretty straightforward, a UK or other EU Citizen holding a UK or EU permis is legal provided that… the situation for a Non EU citizen holding a EU permis is different tho,

At last the préfecture have asked me to send my permis back with all the doctor’s certificats, photos etc and they say they’ll sort it out this time… I’ll let you know what happens!

It’s been going on since well before Christmas - I’ll let you know the outcome as and when.

We have horses too and a large trailer for materials and a digger - hence we are also planning to hang onto our licences so I sympathise. Let me know how you get on with the prefecture. Bonne chance!

Au fait, je suis plutôt espinté que tu sanes une telle réponse Chris, t’es pas un peu trop engané ?!

Yes, I’m still in discussion with the préfecture as they’ve omitted a whole load of things that I used to have the right to drive (which is why I was interested in keeping my old UK licence Chris) I’ve been for a full blown HGV medical as requested by the préfecture but they still haven’t sorted out the missing classes of vehicle…I’ll let you know if they ever sort things out! a pain as my other half is french and has horses - I was fine towing them both (the horses!) and using horse lorries (up to 3.5 tonnes) while she can’t now I can’t either!

I think you got the wrong end of the stick - I’m not looking for sympathy or trying to justify it - I was speeding, I got caught like the rest of them - but like most locals and family here in the aveyron, the tactics used have been called in to question when the cars were “caught” on a two lane section designed for over taking slow traffic… let’s leave it there shall we.

Having a french licence also affects your towing capacity and the size of vehicle you are permitted to drive.

Doesn’t make any difference while you’re driving the car… but I avoided losing somewhere in the region of 6 to 8 points over the last 5 years because of various speed traps - they just love hiding behind hedges or stopping you 3km further along the road to tell you what their colleague clocked you doing and all the other cars in the line you were following! that’s the only reason, otherwise I’m happy with my french one - people prefer it to a british passport if they ever need une pièce d’identité.

…fonctionnaires… I had to lead my local URSSAF by the hand through the new (well it was in 2009) Auto entrepreneur status. what you say is so true - they didn’t have a clue and no one had explained anything about it to them - 2 years on they still send me the wrong forms then tell me to ignore them and sorry for the mistake - yes occasionally they say sorry and admit it. Had another idiot who nearly cancelled my new carte vitale with the RSI because he still had me down under the régime général. he apologised and asked me not to use my new carte vitale while he sorted out the mess he’d just made… i was a bit annoyed as it had taken over a year to get my new carte vitale sorted!!!

I love living in France but boy do I hate the way things (don’t) work!!!