Driving License Photocard Expired

Hi all,

I was just reading the following article on the BBC website.


Basically, (for those that are not already aware), our photocard licenses are only valid for 10 years from date of issue. I thought I was ok as I changed my address 4 years ago before coming to France but they don't renew the photocard just issue a replacement with the same expiry date.

As a result I rushed off to check my photocard license and discovered that it has effectively gone past its sell by date!!!

My question therefore is what do I need to do and how does that affect me here in France?

I have already decided that I was going to change my drivers license for a French version but figured I had plenty of time since my actual license is valid until 2041!

Any advice would be appreciated especially in the case of me getting pulled over by the Gendarmes!!

Thanks Courtney, I'll do that, but I'm thinking I can wait until September when the new card comes out too (hopefully) then I'll get that too. :) I don't actually need it until just before June (!) next year




You can download the form here and either complete it on PC and print or print and complete by hand.




Thanks Courtney,

Thankfully it's all sorted now...am just waiting for my license to turn up :)

Thanks. I knew it was supposed to be 18 January on and was just thinking about trading my UK one in. Better wait, but then one gets used to waiting here after all!

And I just read that the new French pan European DL that was to be introduced into France next month (mid FEB 2013) has been delayed until September.

And yes there will be a "strike" by some in protest... you really have to laugh or you would cry....Get the full monty here




Just going through this and your if your UK photo card is expired you need to contact DVLC and get a "Certificate of Entitlement" to complete and take with your other documents to get your French DL. Apparently some regions demand this document and some not, so common sense would say have it otherwise you may waste a trip.

DVLC will not email it to you and you can't download it, they will either fax or post it to you and its £5 payable by credit card and it takes up to two weeks to arrive.

If you return to the UK and drive with the photo card invalid its a £1000 fine and they are currently cracking down on this so beware. Cheers

Just remembered that after 2 weeks of the original application I had to have a medical as my UK licence enabled me to drive with a small trailer and as I wanted an exact duplicate this had to be done. Why? If I was medically fit to drive....etc.

Morning and thanks for all the help. I've got the forms now but just have to fill them out. Anyone who has done this - I wear glasses so do I need to get my doctor to sign the bit that says about wearing them?


Isn't it just lol! Loved the bit about the dog's certificate...maybe I should take the cat's passport with me...that's got some lovely stamps on it ;)

Interesting Richard, Service Public is a great mine of information, however I have to reiterate what Maria has said about procedures being different depending where you live. I am a professional driver (PCV and Chauffeur de Voiture de Tourisme) so have changed my licence for various reasons several times recently and each time I have had to submit my licence, first a UK one, secondly a French one, each time you get a copy of the forms completed that tides you over until the new licence is issued. As I live on the border between 2 departments, I can now use either prefecture and both procedures are completely different - and they are even in the same region.

Hi, last October. When I went to the prefecture I took a load of papers including all the normal suspects, including the dog's vacination certificate which seems to impress the authorities as it has 2 large official stamps on it!. No payment was required. As I understand it and as several people have replied, that you can't apply for a new photocard unless you are resident in the UK. Great, this EU isn't it?

Hi Maria, I changed my UK License for a French one last year and never payed a sou.....I am in the Vendee...it never ceases to amaze me how different departements have different rules...I was also given a receipt which enabled me to drive and the french license came after 1 week,,,

Sous-prefecture, town mairies and online I heard, but do not know where or how.

If you are caught for a prosecutable offence, yes!

this might be of interest http://www.service-public.fr/actualites/002083.html

....And where do I get the forms to exchange our licenses to French ones - are they online?

Following on from this I have another question. My photo card is holding my daughter's address and we go back regularly with our French car. Is it an offence to drive in England with an English license with an address obviously not my own?

HI Neil,

When did your photocard expire?