I think that I messed up my French driving test...can anyone reassure me?

Found out by chance recently that I was supposed to get a French driving license when I was issued a carte de sejour in about 1994. I was only spending a few months in France at the time, but now live here on a pretty permanent basis.

Had my driving test this morning and was told at the start that I had to drive like a "jeune conducteur", but I now realise that I was driving at 90kph on departmental roads instead of 80. Have I flubbed my exam, or will the inspector take into consideration that I am 60 years old and have been driving for 45 years on both US and South African licenses. I will get the result only on Friday or Saturday, but am feeling a bit sick about it and in need of reassurance if possible.

Maybe you winked at him at the end of the test! :-)

We had a lucky escape, Catherine, in that we realised that Henry's licence would expire in a week's time (back in March). We got the photos, photocopied everything we could think of and went to the Prefecture, and a week later our French licences arrived. Had this not worked, we faced a flight (and attendant expenses) back to Ireland to get a new one, or Henry would have to take the test here. As he's 63 and hates driving anyway, I can only imagine the stress we avoided.

So well done, you can breathe easily now.

Thanks Sheila. Yes, very very relieved. I think the guy pushed me through. I am sure a real jeune conducteur would have failed for driving at 90.

Well done Catherine. You must be relieved.

I passed! Just. Got 21 pts out of 32. Lost points for silly things like not ASKING the examiner if he had fastened his seat belt- just looked. Needed 20 to pass. Whew. They let you know by mail a few days after the test. I guess some examiner got beaten up after he failed someone.

Thanks God for that.

Hi Catherine, we've been through the test too as we were not able to exchange/convert our New Zealand licences here.
Did the examiner tell you that you had failed immediately after the exam? I find it strange that you were not given a result straight after the test. I also don't understand why you needed to sit the exam if you have already converted your licence to a French one, or was it part of the exchange conditions?
This doesn't help you now but our instructor took us on a test run, which happened to be exactly the same as our exam run. During the exam he sat in the back while the examiner sat with each of us in turn in the front. We were warned beforehand by the examiner that we should 'stick to the speed appropriate limit' - which, if you are taking a driving test to get a new licence, are the limits of a learner (ie 80km instead of 90, etc). The course we took included the exam fee and if we had to resit we wouldn't have paid any extra.

I was able to hire a double command car from a retired monitor (though he did make me take and pay for six or seven hours of lessons with him first) so I was alone in the car with the examiner. Can't believe how incredibly expensive it costs to get a French driving license. I have paid about 400 euros already and will have to pay at least another 80 if I have to retake the test. But it's more the embarrassment and stress of not being able to pass a driving test after driving continually for 45 years that is wearing me down. And I believe that as I have just turned 60, I am going to have to renew my license every two years. Just hope I don't have to go through this ordeal each time. It's already taken almost two years to convert my NY license to a French one.


Having recently been through this, I know how you feel. There should have been your "Monitor" in the back seat from your driving school. You can call them and ask. When I took my test, the examinateur yelled at me to go faster, and to not stay at 30 km/h all day..... I then did not get the bonus point for ecological driving! If that was the only problem, I would think that you would pass. At least that is what I would do if I were the examinateur!



Speed limit for “jeunes conducteurs” is 80 on normal roads. I checked. :o(
I passed the Code amd had to pay a small fortune to access a car with double command for the exam.

Hi Julia

As far as I'm aware N roads and D roads are 90km/h. The D road I use for work certainly is. Unless you saw a specific sign for 80. That is a sign I haven't seen in our department.

Hello Catharine - I am in a similar situation - drove in South Africa for MANY years, lived in the USA and passed my test and drove there too. I didn't realise either that there was a time limit for "exchanging" the driver's licence. I have been looking at ways and means of getting a EU type licence for ages. The best of luck with your test though. Did you have to write an exam on the Code?