March 3rd 2020: Change of driver’s license to French: new process

Change in procedure: online system to open March 3, 2020.
Do not send any paper application ‪anymore!

Échange d’un permis de conduire obtenu en Europe (EEE + Royaume-Uni)


It’s always nice to see a government site actually confirm what we have been told… and we keep telling others… who don’t necessarily believe us… :wink: :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

"Europe (EEE + Gt Britain) - do not need to exchange a driving licence to drive in France… :hugs:

Of course those naughty ones amongst us might well have to… and when I finally pass my HGV test, I’ll need to add the category … so the new system online will be a boon… :hugs:

I wonder which of us will be first to test it… on 3rd March…

The “+Gt Britain” part will disappear at year end. Unless some special deal is concluded.

Mmmmm… what special deal is this… aha… just spotted it… so, we’ll have to see what the “period of transition” is… that might be a movable feast… and then what the “agreement” is about driving… :face_with_hand_over_mouth: I don’t think it will be made too difficult, whatever…

Frankly, I cannot see it as a hassle, changing to a French licence… it’s not as if one has to wear a string of onions round one’s neck… :upside_down_face: :yum:


Agree, no hassle. Since I live in France permanently and will stay, it’s more than normal. And now I even have the French nationality, since 11 months. :blush:


Ah well, that’s different… If you have French Nationality… you absolutely must wear a striped t-shirt, a beret… and have a string of onions round your neck… :hugs:

(that is how I remember seeing Frenchmen i in early childhood… I thought the onion “necklaces” were wonderful… and wanted my father to get me one… )

The beret I have already, maybe garlic instead of onions :smiley:

1 Like

DVLA told me, when I asked about this a couple of months ago, that there are no plans to change the current m.o.

Just throwing in the question…

Is there anyone living in France who does NOT want to change to a French Driving Licence ???.. and if so… WHY ??? :thinking:

Despite its Heading… the detail does not say " +GB" it says “or GB” … quite a significant difference… I reckon.

La procédure d’échange d’un permis de conduire obtenu dans un pays de [l’Union européenne], de [l’Espace économique européen] ou au Royaume-Uni se fera en ligne sur le site de l’ANTS à partir du 3 mars 2020 .

but, as always, we must wait to see what actually comes on-line…

Morning Stella

Have been here for 4 years this March, and I still have my UK licence.

It’s not that I don’t want a French licence, but to date have never seen the necessity to change.

I have an old paper licence that expires in 5 years time.

I have been stopped on a couple of document checks over the years and the Gendarmes were quite happy with it, so never saw the reason to swop.

My view may change as the transition period progresses.

Have a good day


Fair enough Andy… I only ask the question… since some folk are fretting about things… and it is so easy to get the French one…

I kept my UK one until the photocard expired… then swapped… for a French paper one and now this licence is for life… :upside_down_face: they’ll possibly want me to change to a plastic photocard one some day… but that’s no hassle either…

I would venture that the validity of Andy’s licence is iffy as having a paper licence is only okay if you’ve kept the same address since it was first issued but as he now lives in France it should have been changed years ago.

Surely a UK licence is valid in France… that’s what all the webpages are telling usm we did not need to change to French except for infraction or change of category… (no matter if the address in UK is no longer correct)… seems clear that the Gendarmes were quite happy…

I’m not sure it’s correct to say, ‘It’s so easy to get the French one…’ Surely trying to exchange driving licences since the system moved to Nantes has caused a lot of stress to many people over several years. Not my definition of easy. Hopefully the new system will be a big improvement.
The main consideration however is that there has never been, and that still remains, a need to exchange a UK driving licence for a French one until it expires, the owner accrues several points or it is lost or stolen. A U.K. licence is a legitimate document so why change it? You yourself have pointed out that you renewed your own UK one when the photo card reached its expiry date.
The bigger problem is the number of Britons who have fraudulently renewed their UK licences whilst French residents. That is completely different.


Hi Dan… it was easy when one could visit the Prefecture… and yes, it went into meltdown when the system changed to Nantes (as you say)…

but, once again, Brits are being told it is NOT necessary to change (except due to infraction or change of category) so folk can apply gently … as and when they need to… and the system is now being strengthened/streamlined…

looking to the future… things should get better… I reckon I should have said… “it will be so easy”… :upside_down_face:

and, as I explained… I was just wondering …

Because I have a perfectly valid German one ?

EDIT : that and each time I have been to various Prefectures to try and change it, I was told in no uncertain terms that they weren’t interested :wink:


and I have a perfectly valid Spanish one, ‘E’ in a blue square with gold stars 'n all. Unlike the UK licences it doesn’t have an address on it, presumably because that’s irrelevant - good for all EU.

Anyone had a go today… yes, it’s today the system opens… :upside_down_face:

My laptop is out of action at the moment! I am having difficulty trying to apply on my phone and iPad :crazy_face: