After contacting my MP and several government ministers, I have received a response from Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Minister of roads, buses and places.
Thought you might like to read it
Thank you for your email of 16 March, enclosing correspondence from your constituent, Mr Andrew Whitby about exchange arrangements for UK licence holders living in France.
Discussions took place with all EU Member States, including France, to agree arrangements from 1 January 2021. Given the uncertainties whilst these negotiations were ongoing, UK residents living in EU countries were encouraged to exchange their valid licences for a local one before 31 December 2020.
The majority of EU countries have agreed that UK licence holders, resident in the EU, will not need to take a test to exchange their licence for a local one. Department for Transport officials are making every effort to reach a swift understanding with France regarding long-term reciprocal licence exchange arrangements for UK licence holders resident in France.
While those discussions are ongoing, the French Government has confirmed that UK licence holders resident in France can continue to use their UK licence until 1 January 2022, provided that it remains valid in the UK.
Currently, you may have to take a driving test to obtain a French licence to enable you to drive after your UK licence has expired.
More information can be found in the French government’s guidance on driving licences (in French). As you are aware, The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency are unable to renew UK licences if the holder does not have a UK address.
The British Embassy in Paris are fully aware of the situation and is in the process of clarifying the approach to exchanging expired UK licences. When available, updates will be made to the Living in France guide on GOV.UK.
Now I know I am starting to knock on a bit, but throughout the negotiations, we were advised NOT to exchange our licenses unless
The licence had been lost
The licence was about to expire
You had committed a driving offence and needed points on your licence
This was the information given out by the Government and confirmed at a British Embassy outreach meeting in Caen.
The prospect of taking a driving test in French at my age is a no-no.
I have replied with my comments, but feel that, having followed HMG advice, we find ourselves in a very dodgy position.
Keeping fingers crossed is the best we can do.
Have a great day all