Just updating my experience with getting the license.
I’d submitted the paperwork successfully back last fall in person in Angouleme at the Préfecture office there. In preparation for submitting the application and documents, I’d had to have my US driver’s license translated into French, and obtain a history of my driving record with an attestation from the US registry of motor vehicles. I submitted these and some other documents including handing over my US drivers license (now, due to Covid19, the ANTS site states that one can do this application online, at: https://permisdeconduire.ants.gouv.fr/) .
I received an email on July 6 from the Centre d’expertise et de ressources pour les certificats d’échange de permis de conduire étrangers, Préfecture de Loire-Atlantique (www.loire-atlantique.gouv.fr), stating that my application had been received, all papers were in order, and I’d be receiving the license by the post which I’d need to sign for upon receipt. The email also included a NEPH which is a reference number if I wanted to contact ANTS in the meantime. I was also able to set up an ANTS account (which I’d tried to do back before March but hadn’t had success…).
I just received the license by mail, today. It states that I can drive: AM, A1, A2, B1, and B vehicles which are mopeds, small motorcycles, small trucks, and cars.
Here’s the rub: my US drivers license states that I can operate any size motorcycle. However, my France drivers license only states that I’m allowed to operate up to A2 level motorcycle: up to 40 BHP. That’s a shame, since I ride a Suzuki V-strom 650cc (70 BHP) nowadays. So…the French drivers license doesn’t allow me to ride the V-strom.
For now, until I (hopefully) get this updated to ‘A’ status for all sizes of motorcycles, I guess I’ll have to carry the US drivers license, the France drivers license, the translation of the US drivers license to French, and any documentation with ANTS about the process to obtain ‘A’ status.
That’s my story for now. I’ll update with any info that’s pertinent to this saga. Onward.