Problems exchanging UK driving licence

(Tony Dix) #1

Has anyone exchanged their driving licence recently ?I sent my wife’s off to the prefecture at the end of november and have heard nothing from them since. Tried sending message via their email system but no response. Are the wheels moving slowly or do you think that there is a problem ?
thanks for any advice


Irish driving license out of date question
Driving Licence 2018
Driving Licence docs
French driving licence renewel
(Mandy Davies) #2

Hi Tony

I had a wry chuckle reading your post. When I exchanged mine a couple of years ago it took 5 months from visiting the Prefecture to receiving my Permis. I have heard that for others it takes just a few weeks. Everything depends on the efficiency, or otherwise, of the Prefecture concerned. Mine is the sous-Prefecture in Castres, in the Tarn.


(Tony Dix) #3

I exchanged my about 5 years ago within a couple of weeks, but now its a new system


(stella wood) #4

can be done on-line at the Mairie… but success may depend on one’s state of mind and how many glasses of eau de vie…:confounded:


(Tony Dix) #5

it can now only be done by post, ( but they seem impossible to contact once its been sent. Wondering what would happen if stopped by police with no documents ?

1 Like

(stella wood) #6

sorry… I was thinking about a neighbour who is doing his… little by little… but he is French…


(Mandy Davies) #7

Well, hopefully, that should make it a more consistent process. I had a nightmare exchanging mine partly because the Prefecture asked for more documents than listed on this same website and even on their own form!! I hope someone else will respond with their experience of the new system.

Assuming you have kept a copy of the UK licence and the form submitted for the exchange I am sure you can show these to the police and they will have to accept that you can’t produce your licence.


(Dave Sheriton) #8

Both my OH and myself changed our licences last year at different times. Took a couple of weeks in both cases. Our prefecture for licences is Carcassonne. Was much quicker I suspect dealing in person than online or by post.


(stella wood) #9

Hi Dave… yes, it often is easier and quicker doing things face to face. Sadly, now it is not possible. UK licence changing to French… has to be done by Post… French licence changing details or obtaining duplicate can be done online.

The people at the Prefectures are obviously hiding from us… :laughing:


(Tony Dix) #10

they do seem to be hiding, I cannot find any way to contact a person, all the email links generate automated replies leading you back where you started


(stella wood) #11

Tony… did you send your paperwork Recorded with proof of Delivery… or what…??


(Tony Dix) #12

Sent via recorded delivery so I know they received it, Since written to confirm receipt again and request the turn around time again recorded so I know they have received it but no response. Guess will have to keep fingers crossed and hop it turns up. I have no ideal on who to complain to.


(anon28931214) #13

It says send colour copy of your licence (both sides) so you should still have your original licence haven’t you? As of September they all go to Nantes, did you send yours there? Good idea to use recorded hadn’t thought of doing that. My husbands goes off tomorrow took a while to find a colour photocopier!


(Tony Dix) #14

I was told by my local prefecture to send the originals to Nantes. Cannot get any response from them as they are post only.


(David Hislop) #15

Exchanged ours last year by post(recorded delivery) to Prefecture in La Rochelle(17)
Both came back in less than 2 weeks.
Kept a copy of U.K. license with recoded delivery receipt and wrote on copy that original was away for exchange, just in case

1 Like

(Marie Llewellyn) #16

We have the same problem. DH sent his application off to Nantes in October - heard nothing. No-one to contact, so we sent a second application suivi last week. On another forum, a lady who had made her application in December got a French friend to telephone. I don’t know where they called, but they apparently couldn’t get past the “receptionist” who informed them that there was no-one they could speak to and that they wouldn’t hear anything before May at the earliest. I am worried because DH is 70 later this year, so after that, he won’t have a valid licence to exchange. We won’t have a UK address, so he can’t renew there. I have visions of pootling round in a voiturette sans permis in future! We went to our prefecture, but they couldn’t get us out quickly enough (although they were previously very helpful). They insisted (incorrectly) that everything is now done online.

Also, has anyone noticed that the requirements for submitting photographs with online official applications has changed? Not required for driving licence because it’s postal, but you now have to use an approved photo boot or photographer where there is a screen which you sign using a stylus, and you then get a code to enter online. Greta idea, except there are none of those booths anywhere near here!

I read in The Connexion that there was a backlog of 100,000 Carte Grise applications in December. We need to change the details on our Carte Grise because i am shown there but don’t have a licence, and apparently the rules have recently changed. I’m reluctant to start the process because I’m sure it’s doomed to fail.

There doesn’t appear to be anyone you can speak to or complain to, and no-one at our prefecture is even slightly interested in helping. Very worrying.


(anon64436995) #17

There’s no reason to think your OH will be unable to renew his UK licence after the age of 70 although they won’t send it to a French address. I am 79 and have renewed my licence every three years since my 70th birthday, always on-line. After my last renewal last year I exchanged it for a French one by visiting my Prefecture in Saint Lô, Manche. Although there was a wait of four months, I was kept informed by the staff by visiting in person and making courteous enquiries. It’s a pity it has to be done by post now, as I agree that personal visits are always much more productive, and fonctionnaires seem very good at remembering faces and personal traits and circumstances affecting clients they deal with.


(stella wood) #18

"We need to change the details on our Carte Grise because i am shown there but don’t have a licence, and apparently the rules have recently changed."

The Rules state that the Titulaire (first person named) on the CG must hold a valid driving licence… co-titulaire (each other named person)…does not need to have a licence (valid or not).

So does the first person named on your CG… have a valid driving licence…?? If the answer is Yes… no need to change anything…


(Marie Llewellyn) #19

Peter, we won’t have a UK address soon as our UK property should be sold within the next month or so, so I’m not sure how we could renew DH’s UK licence? Is it possible to use an address where you are not resident? The Govt website specifically says you must be UK resident.

We also have to change the details on our Carte Grise because the owner must be a licence holder. I am named on the Garte Grise but I’m no longer a licence holder , so that has to be changed now.


(David Martin) #20

You are correct, only British residents are allowed to renew their U.K. driving licence. As a French resident you need to exchange it for a French licence.
Are you sure that you need to exchange the CG? Is your’s the first name on it?