Problems exchanging UK driving licence

(Tony Dix) #61

Just a sheet of paper - an attastation !
Looks good enough for the police

(stella wood) #62

I’ve never seen a Temporary one…:open_mouth:

(David Martin) #63

Normally when exchanging a U.K. license for a French one, once the paperwork has been approved, they ask you to send your UK licence to them before they will issue you the French one. At the same time you receive the paper temporary license.Once the licence office receives the exchanged UK licence they are usually quick to issue the new French one.

(Caz Jeffs) #64

My husband applied for his last November…still waiting!

(Susan Edwards) #65

Same here Caz - both me and my husband still waiting for even an acknowledgement!. (Can’t even remember how long ago we send off the paperwork by post. Around the end of last year I am guessing - Toulouse office.) Husband is thinking of sending his application off a 2nd time. I think i will just wait. (Will cost us for more passport photos! Grr.)

(Susan Edwards) #66

Some good news to report!

After 10 mnths (and no acknowledgement throughout, so we were wondering if we should re-apply as must have gone missing) we have received a temporary paper each which will allow us to post off your UK plastic licences and get a French one back in return.

Just letting you know for info, for any others on here wanting to know how long it takes to get a response … those living in 31 at least!

I have been asked if I wish to retain my C & D categories, and if so I will need to get/provide them with a medical report. Husband seemingly doesn’t have C&D. (Not sure how I got them then!) Think I won’t bother to keep them. (I’ll just go for a swap now, without a medical.)

Another odd thing, husband’s place of birth was a (nice town) UK one, while he was born in another country altogether! So someone might have his foreign place of birth then? (We will let them know of course!)

(David Martin) #67

It will be the same for all departments because they are all processed in Nantes now.

(Tony Dix) #68

After almost 10 Months my wife retrieved her driving licence this morning.
We had an email telling us it was being prepared and sent recorded delivery 2 weeks ago, which also gave us an email address ( and also a phone number ( vous pouvez contacter l’ANTS au : 34 00 , de 7h45 a 20h00 du lundi au vendredi et de 8h00 à 17h00 le samedi (Coût : 0,06 € / min + prix appel)

(Paul Bradford) #69

When my wife exchanged hers, she didn’t have to send it off. She retained it until she received notification the new one was ready, then she went to the Prefecture and exchanged them.

(David Martin) #70

When was that? The system is all done through Nantes now and although you don’t send your old licence off until the new one is ready, you get the new one sent by post.

(Sarah Kendall) #71

I sent my dossier for my license exchange to the prefecture in Lot et Garonne in November 2017, it was incomplete so they sent it back to me in January 2018 (the translations were missing). I resubmitted in January 2018 and then I waited. It wasn’t really a problem because I still had my UK licence. Then in August this year I received an attestation and a request to send the original licence to Nantes by return to be exchanged for the new one.

That’s the last I saw of it and I’ve been unable to speak to anyone at Nantes - every time I phone it rings for 20 minutes and then cuts me off!!. I have the attestation which is valid until March 2019 but the problem is I can’t drive a hire car in the UK with it. I have both son and daughter at uni in the Uk so I go back often to visit - without a car this is very difficult. I don’t know what to do now, I asked for advice in the local Mairie, they told me to send to sent a chaser letter 'recommendé avec accuse de reception" , as apparently they have to react to this. I sent it 2 weeks ago just asking for a progress report but nothing.

I was told to speak to ANTS, they are really kind but until the documents are actually registered on their site by Nantes, there is nothing they can do and they can’t give you any information, it was them who gave me the phone number to ring for Nantes (which rings and rings and rings). I have an ANTS account but there are still no documents in my account which apparently means that my new licence hasn’t ordered yet.

Not really sure where to go form here,!!

(stella wood) #72

Sarah… do you have the slip, signed by " Nantes", that proves your letter was actually delivered ?

(Sarah Kendall) #73

Yes I do

(stella wood) #74

Depending on the date it was delivered… (check the slip/signature/date)

give it 1 month from that date and if still nothing heard/received… write a second letter addressed to someone “important”… enclosing photocopy of First letter and photocopy of First signed slip… (highlighting how long you have waited for a reply). Give an email contact… always useful if they can send some info quickly…and it might give you their email contact as well.

Find out the name of someone in authority at Nantes (your Mairie may be able to help find out a name)

Send this second letter addressed to that “important” person… going through the same system of getting a receipt for delivery (avis de reception)… (I know it costs, but it is worth it)…

(Sarah Kendall) #75

Thanks Stella, I’ll give that a try.

(Ian Horswell) #76

In answer to the original question, according to applications must be made by post to Nantes.
The forms are available on-line but must be in colour or from your Prefecture (your Mairie may have them, but we got ours when we went to the Prefecture for our Titres de Sejours).
Colour photocopy of UK Licence (or scanned and printed but must be in colour) - we found our Hyper-U had a colour copier and charged 1€ a copy so, two copies of back and front of wife’s and mine, two to a sheet.
All the rest is proof of address, residency, etc.
I bought a stamped envelope at the Bureau de Poste which had a tracking number so I was able to see that it had been delivered.
I wish I’d done all this when I first came over - I think it could all have been done at the Mairie in those days, Driving Licence and Carte de Sejours. Never thought I’d need to get either but, of course, with passage of time and photo-card driving licences having an expiry date, the driving licence would have been exchanged eventually.

(Mark Rimmer) #77

Just to correct a fallacy, a UK driving licence is not “invalid” just because the photo or address is not up-to-date. It IS true that in the UK you can be fined for this but you have earned the right to drive by passing a test. The right does not expire just because the photo date has.
There is some confusing information out there but I found the best legal explanation here -

(David Martin) #78

That was written when the UK driving licence came in two parts, the plastic photo licence and the paper counterpart. Has anything changed since the paper part was withdrawn leaving the plastic photo licence as the only proof?

(Mandy Davies) #79

Conflicting advice here.

Government website says it must be renewed every 10 years or you may face a fine of up to £1000.

(Mark Rimmer) #80

No conflict here, The DVLA says that you are breaking the law. You need to know which law they are referring to.
The reference to validity refers to administrative validity which, if exceeded, can result in the fine of up to £1000, which is the same as having an incorrect address on your licence (which does NOT apply to those of us who live here).
I have found this which might help explain. It is from the UK National Archives.
“Licences (including photocard licences) for Group 1 drivers give an entitlement to drive up to the driver’s 70th birthday, unless a short period licence is issued for medical reasons. The photocard licence also contains an administrative validity period, the start and end dates of which are shown at fields 4a and 4b on the front of the card. The administrative validity dates are currently determined as follows:
a driver is granted a first British provisional (learner) photocard licence with a ten year administrative validity period;
on passing a driving test, the subsequent full photocard licence issued is valid for the remainder of the original ten years;
replacement full driving licences issued during the ten-year lifetime of the card, e.g. because the person changes address or misplaces their licence, are always issued for the remainder of the original ten years;
on expiry of the ten-year period, the driver is invited to make an application submitting a new photograph and a new ten-year full photocard licence is then issued;
the administrative processes do not impact on the entitlement to drive, which is shown on the reverse of the photocard licence.”

With regard to the withdrawl of the paper section of the photocard licence, this makes no difference to the licence validity.