Renewing An English Driving Licence vs Getting A New French One

At the risk of sounding thick, can I ask for a bit of clarification please: when my photo licence expires, am I right in thinking that I HAVE to get a new one in France as I am a resident here? Is it also correct that the only way to keep my English licence would be to apply in England using a false address? If this is correct, is there any reason for me to be concerned about changing to a French licence since I live here permanently and don’t expect to move any time soon?

Thanks for bearing with me --I know there has been much discussion on this topic but I am a newbie!

If you get enough points you HAVE to change. They dont seem to worried about a UK licence even if it is out of date. Just an idea - sure it is not legal - but get a duplicate UK one before you swap - that way you can duck the points - sadly I didnt use this ruse. My local Mairie simply took in the old UK one ans I think I signed something and the new one came back in a week

If it is a European one there is no need to change. Non-Europeans must change within a year or sit the French driving test, which is very technical and very expensive!

Gere you go, it can sometimes be difficult to spot the facts amongst the chatter!


You are not obliged to change to a French license unless you have committed a motoring offence.

When your photocard expires you have to renew it.

The DVLA will not send a UK driving licence to a French address…


Whether there are ways round this depends on who you talk to at the DVLA.

Hope that helps!

Thanks for the suggestion, Catharine. Think I have now read everything on the topic but am holding out for a definitive answer (please someone put me out of my misery!): when my photocard driver’s licence expires do i have to renew with a French one if I do it legally and what are the pros and cons of a French licence?

Here you go for starters

and if you type driving licence in the search box at the top of the forum page, you’ll find all the references in various discussions which should answer this for you. Hope this helps!