Hello, everyone – I’ve combed through a number of posts and resources elsewhere, still not 100% clear on this. I plan to be in FR with my spouse (she on a long-stay student visa, long-stay tourist for me) for no more than 12 months beginning Aug. We both currently hold California licenses (aware CA is not on reciprocity list). If I’m understanding correctly, for our purposes:
CA DLs are valid for up to 1 yr, then must apply for French DL only if we have plans to stay longer (likely not).
Must be accompanied by notarized translations.
Must show evidence of type of visa (i.e. passport)
Today I received guidance that obtaining an IDP from AAA is all that’s necessary, adding to the uncertainty.
Is this accurate? And, do we need to enroll in auto-insurance prior/during separate from general travel coverage?
@anon92567933 - thanks so much. This answers it. Interesting they consider anything > 185 days as “normal residence.” In any event, my original understanding appears to be valid. Nothing needed for student Visa, a translation “légalisée” for tourist long-stay (mine). I interpret that to be “notarized.” Am I correct?
The remaining question: this means driving in FR is legal, would an IDP still be needed for driving in EU?
I do speak French. It has been out of rotation for a little bit though. French bureaucratese, not a forte for sure. I do my best to dig up the info I need but occasionally I’ll need help, and grateful when I get it
@anon87147852 I’m not why there’s an assumption I haven’t proceeded through these steps, but thank you! I ask if it’s the equivalent of notary because I’m already working with one here and if it’s one and the same - it’s far more efficient for me. The list of judicial experts would be useful if I were already in France.
and to note, per list, there appears to be one expert for english-french. That’s not somewhere I’m shipping personally identifiable info to.
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The IDP from AAA is a translation of one’s driving license that one can get from the American Automobile Association. It’s called an International Driving Permit, but that’s a bit of a misnomer as it is not issued by any DMV(Department of Motor Vehicles) or DOT (Department of Transportation), but by an automobile club.
The IDP is used in conjunction with ones valid driving license if one is stopped by the police, and the language of the driving license needs translating for them. Here’s a link to one site that sells them(note ‘sells’ not ‘issues’) https://international-permit.com/en-us/sample.html.
From the website -
‘…the IDD is only a translation of a driver’s license and not a regular driver’s license. The IDD, without a currently valid driving permit is not a useful or valid document to present to any authority.’