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French License validity

Not easy to be back in France after several years spent abroad? Perhaps you feel a little lost? After all these years, is your license still valid? If your license is foreign, what are the next steps?


In which cases is your license valid?

1. You are French and you passed your License abroad

If you passed your driver’s license abroad, you must have lived in that country for at least six months before your license is valid in France.

You are subject to the same legislation as foreigners, which means that you can drive in France with your foreign license for a year, after which you will have to exchange it against a French license.

How do I exchange my foreign driver’s license for a French one?


  1. 2. You are French, you passed your license in France and have exchanged it against a foreign driving license
  2. You are subject to the same legislation as foreigners as well, which means that you can drive in France with your foreign license for a year, after which you will have to exchange it against a French license.

If you already have a French driving license, it is actually a return of license. Delays for returning the license are actually shorter because your license is immediately returned by the Préfecture (State Police Department) when you make the request.

Sometimes it takes two months to get an appointment at the Préfecture.

The steps are :

You must make an appointment at the Préfecture and present yourself with the following documents :

  • Identification (a photocopy to leave and the original to present as evidence)
  • Two passport photos
  • Proof of residence (a copy to hand in and the original to present as proof)
  • Your foreign license (original document to hand in)
  • Proof of your return to France (Consular proof - you must be listed in the register of French citizens living abroad and have made contact with the consular authority prior to your leave). '

 

  1. 3. You are French and you passed your License in Europe

  2. Your driver’s license is valid in France if it has been issued by one of the following countries.

Other conditions about European driver’s license validty in France

 

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