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Foreign driver’s license (issued outside of the EU or France)

You are a foreigner and have obtained your driver’s license in a country outside of the EU or France. Is your license valid? Can you exchange it for a French driver’s license?


Is your foreign driver’s license valid?

You can drive in France with a driving license issued by a country outside of the European Union or the European Economic Area for a period of one year from the beginning of your residence in France, if the country has signed a reciprocity agreement with France (check the list) and if you meet the following conditions:

  • Your license is valid
  • Your license has been issued on behalf of the State in question, while you had your normal residence (more than 6 months in a row) in this specific country
  • You got your license before establishing your resident or stay permit in France
  • Your license is written in French or you can provide an official French translation
  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You comply with the specifications on your license concerning infirmity (wearing glasses, adapting the vehicle, etc.)
  • You have not been the subject of any restrictions, suspensions, withdrawals or cancellation of your driving rights on the territory that issued your license.


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

In which case can I exchange my license?

I have a foreign driver’s license. I have lived in France for close to a year. I now have to exchange my license for a French one.

 Your application to exchange your license must be done at the “Préfecture du Département” (State Police Department) (download Cerfa 4 document). It must also include :

  • Justification of marital status
  • Two portrait photos which comply with to offical technical standards
  • A photocopy of your valid driver's license
  • The official translation of your license if it is not written in French
  • A photocopy of your residence or stay permit, unless you are European.
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