Driving in France

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Exchange UK driving licence

Has anyone on the forum had any experience of exchanging a UK driving licence for a French one since the new system came into force towards the end of last year ?
In mid-November I prepared the documents for a friend of ours, sent off the required pieces to Nantes, received the recorded delivery receipt and have heard nothing since. I understand there's a delay but 3 months seems ridiculous. Not only that but my friend has nothing to show the gendarmes apart from a photocopy of his old UK licence. When I changed mine 10 years ago it was done at the Prefecture, I got a certificate over the counter, and the new licence arrived within a week. The new ones are the plastic credit card things, so conceivably could take longer to produce, but 3 months and counting... ?
I'd love to hear from anyone who has had success.
I tried phoning Nantes but got absolutely nowhere, very rude !

It's difficult to say what my wife does...
She sells seashells on the seashore.
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Re: Exchange UK driving licence

Why has he only got a photocopy if his old licence? I have got the instructions from my prefecture to go with the forms and it states quite clearly that I am to send a photocopy, not the original licence, with the application. From what I’ve read on other sites three months is nothing to get worried about.
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Re: Exchange UK driving licence

I've checked the instructions dated 11 Sept 2017 which I received from the Deux-Sevres Prefecture in November and they clearly state that the original has to be sent. I have the PDF but can't add it to this post.
I Googled the same information this evening and as you say, it says to send a copy! The new page is dated 28 December 2017 so I have to assume that the backlogs are causing problems. They now say that the originals will be demanded in due course. I've read other forums too and people are worried about driving with no original licence, but I can't find anyone who has actually received a new licence by this method. In any case it's too late, we can't get them back and none of this answers my question, has anyone on the forum used the new postal system for exchange of UK licence, and how long does it take ?
It's difficult to say what my wife does...
She sells seashells on the seashore.
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Re: Exchange UK driving licence

This whole business has been a complete mess!

Believe it or not, I started this process in mid-May ‘17. Applied to our Prefecture (Nimes) for a rendezvous and got a date 2 months on. Turned up - a couple of docs missing (not asked for on the website), so got them & went back. “C’est bon”, I was told.

No response. Then (after a further 6 wks) was asked to go for a medical. Did that - no problem. Re-submitted the dossier. A further 4 wks and was told that it was all being transferred to Nantes & here’s your dossier. Sent it off late-Oct.

Received a formal attestation in the post a couple of weeks ago, saying that my original UK licence needed to be sent by ‘Recommande’ for my new French licence to be issued. Attestation valid until end-May.

So .......... nine months on and I’m virtually there ! Happily-ish, I’ve alaways had an Attestation in my possession, but you never know if you run in to a stroppy Gendarme.

They’ve centralised everything and (certainly down here), they got the hump and perhaps not unreasonably, did nothing for several months. Thus a massive backlog of dossiers hitting the new Centre.

To try to answer your question, think 3 months plus for a response from Nantes. Hope this helps.


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Re: Exchange UK driving licence

Evidently you have yet to learn that what happens at one prefecture is no guide to what might happen at any other, twas ever thus !

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Re: Exchange UK driving licence

I have deleted a post from this thread. Unfortunately the forum software decided to take the one below it too.

It was this from BritinBretagne -

My post makes perfect sense. I picked up the forms from my local prefecture and they gave me a list of things to include with the application. The list states quite clearly that I must send photocopies not original documents. What part of that don’t you understand? It could not be clearer.
On other sites I use there are several people still waiting after more than three months. There is a backlog.
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Re: Exchange UK driving licence

Obviously they've changed the criteria due to the backlog. I have just printed the forms to fill in and on the list of things to send it says that if you're not French but are a citizen of another EU country you need to send- "photocopies de justificatifs de residence normal en France à la date de la demande (au moins 185 jour avec attaches personnelles et/ou professionelles"
What do they require for that? I thought a tax form but I'm confused by the 185 days bit and the attatcments ?
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Re: Exchange UK driving licence

Maybe there's a racket obtaining French licences for residents of other EU countries who have had their licences revoked.

It used to happen in the UK when people were able to get Irish licences without actually going there. - Don't ask me how I know.



On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H. L. Mencken 1880 - 1956

Some may not like his views, but what a prediction!
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