Exchanging your driving license

Exchanging a driving license obtained in Europe (European Economic Area) for a French License.

If you have a driving license issued by a European Union country or a country party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) , you can request an exchange for an equivalent French license, under certain conditions. This request is not mandatory except in the case of an infraction resulting in a restriction, suspension, cancellation of the permit or loss of points.

Who is concerned

The exchange of your European driving license is obligatory if you commit in France a violation of the Highway Code, resulting in a loss of points or a measure of restriction, suspension or cancellation of your license.

You must have your residence in France and fulfill all the conditions to use a European driving license in France .

Note:

If your European license has been obtained in exchange for a permit issued by a country outside the European Union or outside the European Economic Area (EEA) , this country must practice reciprocal exchange of permits with France. If this is not the case, your license is not exchangeable and is no longer recognized after one year following the acquisition of the residence in France. If you want to continue driving in France, you must take the French driving license exam .

How to apply:

The procedure is done only by post.

You will need to send the following documents:

  • Form  cerfa n°14879*01completed, dated and signed driver's license exchange form, clearly indicating your e-mail address or your mobile number
  • Form cerfa n°14948*01 reference 06 obligatorily printed in colour , completed, dated and signed
  • 1 double-sided colour copy of the driver's license to be exchanged
  • 1 copy of proof of identity
  • 1 copy of proof of address
  • 1 double-sided copy: 
    • Proof of your residence in France for at least 6 months (for example: rental agreement, employment contract, proof of social security, tax notice ...) if you are European (unless you are French), Swiss or Monegasque
    • of your titre de séjour or Ofii sticker affixed to your passport if you are not European
    • 3 photos (2 of which are affixed to the 2 cerfa forms)
  • 1 pre-paid envelope letter for up to  50 g "ready to post" format, with your name and address.

You must send your file to the service responsible for exchanging licenses by post to:

CERT EPE

TSA 63527

44035 NANTES CEDEX 01

Your new Driving License

The next step

Your original foreign driving license will be requested to verify its authenticity once all the other elements of your file have been checked and an exchange approved. You will be contacted by the service concerned. A certificate of deposit of your foreign driver's license will be provided.

Delivery time

The period for issuing the French permit varies, depending on the influx of requests and the complexity of the file.

Reception of the permit

The French license is then sent to your home.

License features

The French license issued to you is not a probationary license, unless the original permit has been is less than 3 years old. The date of issue indicated therein is the date of issue of the French permit. From this date of issue, the license is valid for 15 years (or 5 years for the so-called "heavy" categories).

Note:

If you received a French license between January 19th and September 15th, 2013, you have benefited from a transitional license of model F9. This driving license remains valid until January 19, 2033. Therefore, you do not have to replace it until your prefecture asks you to do so.

Identity Photo:

  • Identity photos must be recent (taken less than 6 months old) and similar.
  • If multiple photos are provided, they must be identical.
  • It is the applicant for the identity document who provides his own photos.
  • They must be taken by a professional or in a cabin using a system approved by the Ministry of the Interior.

Proof of address?

Only one proof of address is required. It can be one of the following documents:

invoice less than 6 months old, water, electricity, gas or telephone (including mobile phone),

tax notice or certificate of non-taxation, rent receipt not handwritten,

If you live with a relative (parent, friend, ...)

The following documents must be submitted:

  • certificate of  honour from the person who you are living with certifying the accommodation, dated and signed by them and yourself,
  • photocopy of the ID of the person who is hosting you,
  • proof of address in his name (invoice less than 6 months old, water, electricity, gas or telephone, tax notice or certificate of non-taxation, receipt of rent not handwritten).

Driver's license application: What kind of identification can you submit?

To present yourself in the theory and practice tests of the driving license, add a new category or obtain a new license after a loss or theft, you must prove your identity.

You can prove your identity with:

  • a valid national identity card valid or expired for less than 5 years at the date of the application,
  • a valid biometric passport, service passport or mission passport or which has expired less than 5 years from the date of the application,
  • a valid non-biometric passport or which has expired for less than 2 years on the date of application,
  • a secure driving license in accordance with the European Union format,
  • or the receipt validating proof of identity (for persons who are subject to a ban on leaving the territory).

Note:

It is necessary to provide a photocopy of the document, possibly double-sided (for an identity card for example).

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