Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to the OFII earlier this month for my first visit and received an additional sticker in my passport - is this my carte de sejour? I still have to go to a few more orientation sessions. Another problem - my drivers SA licence expires tomorrow and need to convert to a french one. Will I have a problem because my SA licence has expired and we have been told a carte de sejour is needed to convert (which I only received it on the 16th - if it is even the carte de sejour that I received?) Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
What you received is a "titre de sejour", you apply for your first carte de sejour at the end of your first year in France before your visa expires - for the first year you don't get a carte de sejour.

Not sure about the driver's license issue sorry...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
51,971 Posts
I answered your question about the driver's license in your other thread on the subject.

If there is a right to exchange for your DL, you normally have to do so before you get your first carte de séjour (i.e. as opposed to the titre de séjour you have in your passport now). Fancy way of saying you have to do the exchange within your first year in France.

But if SA doesn't have an exchange agreement with France, you have to start from go (or nearly so). Usually best to contact a driving school in the area. They usually have special arrangements for foreigners who already know how to drive, but just need some "how to drive in France" lessons and the sponsorship for taking the exams from the driving school.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Bevdeforges said:
I answered your question about the driver's license in your other thread on the subject.

If there is a right to exchange for your DL, you normally have to do so before you get your first carte de séjour (i.e. as opposed to the titre de séjour you have in your passport now). Fancy way of saying you have to do the exchange within your first year in France.

But if SA doesn't have an exchange agreement with France, you have to start from go (or nearly so). Usually best to contact a driving school in the area. They usually have special arrangements for foreigners who already know how to drive, but just need some "how to drive in France" lessons and the sponsorship for taking the exams from the driving school.
Cheers,
Bev
If the foreign driver's license is exchangeable for a French driver's license it absolutely MUST be exchanged within the first year of your documented entry into France. As far as the regulations are concerned, this date is normally determined by your first carte de sejour, or titre de sejour. However, if one is, let's say an EU national with a non-exchangeable license from "anywhere" then the means and burden of proof for the official residency date can vary depending on at which prefecture one applies for the exchange. I know of one French/American national with a Pennsylvania license who simply had to provide an "attestation" of his residency date in order to exchange his US license.

For a license exchange, probably the most important idea for all foreigners to understand is, "What is the official date of continuous residency in France?" If one has been in France for more than a year, for example, whether or not one has a "titre de sejour" or a "carte de sejour" (or whatever, in name) is practically irrelevant for a license exchange. If one has, or more specifically, if the French government has official documented proof of one's legal entry into the country 365 day prior to the date of the request for a license exchange, the exchange will NOT be allowed. Period! As with all things, there may be someone out there, somewhere in France, who managed an exception through the "normal" French bureaucracy. Well, all that can be said is that person hit the lotto!

In France, if your foreign license is not exchangeable for a French driver's license, and you still want to continue to legally drive, then you MUST take both the written (theoretical, i.e., code de la route) examination, and the actual driver's test (practical, behind the wheel examination with a French examiner). The French government makes an exception for previously licensed foreign drivers (it does not matter which country you come from) only to the extent that previously licensed foreign drivers are not obligated to fulfill the many, many hours of expensive and time-consuming practice driving that are legally required of French adolescent, novice drivers. Otherwise, all foreign licensed drivers are essentially treated as beginners. At the end of the day, what this means is that once one passes the written and road test and receives the Probationary French Driver's license, one receives 6 initial points on their license. After 3 years with zero offenses, one receives a total of 12 points. During the 3 year probationary period, one is legally obligated to display the "A" on the rear of the vehicle, and drive at the reduced speeds for beginners. It does not matter how long a foreigner has been licensed to drive in their former home country. These are the current procedures for foreigners who cannot exchange their current valid foreign driver's licenses to be licensed in France.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
_Sarah_ said:
What you received is a "titre de sejour", you apply for your first carte de sejour at the end of your first year in France before your visa expires - for the first year you don't get a carte de sejour.

Not sure about the driver's license issue sorry...
Are you really, really sure about your assessment of the distinctions between the "titre de sejour" and the "carte de sejour"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
Are you really, really sure about your assessment of the distinctions between the "titre de sejour" and the "carte de sejour"?
On any long stay visa, the holder is exempt from obtaining a 'carte de sejour' for their first year in France. When they 'validate' their visa by going through the procedure at the OFII, I do believe that what the holder has is called a 'titre de sejour' - it is still a residence permit, but only for the first year.
If the holder wants to remain in France for longer than one year (assuming that their visa allows them to), they then have to apply for a 'carte de sejour'.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
51,971 Posts
Are you really, really sure about your assessment of the distinctions between the "titre de sejour" and the "carte de sejour"?
With the current OFII procedures for validating a long-stay visa (not all long stay visas, but most of them anyhow), the difference between having a "titre de séjour" (i.e. the etiquette in your passport validating the visa) and having a carte de séjour determines whether or not you've been in France for a year or not. (And as you note, some prefectures are more fanatic than others about precisely how the regs are written.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
This *carte de séjour* vs *titre de séjour* thing is very confusing. Having been through my first OFII visit on my visitor visa in May, I was told by OFII that it was my first "carte de séjour" despite it being a sticker in my passport, and the receipt for the 300-odd euros that I paid says as such. Technically, and probably according to the law, it is a "titre de séjour" but none of this really has any bearing on getting your license swapped - it's just typical French bureaucracy making things unnecessarily confusing.

The point is that you're supposed to do it within your first 12 months in France. Fortunately, I got lucky last week and despite being on a WHV for one year than changing to a visitor visa, I got mine last week from my local prefecture after 20 months of being in France. I had to give photocopies of my visa, passport page, plus the sticker in my passport (even at the prefecture they called it my carte de séjour even though it technically might not be - point is that's what they need). They didn't see my WHV thankfully, despite looking through my passport quickly! I did, literally, win the jackpot here because reading the horror stories of people going for their license had me shaking in my boots last week!

Sain, your license MUST be current, ie not expired. As a Saffa you're otherwise eligible to exchange your license for a Frenchy one. But it must be current, and this is your issue.

See this site:
Permis de conduire étranger - Echange en France
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
51,971 Posts
OK, OK, one last time....:rolleyes2:

A "titre de séjour" is the generic term that covers all sorts of residence permits - from the sticker in your passport to a carte de séjour to a carte de resident (the 10 year residence permit/i.d. card for foreigners).

A "carte de séjour" is the plasticized card, usually only good for a year at a time. (They used to issue them in varying durations, but I haven't heard much about those anymore.)

A "carte de resident" is another plasticized card, but it's valid for 10 years at a time and is basically equivalent to a "permanent resident card." It's also the equivalent of the French citizen's "carte d'identité" (which is also valid for 10 years at a time).

However, in typical French fashion, some folks use the term "carte de séjour" for whatever sort of document you're staying in France on.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
51,971 Posts
Haha - thanks Bev. Bureaucracy has a way of making things overly complicated by using misleading or incorrect terminology. Sigh... Good to know anyway! Thanks. :)
I actually have a book entitled: Le Petit Décodeur de l'administration which is published for the French, to help them make sense of all the strange terms they use here!

There is an entry under "carte" for "carte de séjour" - which basically defines it as a card authorizing a foreigner to stay in France for more than 3 months.

Under "titre" there are five entries, but none of them have anything to do with a "titre de séjour."
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I actually have a book entitled: Le Petit Décodeur de l'administration which is published for the French, to help them make sense of all the strange terms they use here!

There is an entry under "carte" for "carte de séjour" - which basically defines it as a card authorizing a foreigner to stay in France for more than 3 months.

Under "titre" there are five entries, but none of them have anything to do with a "titre de séjour."
Cheers,
Bev
I didn't know that such a book existed! AWESOME! I'm going to get a copy. Thanks for the info!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top