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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all,

I'm somewhere in the process of becoming a French resident.

My wife is French and we live in Paris.

I went through the orientation at OFII in September and got a stamped sticker added to the Visa 'vie privee et fam' in my passport I received in Australia.

Today, knowing that I have 12 months to convert a foreign driver's licence into a French one, I called the prefecture and was told...

".....the licence can only be exchanged within 12 months after you receive your carte de sejour which you haven't received yet...."

As my Australian licence expires this coming August, if what I was told is correct, by the time I qualify to even apply to convert to a French licence, my Australian one will have already expired!

Does having one of these new OFII visas place me in some kind of administrative limbo?

Any comments or advice appreciated.
 
G

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Wouldn't be surprised. Can you renew your Aussie licence by post, or get someone down under to do it for you, if nothing's turned up by the time it expires?

Otherwise there's still hope - my wife's CdS turned up in less than two weeks from lodging the documentation...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wouldn't be surprised. Can you renew your Aussie licence by post, or get someone down under to do it for you, if nothing's turned up by the time it expires?

Otherwise there's still hope - my wife's CdS turned up in less than two weeks from lodging the documentation...
Thanks for response...Yes, I can renew by post and the forms can be accessed and printed online....just more time and $$

I'm just wondering if I'm just officially considered as still in the process of becoming a "resident" and all that it implies.
 

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This sounds to me like the "usual run-around" you get from a prefecture not entirely clued in. That stamp in your passport from the OFII is supposed to serve as your carte de séjour for the first year, if I've understood things correctly.

I would print off this page from the OFII OFII - Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration and take it to the préfecture. If you're "dispensé" from having to apply for a titre de séjour, then they should allow you to exchange your license based on the OFII stamp. Or, ask the OFII to confirm that the validation of your visa IS your titre de séjour for your first year in France.

Don't get snarky with the préfecture, but turn up with your validated visa in hand. I find they don't like answering questions on the phone and often make things up if there is a new procedure like this and they aren't sure yet how to handle it.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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I had kind of assumed that goneglobal was somehow a pre-rule change CdS applicant, but rereading the original post it seems clear that Bev's interpretation is correct - the long-stay OFII-checked passport visa IS the residence permit nowadays, and the Prefecture is confusing the two (there are spouses of French citizens in France under both systems now).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ask the same question to ten different people.......

Bev, thanks for the tip about getting OPII to confirm (ideally in writing) that the visa in my passport is a genuine and official replacement for a CDS

I'll keep everyone posted about what happens.


I've been reading this board on and off for more than a few months now so it's an appropriate time for me to thank all the posters that frequent here....and sometimes confused me even more than I already am!!

Cheers, gone
 

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For what it's worth, I've recently run the gauntlet here in Reims. The super prefecture had a different answer than the prefecture. I have yet to be granted an appointment with OFII, but have the 12 month long stay visa. After lots of questions and phone calls, all indications are the long stay visa is sufficient to obtain a license

I've signed with an Auto-Ecole, provided them the necessary documentation and they have no issues. I'm from the States, but from one of the states with no reciprocity so assume the situation is similar to yours. Given the way things seem to work with paperwork, I would not at all be surprised to be asked for additional paperwork. Maybe a signed statement from my mother that I am her child ;-)

Best of luck,
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rjfr,

I'm lucky because the French presently exchange licences for prior residents of ALL Australian states....I don't envy you.

I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope that I won't need any official translations......I'll try to time an initial meeting as close to lunch as possible!
 

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getting a EU driving licence on exchange

Can any one give any advise on how too go about getting a French drivers licence by exchange or by application using a Australian (queensland) Driving Licence.

I would only be a temporay resident of The EU
 

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Can any one give any advise on how too go about getting a French drivers licence by exchange or by application using a Australian (queensland) Driving Licence.

I would only be a temporay resident of The EU
Depending on what you mean by "temporary" you may not need to bother getting a French licence. You're only required to get a French license if you are "resident" in France - if you're just passing through, you can usually drive on your foreign license for up to a year.

If you exchange your licence for a French one, they will take your Australian license so it will no longer be valid.

If you want to go the exchange route, ask at your local mairie or préfecture.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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drivers licence

Depending on what you mean by "temporary" you may not need to bother getting a French licence. You're only required to get a French license if you are "resident" in France - if you're just passing through, you can usually drive on your foreign license for up to a year.

If you exchange your licence for a French one, they will take your Australian license so it will no longer be valid.

If you want to go the exchange route, ask at your local mairie or préfecture.
Cheers,
Bev
local mairie or préfecture. What is this, Is there a website for the licence authority,
Contact emails, or telephone number, just a complete lack of information available about this on the WEB.

Only scam website claming that they can provide EU Drivers licences to EU residents. Temporary or otherwise

Were do you get the residency permit from.
 

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local mairie or préfecture. What is this, Is there a website for the licence authority,
Contact emails, or telephone number, just a complete lack of information available about this on the WEB.

Only scam website claming that they can provide EU Drivers licences to EU residents. Temporary or otherwise

Were do you get the residency permit from.
Residency permit comes from the préfecture. And, in typical French fashion, requirements vary a bit from one préfecture to the next. There is no such thing as an "EU licence" - it's by country, though within the EU, the individual countries adhere to certain standards in issuing licences so that they are exchangeable.

There is no "licence authority" in France. Or, it's called the préfecture.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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driving licence

Residency permit comes from the préfecture. And, in typical French fashion, requirements vary a bit from one préfecture to the next. There is no such thing as an "EU licence" - it's by country, though within the EU, the individual countries adhere to certain standards in issuing licences so that they are exchangeable.

There is no "licence authority" in France. Or, it's called the préfecture.
Cheers,
Bev
Prefecture
is that a office

if I can't get a EU French Driving Licence , then I need to be able to find out weather my Australian driving licence (queensland) Class C (vehicles up to 4.5 ton) is accepted in France

So I can drive, register and insurance for a Light truck or Van type vehicle , That in the EU you need to have a C1 class Licence, (My licence is a C Class)

I cannot find a email contact for embasy in france or Dept.
 

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Prefecture
is that a office

if I can't get a EU French Driving Licence , then I need to be able to find out weather my Australian driving licence (queensland) Class C (vehicles up to 4.5 ton) is accepted in France

So I can drive, register and insurance for a Light truck or Van type vehicle , That in the EU you need to have a C1 class Licence, (My licence is a C Class)

I cannot find a email contact for embasy in france or Dept.
The prefecture is like the county sheriff's office, though with considerably more powers than a county sheriff. You need to contact the prefecture of the area in which you are resident in France. Probably best done after you have arrived.

If you are planning on registering and insuring a vehicle, you are apparently planning on taking up residence in France, which means you'll have to either exchange your license (if that is permitted) or go through the tests to secure a C class license. Details are here: Permis de conduire C : véhicules de plus de 3,5 tonnes - Service-public.fr (in French, as I don't think there is a provision to do the tests in English).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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what happened as I am in the same position

Hi there,

Recently just arrived in France (Dec) from South Africa and my licence expires tomorrow and everyone is giving us the run around on what to do. I have been at the OFFI and received my carte de sejour on the 16th of Feb - please do you have some advice for me. Thanks




Hello to all,

I'm somewhere in the process of becoming a French resident.

My wife is French and we live in Paris.

I went through the orientation at OFII in September and got a stamped sticker added to the Visa 'vie privee et fam' in my passport I received in Australia.

Today, knowing that I have 12 months to convert a foreign driver's licence into a French one, I called the prefecture and was told...

".....the licence can only be exchanged within 12 months after you receive your carte de sejour which you haven't received yet...."

As my Australian licence expires this coming August, if what I was told is correct, by the time I qualify to even apply to convert to a French licence, my Australian one will have already expired!

Does having one of these new OFII visas place me in some kind of administrative limbo?

Any comments or advice appreciated.
 

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Joined
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51,556 Posts
Hi there,

Recently just arrived in France (Dec) from South Africa and my licence expires tomorrow and everyone is giving us the run around on what to do. I have been at the OFFI and received my carte de sejour on the 16th of Feb - please do you have some advice for me. Thanks
Go to the local prefecture - or find the prefecture's website online. They should have information about driving licenses, at least a listing of those countries that have "exchange rights." I don't know if exchange rights with South Africa exist - I suspect not, but these things change all the time.

If you don't have exchange rights, you'll have to go through the whole driving license process. If you do, there is an information sheet that describes the process (in French, of course).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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If it is possible to renew your foreign license, then you might consider this. You will not (under the regulations practiced at most prefectures) be able to exchange an expired license. If that is the case, you will then need to take and pass the French written and practical test in order to be licensed to drive in France.
 

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Bevdeforges said:
The prefecture is like the county sheriff's office, though with considerably more powers than a county sheriff. You need to contact the prefecture of the area in which you are resident in France. Probably best done after you have arrived.

If you are planning on registering and insuring a vehicle, you are apparently planning on taking up residence in France, which means you'll have to either exchange your license (if that is permitted) or go through the tests to secure a C class license. Details are here: Permis de conduire C : véhicules de plus de 3,5 tonnes - Service-public.fr (in French, as I don't think there is a provision to do the tests in English).
Cheers,
Bev
Just a matter of note, one can take the written exam (le code de la route) in english (actually, the exam is in french, but there is a licensed translator present who repeats the French examiner's questions in english). The driving practical exam in only given in french. So one needs to be prepared to follow basic directional instructions in french. One also must be prepared to comprehend and answer in french 3 questions (of a possible 200) regarding the interior and exterior of the vehicle. By the way, in order to take the written exam using the translator one should be enrolled in one of a hand-full of driving schools licensed in France to teach in english.
 

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uojomo said:
If it is possible to renew your foreign license, then you might consider this. You will not (under the regulations practiced at most prefectures) be able to exchange an expired license. If that is the case, you will then need to take and pass the French written and practical test in order to be licensed to drive in France.
Just to further clarify my meaning — I mean consider renewing your foreign license if it is exchangeable, and you are able to renew it in your prior country of residence, thus giving you more time to facilitate the exchange. These things are of course best done before one arrives in France. But, that is not always possible, I know.
 

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I think the so-called "written" test is now a computer based test. I assume there is some facility available for taking the test in English or with the help of a translator.

As far as English language driving schools is concerned, the one I know about is in Paris: Welcome to Fehrenbach Driving School They have considerable information available for sale in booklet form and could be a good place to start for information on how to proceed.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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