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

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I'm a dual Australian / British national with an Australian drivers licence.
When I first came to Paris I wasn't aware that during the first year I could easily exchange it and after having passed this period it would be necessary to start again from scratch.

I'm just wondering if any other dual nationals have been in this situation ? Or have knowledge of how it would work, what documents would be required ? Normally as an Australian I would have a carte de séjour/visa, from which they can tell when you arrived in France. I have passed the 1 year cut off point to exchange the licence - but would they know that since I don't use a carte de séjour/visa ?

Would there be any way I could bypass this long & expensive process of obtaining a French licence ?

Thanks in advance !
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,807 Posts
Chances are you still had to show a passport to enter France, and I suspect they'll go by that record. (Having just recently returned to France from the US, I'm not even sure if they physically stamp passports anymore - but they definitely do scan the little bar code thing, even for French nationals, and I suspect that record may be available somewhere in the system.)

But one way to test it is to just try to exchange your license and see how far you get. Each prefecture seems to have their own procedures and requirements for license exchanges. Check the website for your local prefecture - they should have a section for "foreigners" and possibly another section for driving licenses and the procedures for getting them replaced and exchanged. You could always pose an "innocent" question (by phone or in person) to ask what you should use in lieu of a carte de séjour given that you are an EU national.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Bev ! Much appreciate your input.

I checked both my passports and neither of them have EU or Australian stamps. It might be because I tend to use the passport corresponding to the country upon entry. I guess the clever thing to do would have been to get the Australian one stamped when I came back after a trip earlier this year. But as you say it might all be electronic anyway.

So maybe I will - as you say - just try to do the exchange and see how far I get.
Cheers !
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,807 Posts
Pose your questions to the local prefecture in all innocence (which is to say, without giving them your name) and see what they say. If you don't like the answer, you can always try an end run another way - but at least you'll find out if there is some way they can (or will) verify your date of entry into the country.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,094 Posts
Hello all,

I'm a dual Australian / British national with an Australian drivers licence.
When I first came to Paris I wasn't aware that during the first year I could easily exchange it and after having passed this period it would be necessary to start again from scratch.

I'm just wondering if any other dual nationals have been in this situation ? Or have knowledge of how it would work, what documents would be required ? Normally as an Australian I would have a carte de séjour/visa, from which they can tell when you arrived in France. I have passed the 1 year cut off point to exchange the licence - but would they know that since I don't use a carte de séjour/visa ?

Would there be any way I could bypass this long & expensive process of obtaining a French licence ?

Thanks in advance !
Why not get a UK licence if you are eligible and then you can drive all over Europe on it. You'll need an address in the UK for contact purposes and you'll probably have to take a test there but it's only a hop across the channel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,807 Posts
Frankly, it used to be much easier 10 or 15 years ago to simply nip across the border to get a driving license in a neighboring country. These days, all the various countries have cracked down on the residence requirement. It's even the case back in the US - though the motivations may be a bit different over there. (Big deal over "illegal aliens" getting driver's licenses.)

Have you tried the "sweet and innocent" approach yet? I mean just going down to the préfecture and trying to exchange your Aussie license with what you have at the moment? If you are careful and only answer the question put to you, volunteering no extraneous information, you may find someone willing to do the exchange. If you're "found out" then ask them very nicely what you need to do (without offering any suggestions). This is still France and you never know what might be possible until you try.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,094 Posts
That's because you're not eligible. You aren't a resident of the UK so you are not eligible. Simple as that.
I wasn't a resident of the UK for 22 years but maintained and renewed both mine and my wife's UK driving licences during that time - it is possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks very much David & Bev for your responses,

Due to my working hours I haven't been able to get to the prefecture yet but will be able to do so on Monday - I'll let you know what the outcome of my innocent questions should be - the info might also be helpful to someone else in the future.

I found this on the service-public.fr website, it seems this applies to dual nationals (final paragraph in bold below) :

Pièces supplémentaires pour le demandeur européen:

2 photocopies recto-verso de votre carte d'identité ou de votre passeport (ou de votre éventuelle carte de séjour)

Un justificatif de votre résidence en France depuis 6 mois minimum (contrat de location, facture d'électricité, feuille d'imposition...)

Un certificat (d’immatriculation, de résidence, de radiation) de votre représentation diplomatique dans le pays étranger qui vous a délivré le permis. Ce certificat doit couvrir la date d'obtention de votre permis

Si vous possédez en plus de votre nationalité européenne, la nationalité du pays de délivrance de votre permis (bi-national) et que vous ne pouvez pas fournir ce certificat, vous pouvez présenter tout justificatif de votre résidence pendant au moins 6 mois dans le dit pays incluant la date d'obtention de votre permis.



They certainly don't make it easy ! Digging up documents from 15 years ago will be anything but a walk in the park.
Cheers :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,807 Posts
This is where the innocent question technique comes in. Ask whoever you talk to what kind of document they are looking for. I kind of suspect that this bit is in there for the Americans - because some states licenses can be exchanged and others can't. There is a fairly recent requirement that you have held your driving license for at least a year before you came to France - to prevent the Yanks from nipping over to a neighboring state to get an exchangeable license on their next holiday back home.

But do ask the prefecture what THEY require for documents in your case. They sometimes don't read the Service Public site.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Hello all,

I'm a dual Australian / British national with an Australian drivers licence.
When I first came to Paris I wasn't aware that during the first year I could easily exchange it and after having passed this period it would be necessary to start again from scratch.

I'm just wondering if any other dual nationals have been in this situation ? Or have knowledge of how it would work, what documents would be required ? Normally as an Australian I would have a carte de séjour/visa, from which they can tell when you arrived in France. I have passed the 1 year cut off point to exchange the licence - but would they know that since I don't use a carte de séjour/visa ?

Would there be any way I could bypass this long & expensive process of obtaining a French licence ?

Thanks in advance !
Hello there,

As a British National with an Australian drivers licence be aware you have until 18 months to exchange your licence (and not 12 months).

From service-public.fr :
Si vous êtes Européen
Votre permis de conduire non européen est valable pendant un délai maximum d'un an suivant l'acquisition de votre résidence normale en France (soit au plus 18 mois, c'est à dire les 6 premiers mois de votre résidence en France + 12 mois).

Also be aware as a British National this is not your entry into France who is important but when you have become a resident (you are resident usually if you live more than 6 months per year in France...). So we do not have a "specific" file for the europeen citizen who tell us for how long you have been in France (for example you can go to live in Italy for 7 months without showing your passport to leave France and come back.....so nobody in France will know you even left....). In fact they will try to know if you are become a resident and for how long....that all....so because that take time usually they are just looking the documents they ask you to give.....

Cheers
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top