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Exchange of non-EEA driving licences (installation in France)

Verified 18 mai 2022 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Settle in France and wonder if you can drive with your foreigner licence? A driving licence issued by a countryno European (except for a UK licence issued before 2021) is valid for 1 Year from the acquisition of normal residence in France. Exchange for a French licence is required to drive longer. This page shows you the rules to know and how to exchange your licence.

You are a student

If you are a foreigner student and have a student residence permit, you have no need to request exchange of your driving licence.

You driving in France with your non-European licence during your studies.

You're in a different situation

You have a British driver's licence

Permit issued before 2021

You don't no need to request exchange your British licence against a French licence.

Your British licence is recognised in France as long as it is valid.

Exchange of your British licence issued before 2021 for a French licence is required only in the following cases :

  • Your licence has expired
  • You are requesting a new licence category (extension)
  • In France, you commit a traffic violation resulting in loss of points, restriction, suspension or cancellation of your licence
  • Your licence was stolen
  • You lost your licence
  • Your licence is damaged
Permit issued in 2021 and later

You request exchange your British licence against a French licence.

You're in a different situation

You must request the exchange of your driving licence no European against a French licence if you settle in France.

A licence issued by a non-member State European is valid only1 Year from the acquisition of normal residence in France.

Your foreigner driving licence must meet the following conditions:

If these conditions are not met, you must pass the driving test in France.

  FYI : it is not possible to get the motorcycle A permit by exchange. One motorcycle A2 permit you have been issued follow training after 2 years to obtain the A permit.

You must meet the following conditions:

  • Have the minimum age to drive vehicles of the equivalent category of your licence in France
  • Have your normal residence in France
  • Have a valid residence permit if you are neither European nor French
  • Passed the permit exam when you had your normal residence in the country of issue of the permit
  • Meet any medical requirements noted on your licence.
    For example, wearing glasses is mandatory.
  • If necessary, have passed medical examination for fitness for driving.
    For example, if your health condition involves a restriction on the licence term.
  • Not having been sanctioned by suspension, withdrawal or cancellation of your right to drive in the country of issue of the licence
  • Not having been punished in France, before having obtained a driving licence in another country, by a cancellation or invalidating your right to drive

You are a foreigner (first regular arrival)

You have 1 year from the acquisition of your normal residence in France to request the exchange of the driving licence obtained at the foreigner (excluding EEA).

If you have a 1st residence card

You must apply for an exchange of your licence less than 1 year after the date of your card delivery.

  Please note : the period of 1 year shall not run from the renewal of a residence permit or the change of status for the right to stay. For example, the 1st permanent resident card or a residence permit that would follow a 1st residence permit does not allow a new application for a driving licence exchange.

If you have a long-stay visa valid as a residence permit

You must apply for an exchange of your licence less than 1 year after:

  • the date of validation of the visa online service,
  • or the date of the sticker affixed by theOfii on 1to long-stay visa valid residence permit

  Please note : the period of 1 year shall not run from the renewal of a residence permit or the change of status for the right to stay. For example, the 1st permanent resident card or a residence permit that would follow a 1st residence permit does not allow a new application for a driving licence exchange.

If you have a receipt for recognition of international protection (Ofpra)

You must request the exchange less than 1 year after receipt delivery date application for a residence permit.

The residence permit valid for residence must indicate one of the following:

  • ‘recognised refugee’
  • or ‘granted subsidiary protection’
  • or ‘has applied for the first residence permit granted stateless status’

  Please note : the period of 1 year shall not run from the renewal of a residence permit or the change of status for the right to stay. For example, the 1st permanent resident card or a residence permit that would follow a 1st residence permit does not allow a new application for a driving licence exchange.

You are European (EEA, Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland)

You must apply for an exchange of your licence from 6e month of stay in France and before 18e month.

You are French

You must apply for an exchange of your licence less than 1 year after your establishment in France.

  FYI : if you have obtained your driving licence in France, you must request the reinstatement of your French driving rights.

The request is made online on the website of theCHILDREN.

Online application for exchange of foreigner driving licence

National Secured Securities Agency

Accessed with an account CHILDREN or FranceConnect

You need the following documents, photographed or scanned.

However, the instructor service can request the originals if necessary.

In addition, additional documents can be requested depending on your situation.

You are foreigners

  • Duplex colour image of original driver's licence
  • Translation of the driver's licence if it is not written in French.
    Translation must be legalised or apostilled if it is made in foreigner.
    If it is made in France, it must be made by skilled translator or by the embassy in France of the country that issued the permit.
  • Certificate of identity
  • Proof of domicile less than 6 months
  • Proof of regularity of residence in France (residence permit or Ofii sticker on your passport)
  • Photo Code and Digital Signature .
    If you don't have access to a digital signature and photo service, you can complete and mail a photo signature (FPS) form during the remote procedure.
  • Certification of driving rights less than 6 months on the date of application
    This document shall be issued by the foreign authorities which issued the driving licence.
    It allows you to verify that your licence has not been suspended, withdrawn or cancelled.
  • Translation of the certificate of driving rights if not in French, by a skilled translator in France.
  • If you do not have the nationality of the country of issue of the permit, proof of normal residence in the foreigner at the time of issue of the foreigner permit.
    For example, certification of registration and cancellation of consular records, employment contract, pay slips, work certificates.
  • If you have heavy permit, medical opinion of fitness for driving in heavy categories, or declaration of renunciation in heavy categories
  • If your licence has been cancelled or suspended: decision to cancel or suspend + mail informing of the obligation to exchange sent by the prefecture + medical opinion

All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by a translation skilled translator.

You are an internationally protected foreigner (Ofpra)

You are in this situation if you are recognised as a refugee, admitted to subsidiary protection or stateless.

  • Duplex colour image of original driver's licence
  • Translation of the driver's licence if it is not written in French.
    Translation must be legalised or apostilled if it is made in foreigner.
    If it is made in France, it must be made by skilled translator or by the embassy in France of the country that issued the permit.
  • Certificate of identity
  • Proof of domicile less than 6 months
  • Proof of regularity of residence in France (residence permit or Ofii sticker on your passport)
  • Photo Code and Digital Signature .
    If you don't have access to a digital signature and photo service, you can complete and mail a photo signature (FPS) form during the remote procedure.
  • If you do not have the nationality of the country of issue of the permit, proof of normal residence in the foreigner at the time of issue of the foreigner permit.
    For example, certification of registration and cancellation of consular records, employment contract, pay slips, work certificates.
  • If you have heavy permit, medical opinion of fitness for driving in heavy categories, or declaration of renunciation in heavy categories
  • If your licence has been cancelled or suspended: decision to cancel or suspend + mail informing of the obligation to exchange sent by the prefecture + medical opinion

All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by a translation skilled translator.

You are European

If you European, prepare the following documents:

  • Duplex colour image of original driver's licence
  • Translation of the driver's licence if it is not written in French.
    Translation must be legalised or apostilled if it is made in foreigner.
    If it is made in France, it must be made by skilled translator or by the embassy in France of the country that issued the permit.
  • Certificate of identity
  • Proof of domicile less than 6 months
  • Photo Code and Digital Signature
    If you don't have access to a digital signature and photo service, you can complete and mail a photo signature (FPS) form during the remote procedure.
  • Certification of driving rights less than 6 months on the date of application
    This document shall be issued by the foreign authorities which issued the driving licence.
    It allows you to verify that your licence has not been suspended, withdrawn or cancelled.
  • Translation of the certificate of driving rights if not in French, by a skilled translator in France
  • Justification normal residence in France on the date of application
  • Justification of the date of arrival in France.
    For example, boarding tickets, social security.
  • If you do not have the nationality of the country of issue of the permit, proof of normal residence in the State foreigner at the time of issue of the foreigner permit.
    For example, certification of registration and cancellation of consular records, employment contract, pay slips, work certificates...
  • If you have heavy permit, medical opinion of fitness for driving in heavy categories, or declaration of renunciation in heavy categories
  • If your licence has been cancelled or suspended, decision to cancel or suspend + mail informing of the obligation to exchange sent by the prefecture + medical opinion

All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by a translation approved translator.

You are French

  • Duplex colour image of original driver's licence
  • Translation of the driver's licence if it is not written in French.
    Translation must be legalised or apostilled if it is made in foreigner.
    If it is made in France, it must be made by skilled translator or by the embassy in France of the country that issued the permit.
  • Certificate of identity
  • Proof of domicile less than 6 months
    Photo Code and Digital Signature
    If you don't have access to a digital signature and photo service, you can complete and mail a photo signature (FPS) form during the remote procedure.
  • Certification of driving rights less than 6 months on the date of application
    This document shall be issued by the foreign authorities which issued the driving licence.
    It allows you to verify that your licence has not been suspended, withdrawn or cancelled.
  • Translation of the certificate of driving rights if not in French, by a skilled translator in France
  • Justification of the return date in France.
    For example, certificate of removal from consular registers, pôle emploi registration, employment contract, social security certificate.
  • If you do not have the nationality of the country of issue of the permit, proof of normal residence in the foreigner at the time of issue of the foreigner permit.
    For example, certification of registration and cancellation of consular records, employment contract, pay slips, work certificates.
  • If you have heavy permit, medical opinion of fitness for driving in heavy categories, or declaration of renunciation in heavy categories
  • If your licence has been cancelled or suspended, decision to cancel or suspend + mail informing of the obligation to exchange sent by the prefecture + medical opinion
  • If you are French and under 25 years of age, copy of the individual certificate of participation in the defence and citizenship day (JDC) or provisional certificate pending at the JDC or individual exemption certificate

The free.

While your request is being investigated, you can drive because you keep your driver's licence.

Depending on the complexity of your case, the instruction may last months.

At the end of the statement, your original foreigner driver's licence is required to verify its authenticity (unless suspended or cancelled).

You are contacted by SMS and email.

The e-mail explains how to send your original driver's licence in registered mail.

When the instructor receives the moose of your permit, you can download on the site of the ANTS a secure deposit certificate (ADS).

ADS is valid 4 months.

This certificate driver's licence pending receipt of your French licence, within the period of recognition of your foreigner licence.

You follow the production and sending of your driving licence online.

Once connected to your space CHILDREN, you view your request in the dashboard.

Driver's licence: follow the progress of his driving application

National Secured Securities Agency

Accessible with FranceConnect or with your IDs.

Shipping driver's licenceExpert Letter.

This is a secure shipment, with hand-over against signature.

  • The address you specify during the online procedure must be as complete as possible
    (building number, flat number, mailbox number, floor, corridor, staircase, "resident",...)
  • Your mailbox must include the first and last name of the person receiving the mail.

If you are absent when the postman passes, you must go to the Post Office in the 15 days with your notice of passage or with the number of the Expert Letter.

If you couldn't get to the Post Office within 15 days, you don't have to do anything.

Your permit will be sent to you.

In other cases, contactCHILDREN via the contact form:

Who shall I contact

The date of issue indicated on the permit is the date of issue of the french permit.

From this date, the permit is valid 15 years.

However, the validity period of the permit is different in the following 2 cases:

  • In case medical condition requiring restriction
  • For "heavy" categories whose validity is linked to the age of the driver. For example, 5 years for a driver under 55.

  FYI : the french licence that is given to you is trial permit if the original permit is also valid.