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Exchange of a driving licence obtained in Europe (EEA)

Verified 05 novembre 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

You have a driver's licence European (or a British licence issued before 2021) and you wonder whether you have to exchange it for a French licence to drive in France? You may drive in France with this licence while it is valid. Exchange is only necessary in a few cases. This page shows you the cases and how to request an exchange.

You can drive in France with your licence European (and your UK licence issued before 2021) as long as it is valid.

The exchange of your driving licence against a French licence omandatory only in the following 3 casess:

  • 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

  Please note : several Member States European Union have decided to extend the validity of the driving licence given the difficulty of renewing them in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Contact the National Office of Driving Rights to find out if your European licence is concerned.

You must meet the following conditions:

  • Have your normal residence in France
  • Have the minimum age to drive the equivalent category of your licence (for permit B, 18 years or older )
  • Meet the medical requirements noted on your licence. For example, wearing glasses is mandatory.
  • If necessary, have passed medical examination for fitness for driving. For example, your health status implies a restriction on the validity of the licence.
  • Not having been sanctioned by a suspension, restriction or cancellation of your right to drive in the country of issue of the licence
  • Not having obtained your licence during a period when you were prohibited in France from applying for a driving licence
  • If your permit European was obtained by exchange, it must have been issued by a State with reciprocal exchange of licences with France [application/pdf - 357.4 KB] .

  Warning : if your licence European was obtained by exchange, it must have been issued by a State with reciprocal exchange of licences with France [application/pdf - 357.4 KB] . Otherwise, it is impossible to exchange it for a French licence. You can use it in France for 1 year from the acquisition of your normal residence in France. To continue driving in France beyond this time limit, you must pass examination of french driving licence.

Application for driver's licence exchange online on theCHILDREN.

Online application for exchange of foreigner driving licence

National Secured Securities Agency

Accessible with an ANTS account or via FranceConnect

To apply online, you need the following documents (photographed or scanned).

However, additional documents may be requested depending on your situation.

You are European

If you European, prepare the following documents:

  • Duplex colour image of original driver's licence
  • Vital Certificate with your birth name
  • Certificate of identity
  • Proof of domicile recent (less than 6 months)
  • 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)
  • Justification normal residence in France at the date of application. For example, tax/non-tax notice on income, employment contract, social security certificate...
  • 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 your licence has been lost or stolen, theft or loss

You have the nationality of another State

  • Duplex colour image of original driver's licence
  • 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
  • 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 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 your licence has been lost or stolen, theft or loss

You are French

  • Duplex colour image of original driver's licence
  • Certificate of identity
  • Proof of domicile less than 6 months
  • 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 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 your licence has been lost or stolen, theft or loss

The application for the exchange of driving licences is free.

In case of theft or loss of the driver's licence, you are directed to a page at the end of the online process to pay the cost of the new licence (€25).

After reviewing your application, your original foreigner driver's licence is required to verify its authenticity (except in case of suspension or cancellation).

You are contacted by SMS and email.

The email tells you how to hand in your driver's licence.

In exchange for your licence, you receive a secure deposit certificate (ADS) of your foreigner driver's licence.

This certificate allows you to drive while waiting to receive your French licence, within the period of recognition of your foreigners licence.

Depending on the complexity of your case, the processing time can be several months.

It is linked in particular to the verification of your driving rights via the EU driving licence network "RESPER".

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

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
  • and "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 issued to you is not trial permit unless the original permit has been obtained for less than 3 years.