FrenchEntrée digital editor Zoë Smith takes you through the process of exchanging your UK or foreign driving licence for a French Permis de Conduire – step by step.
Back in August, I started the process of exchanging my British driving licence for a French one and, as promised, I’m taking you through the process with me in real-time. Here’s the latest.
First things first: I applied for my French licence on August 22nd, 2022, and you can read all about the application process and my experience here.
What happened next?
On October 10th, 2022 (seven weeks later), I received a text message (I had selected to receive both options, just in case!) stating:
« Votre demande en ligne doit etre completée. Connectez-vous à votre compte ANTS. »
(Your application needs to be completed)
I was told to log-in to my ANTS account for more information. It turns out that I was missing my birth certificate, so I added this to my application (note: I made sure that this was the long-form birth certificate issued from the UK, not the smaller official certificate that is most often used in the UK – read our article on Birth Certificates in France: What You Need to Know).
The next step: sending in your old licence
About two weeks later, on October 26th, 2022, I received another text message and email, this time saying:
« Pour finaliser votre demande en ligne vous devez envoyer votre permis original. Connectez-vous à votre compte ANTS. »
(To finalise your application, you need to send in your original driving licence).
Logging on, I found the details for sending in my original licence. I had to print out the accompanying form and send this and my licence (note: I only have a photocard licence but as the instructions say to send in ALL licences in your possession, I would assume that anyone who still has a paper licence in addition to a photocard licence should submit both) by recorded delivery – lettre recommandé avec accusé de reception.
Prior to doing this, I also took a photocopy of my driving licence and printed out the “Attestation de depôt de permis de conduire” – I will keep both of these with me whenever I drive.
My thoughts so far…
Having heard several reports of long wait times and requests for documents to be translated, I was slightly worried about running into issues during my application. However, I have been pleasantly surprised. I feel like my application has been dealt with very swiftly – the total time from submission to sending in my original licence has been seven weeks and, in my experience, anything under two months for any application of this kind in France is good! I’m also pleased I haven’t been asked for translations of any official documents – of course, there is still a chance that I may be, but generally speaking, if I’ve got to this stage, it should mean that my dossier has been deemed complete.
Now begins the waiting game! Let’s see how long it takes before I (hopefully!) receive my new French permis de conduire. I’ll keep you updated once I hear more.
Disclaimer: Please remember that I am taking you through the process with me in real-time! This means there is the possibility that I have made errors during the application process or may be requested to submit extra documents as I continue in the process. The idea is to give you all a real, first-hand account of the process, so I will keep you updated as I move through the different steps.
Also, remember that this application is specific to me and may not be the same for you. Depending on your age, nationality, licence type, and other factors, you may need additional documents to those that I have submitted.
UPDATE: I have now successfully received my new French driving licence!
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