Driving Licences and Brexit: Interior Ministry advice

The French Interior Ministry has created new information pages for Britons in France after Brexit; we have translated key sections of them.

Does my British driving licence allow me to drive in France? Do I have to exchange it and if so, when?

In the event of a withdrawal agreement coming into force

The withdrawal agreement does not contain any provision on driving licences. However, it provides for a transition period.

During the transition period, European rules continue to apply in France and the United Kingdom: there will be no consequences with regard to driving licences.

After the transition period, three scenarios apply according to whether you will be travelling in France as a tourist or as a resident.

*If you reside in France, specific and reciprocal provisions will later specify the terms of exchange for holders of a British driving licence residing in France.

*If you are a tourist in France, you can drive for the duration of your stay with your British driving licence. An international driving licence is not required if you have a translation of your driving licence.

*If you intend to settle in France after the transition period your British driving licence will be acceptable on French territory for one year, but you must apply for an exchange within this period.

In the absence of a withdrawal agreement

The three scenarios apply from the date of Brexit [now set for March 29, 2019.]

*If you reside in France, specific and reciprocal provisions will later specify the terms of exchange for holders of a British driving licence residing in France.

*If you are a tourist in France, you can drive for the duration of your stay with your British driving licence. An international driving licence is not required if you have a translation of your driving licence.

*If you intend to settle in France, your British driving licence is recognised on French territory for one year, but you must apply for an exchange within this period.

 

If I exchange my British driver's licence for a French one, will I be able to drive in Great Britain or be able to recover my rights to drive in that country?

There is no answer to that question today. It will depend on specific arrangements to be made by the United Kingdom or on reciprocal arrangements agreed at a later date.

                            

If I exchange my British driving licence for a French one, can I drive in other EU Member States?

 A French driving licence allows you to drive in European Union countries.

During the transition period, your British driving licence will allow you to drive in the other countries of the European Union.

However, after the transition period, or in the absence of a withdrawal agreement, if you hold a British driving licence and wish to travel to other EU countries, it is recommended that you seek advice from the country’s authorities. Each member state of the Union is sovereign to decide on the regulations applicable to the recognition and exchange of driving licences with countries outside the European Union.

What documents are required to obtain the exchange of my British driving licence? [Editor’s note: this list is aimed at applying after the transition period or a no-deal Brexit, not while still holding the rights of an EU citizen, as for the latter the requirements are simpler - it is therefore advisable to apply earlier]

* Cerfa form n°14879*01 filled in and signed (a mobile phone number and/or email address must be mentioned)

* Cerfa form n°14948*01 reference 06 completed and signed

* Original driver's licence

* Proof of identity

* Proof of residency

* Proof of your legal right to stay in France (such as a temporary residency card, residency card, multi-annual card, etc.)

* Proof of residency in the United Kingdom on the date of issue of the licence unless you are a British national only (at least 185 days in the calendar year in which the licence was obtained, with personal and/or professional ties)

* Attestation of driving rights less than 3 months old from the United Kingdom authorities to prove that you are not subject to a suspension, withdrawal or cancellation of the right to drive; the attestation must be accompanied by a translation carried out by an authorised translator

* Official translation of the driving licence into French, either established in France by an authorised translator, or a legalised translation established abroad

* 4 photos (one attached to each of the 2 cerfa forms)

If you live in Corsica or in certain French overseas departments (Reunion, French Guiana, Martinique or Mayotte), you will need to pay the required amount of the regional tax by cheque made out to the régisseur des recettes (official in charge of revenue).

If you meet the exchange conditions, you will be asked to send the original of your licence. You will receive in return a certificate valid for a maximum of 12 months. It allows you to prove that you are in the process of exchanging your licence, and that you cannot be held responsible for being unable to present it if asked.

Travelling 

Residency rights 

Nationality 

Integration 

Elections 

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