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Expats wait months for French driving licences

Delays with the exchange of foreign driving licences for French ones have not yet been resolved at the new CERT licences centre in Nantes, Loire-Atlantique.

23 July 2018
By Connexion journalist

The prefecture had said they would shortly be putting in place new, tailored IT systems and recruiting more staff.

However Connexion continues to hear from readers who are waiting months for their new French licences.

Expats may need to exchange, for example, a British licences for various reasons, such as having been flashed by a speed camera or having had a fine that would normally result in points being docked from a French licence, or because their UK licence is nearing its expiry date.

One reader, Ian Shedden, 69, said he had been waiting almost four months and called it a “dreadful situation”.

Readers Loretta Tinckham from the Var and Richard Cherriman also reported four-month delays, with Ms Tinkham saying her UK licence has now expired; meanwhile David Wilson from Manche said he had been waiting five months.

Connexion asked the prefecture if they can comment on why the delays are continuing, but they had not ‘approved’ a response on going to press (check connexionfrance.com for updates).

Its previous advice was that firstly it is not necessary to send off the actual licence with your application (which is now done by post), so you should be able to keep this to show relevant authorities. It added that CERT should automatically send applicants an attestation de dépôt (official note attesting to it having received the application) which it said people may present to the police if necessary, as proof for why they are driving with a licence past its expiry date.

The prefecture said this would be valid until a new licence was delivered.

Connexion has asked about the validity of the attestation for driving abroad in other EU countries like the UK. We are awaiting a reply.

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