Do I have to renew my French driving licence?

I am confused about whether I need to  renew my French permis de conduire (driving licence). It was issued on December 1, 2014, and the face of the card says it expires on December 1, 2019. The reverse shows no expiry in column 11 for category B – a car. Should I renew it or not? G.W.

25 September 2019
By Oliver Rowland

A French category B entitlement does not have a set cut-off point such as an age-related one, as in the UK where a licence must be renewed at age 70, pledging that you do not have medical conditions making you unfit to drive.

This is why there is no expiry marked for this on the French card. However, the validity of the card (this is different to the validity of your right to drive) may be five years in the case of licences with heavy vehicle entitlements, or otherwise 15 years.

We presume your licence, which you probably exchanged for a foreign licence, has such entitlements listed on it.

If you were to drive with no right to drive – ie. no valid rights on the back of the card – it is a much more serious offence than driving with an expired card.

Nevertheless, you should apply to renew the card before it expires.

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