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Delays as licence services go online

New online systems for driving licences and cartes grises car registration documents have led to significant delays and problems despite being intended to simplify processes

Cartes grises are now processed online at the website of ANTS (Agence Nationale des Titres Sécurisés) which also processes some French driving licence requests such as replacing ones that have been lost or stolen.

Meanwhile the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique at Nantes has been tasked with issue of French driving licences in exchange for foreign ones. Both services have been hit with delays.

Connexion reader Dave Lea experienced technical problems with the ANTS site after trying to help a friend who had moved to France with a British car.

He said previously the process of re-registering took him “around an hour” by visiting officials in person. However on the ANTS site he was told his ‘dossier [had] been received’ but he was unable to finalise the process with a payment.

He said one solution may be to go to one of the ‘digital points’ said to be on offer in his prefecture and staffed by ‘digital mediators’, however “the problem is exacerbated by the fact that you should not start a second application for the same car – surely a recipe for disaster”.

Another reader, David Miller, applied to Nantes to replace his British driving licence which was approaching expiry and is now faced with driving with no licence after an extended period waiting for a French one.

Connexion telephoned the Interior Ministry, to which ANTS is attached: we were told there is no communication service for ANTS but the ministry is aware of the issues, which have now lasted several months and are due to IT problems, and large numbers of people are working on trying to resolve it...

We also received information from Loire-Atlantique that the validity period of foreign licences is extended up to the time of delivery or refusal of a French licence, as long as the application for exchange was made before the expiry date.

A spokesperson added: “It’s true that we have been experiencing difficulties since the creation of the new Centre d’Expertise et de Ressources Titres [CERT – centre of expertise and resources for licences].

“This new organisation has generated a large influx and has caused several weeks of delays.

“Shortly we will be putting in place new, tailored IT systems and recruiting a large number of temporary staff, which should allow us to progressively return to normal.”

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