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How long does it take to swap foreign driving licence to a French one?

British drivers who need to exchange because their licence is expiring should apply at least six months in advance of their licence running out

French driving licence Pic: aurelie le moigne / Shutterstock

Reader question: I have a UK driving licence and I am thinking about applying to exchange it for a French one. How long will this take?

Applications to swap a non-EU driving licence for a French one are taking about seven months.

For an EU licence, the waiting time is four months, the ANTS agency responsible for collecting applications for driving licence exchanges has revealed. 

It says this is due to high volumes but aims to improve this.

Applications made via are sent for processing to the CERT at Nantes, or Paris for residents there.

An ANTS spokeswoman said officials now wait until they have almost finished the process before requesting that the person send in their licence. 

They then supply an attestation de dépôt sécurisée, which, with a photocopy of the original licence, allows the person to continue to drive legally in France while waiting for the final processing steps and delivery of the new licence.

We suggest that readers who need to swap a British licence because it is approaching its expiry date should apply to do so at least six months before it runs out.

The spokeswoman said that when difficulties are reported – eg. someone’s licence has now expired – it will tell the CERT so the driver can receive their attestation as soon as possible.

If anyone needs personal help from ANTS, they should call on 34 00 (7:45 to 19:00 Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 17:00 Saturday).

Related articles:

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Process, costs, carte grise: How to register a car in France

Can resident of France ride a 125cc motorbike on UK driving licence?

Resident or second-home owner in France?
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