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 ants.gouv.fr 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).