Reader question: I drive in France with a UK driving licence. In such a case, are we obliged to report new health problems with regard to our right to drive in France? H.D.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry’s sécurité routière section, responsible for road safety rules, said that all drivers have responsibilities with regard to their medical aptitude to drive.
“Depending on the case – illness, an operation, an accident – driving restrictions or adaptations to the vehicle may be necessary,” he said.
“In these situations, a driver with a UK licence will have to exchange his or her licence for a French one as the cancellation or modification of a licence (such as changes in the permitted driving categories) requires an exchange.”
Certain significant changes to your health should be flagged up in case they could affect your right to drive or require certain restrictions to be followed.
In this case, you should arrange an appointment with a médecin agréé (accredited doctor). Details of these can be obtained from prefectures. Your own GP should also be able to advise.
The rules on medical conditions and driving have recently been revised and a full list in French can be found at Légifrance website.
In some cases, it is now acknowledged that new technologies make it increasingly possible to adapt vehicles so people with mobility problems can continue to drive.
Another change is that people with treated diabetes which poses no risks of hypoglycaemia no longer need to take a medical.
The new text also says that people suffering from Alzheimer’s and similar dementia conditions should not drive from the first signs of a cognitive decline.