Can I hold both a French and a UK driving licence?

A UK driving licence is valid for use in France

Committing a driving offence in France can require the exchange of a UK licence

Reader Question: We have recently moved to France. My British husband has a UK driving licence which he has had for 10 years. Can he keep this licence for driving in the UK and have a French one for France?

Your husband cannot hold driving licences from both the UK and France. 

You stated your husband’s licence is 10 years old, meaning it does not need to be exchanged within the first 12 months of him moving to France. 

Those with a UK driving licence first obtained after January 2021 must exchange it for a French licence within one year of moving.

Post-Brexit agreements mean UK licences from before this date are valid in France without being exchanged, until they expire or the licence holder commits an offence that would see them lose points on a French licence.

In either of these cases, the licence must then be exchanged for a French one. 

Read more: Driving: When do you need to swap foreign licence for French licence?

It is up to your husband whether he keeps his UK licence until it expires, or exchanges it beforehand. 

There are no particular benefits to having a French licence which result from an early exchange. 

Once having applied for a French driving licence, the old licence – regardless of the country where it was issued – must be sent to the driving authorities in France, in order to receive the new French licence.

Applicants receive instructions on how and where to send the licence which should be via registered mail (lettre recommandé avec accusé de réception). 

Note that your husband can also use his French licence to drive in the UK, he will not require an international driving permit or similar document. 

Read more: Can I renew my UK driving licence using my French address?

Read more: French driving licence: mobile app lets you keep original at home