Is a translator allowed during French driving tests?

Those who do not exchange their foreign licence within the right time frame will need to take a driving test in the country

There are set rules relating to the use of foreign driving licences in France
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Reader Question: I forgot to switch over my driving licence in the specified period after moving (I am Australian). Now I need to take a French test but I am not confident with my language skills. Can a translator help me?

We recently ran an article about driving licence exchange rules for different nationalities.

Some – including Australians – must exchange their licence within 12 months of moving to France.

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

If they do not they will need to obtain a French licence to be able to drive in the country.

Translators are possible for theory tests

The French government allows people to have assistance when taking their examen du code de la route (theory test) under certain circumstances.

This mainly allows for deaf testees to use a sign language translator, or for other disabled people to have special assistance, but can also apply to non-Francophones taking the test.

Those who cannot speak French can use a translator, however this has to be a traducteur agréé, i.e someone who is recognised by the local courts.

You can read more about how to get an approved translator below.

Read more: How to find an approved translator

It is the responsibility of the person taking the test to arrange, and pay for their translator, and to make the arrangements with the test centre beforehand. Note that the state will pay for a French sign language interpreter for deaf testees.

What about the practical driving test in France?

The practical side of the driving test is organised by ANTS, the national road agency, who will arrange a driving instructor for you.

This instructor may ask you some basic information at the start of the test, to verify you and your situation, as well as questions during the test.

They will also give you instructions to follow when driving.

You cannot ask for an instructor who speaks English (nor will they speak English to you during the test even if they can).

In addition, you are not allowed to bring a translator with you to the test to sit in the car with you.

It is possible to be accompanied by a relative who has held a driving licence for at least five years but only in departments where the Rdvpermis booking system is used for tests.

The accompanying person must fill in this special accompanying person certificate and bring it with them on the day of the test.

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