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Driving Licences


Below you'll find some general information about Driving Licences. If you are planning to exchange your UK licence for a French one, we recommend that you join the Apply For a French Driving Licence Facebook group.


If you have moved to France you will be considering exchanging your driving licence.  However, due to Brexit the rules have changed and the French have issued a Decree and put it into law the procedure for those who have official evidence of being a resident in France for 185 days (normal residence) before Brexit (whatever date it turns out to be).


If you wish to read the Decree it can be found here :  Decree dated 07 April 2019






Resident in France 185 days before actual date of Brexit


The French have taken the decision that if your UK/NI Licence is legal and valid, they want you to continue driving on it until it expires or a policeman takes it away.


This Decree is actively directed at No Deal as they do not want to exchange our licences unless absolutely necessary. The system is overwhelmed with the current level of applications. (Last count 56,000 (Sept 19).

In brief, if you are a resident in France for 185 days (normal residence) or more before Brexit, (whatever that date is), you CANNOT exchange your licence until you meet one of the conditions.


Your licence will be accepted for exchange if you meet at one of the conditions below.

·         Licence or Photocard due to expire in the next 9 months

·         Licence lost

·         Licence stolen

·         New driving category added to your licence

·         You are INSTRUCTED by a Gendarme to exchange your licence should you commit a serious driving offence (normally a 3 point offence) and are issued a specific notice to do so (not the same as a speeding 1 point letter, just pay the fine for now).


If you have the 185 days (normal residence) evidence before Brexit but are unable to exchange or you have had your application returned, you will exchange your licence later when you meet one of the conditions on the same terms available to you now as an EU citizen, not as a TCN.




If you arrive after Brexit or have not achieved the 185 days evidence required, then you will apply as a TCN and you will have 12 months to start the application (not complete it) from the date of Brexit (whatever it is).  If you fail to meet this requirement after 12 months then you will be required to take the two part driving test to continue driving in France.


If there is a deal then you will have until Dec 2020 to reach the 185 residency days that are required



Should you wish further information or help and advice on how to exchange your licence, please join the Facebook group Applying for a French Driving Licences (and don’t forget to answer the 3 joining questions).


Click the link here Applying for a French Driving Licence