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 Post subject: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:08 pm 
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First of all, there is a difference between an EEE licence, which includes the EU, Switzerland and Norway and possibly others, and a licence from any other country.

Despite the impression given by TF1 this evening, as far as French law is concerned, your EU (EEE) licence (i.e. GB licence) is valid here permanently. If your licence is from anywhere else, it is only valid for one year, after which is must be exchanged for a French one.

The change in the law this month means that if you play the game of having two licences, for example, a French one and a British one, then if either of them is suspended for any reason, then you may not drive in France. This effectively closes the loophole of driving on one licence if the other has been taken away for some legal reason.

This information is on the following link, updated on 22 January 2013 :

http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/F1757.xhtml

It would be advisable for anyone living in France who is driving with a GB licence to take a printout of this link and keep it with their carte grise. It's surprising how many police/gendarmes do not know this particular law.


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:35 pm 
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Thanks for that Blaze.. :-bd We too were watching the TF1 news and the impression we gained was that UK licences were only valid for 12 months here - after which they must be exchanged for a French one. That link of yours dispels that theory.. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:54 am 
Blaze, how can anyone have one UK licence and one French? We had to give in our UK licences to get French ones? Having said that, there is a way but it's not legal.


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:18 am 
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Whatever about the interpretation of licence validity, the point of the Cour de Cassation judgment was that if your French licence is taken away, you cannot then legally use your foreign licence to drive in France.

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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:06 am 
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Basil wrote:
Blaze, how can anyone have one UK licence and one French? We had to give in our UK licences to get French ones? Having said that, there is a way but it's not legal.

Yes, there are ways to have both - in the same way as it is possible to obtain a duplicate GB licence in order to keep one "clean" one. It's illegal and which is why they have now closed that loophole.


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:13 am 
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You can also be obliged to get a French licence if you commit a motoring offence (involving points) - if you are French-resident.

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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:31 pm 
MAD87 wrote:
You can also be obliged to get a French licence if you commit a motoring offence (involving points) - if you are French-resident.


Yes I think we might all know that, all forum motoring experts drone on mercilessly about such things :))


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:34 pm 
Blaze wrote:
Basil wrote:
Blaze, how can anyone have one UK licence and one French? We had to give in our UK licences to get French ones? Having said that, there is a way but it's not legal.

Yes, there are ways to have both - in the same way as it is possible to obtain a duplicate GB licence in order to keep one "clean" one. It's illegal and which is why they have now closed that loophole.


That's exactly what I was talking about and over the years many people did exactly that. Not sure if it ever really worked out any good as I don't know anyone who was ever banned from one licence and thus used the other. I guess it was intended as a possible fall back should such a thing occur


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:39 pm 
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Basil wrote:
MAD87 wrote:
You can also be obliged to get a French licence if you commit a motoring offence (involving points) - if you are French-resident.


Yes I think we might all know that, all forum motoring experts drone on mercilessly about such things :))

Not so. Three-four years ago I was advised by letter that I'd lost 6 points for 2 speeding offences. At no point was I told to take out a French licence.

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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:09 pm 
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Basil wrote:

Yes I think we might all know that, all forum motoring experts drone on mercilessly about such things :))

:-

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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:00 pm 
Piperade wrote:
Basil wrote:
MAD87 wrote:
You can also be obliged to get a French licence if you commit a motoring offence (involving points) - if you are French-resident.


Yes I think we might all know that, all forum motoring experts drone on mercilessly about such things :))

Not so. Three-four years ago I was advised by letter that I'd lost 6 points for 2 speeding offences. At no point was I told to take out a French licence.


:)) Don't tell me, tell the likes of forum motoring experts, I couldn't give a monkey's. When we arrived in France, we were obliged to hand in our UK licences for French licences anyway.

Cripes, if you lost 6 points, you must have been driving well over the limit to lose that many points and they were pretty barmy to tell you had lost 6 points off a licence you never had :-o


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:11 pm 
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Yes, Basil, but you've been in France for years.. maybe the law has changed since you arrived.

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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:03 pm 
It certainly has, in fact it changed yonks ago.

So how fast were you travelling then, if it was two equal cases of 3 points, then it was 30-40 kph over the top :-o and if it was a 4 pointer and a 2 pointer then for the former, 40-50 kph OTT, phew that's some sans permis you got there :))


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Yes, it was 2 flashes on the same trip.. Can't remember the excess speed but it was around 30km/h in both cases. It was this little experience that decided me to change the car for one with cruise control.

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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Under EU law it is forbidden to hold more than one EU issued driving licence and apart from the fact that you have to surrender one to get the other the most recently issued one instantly nullifies any and all previous ones anyway so whilst by surreptitious or outright deceitful means you might have a copy of your old UK licence in your possession it isn't worth the paper or plastic it's printed on and you certainly cannot legitimately drive on it.

In addition the final step in a licence exchange is for the new issuing authority to inform the previous one of the fact therefore if you exchange for a French licence it will become a matter of record with the DVLA.

Article 7 para 5a and Article 11 para 3.

Incidentally, since the new EU licence came into effect on Jan 19th member states have the right to require holders of old paper licences to exchange them for a community model photocard after living in the country for 2 years. Whether the French will take up on this or not we don't know but for those sitting on old UK paper licences hoping to hang onto them until age 70 then that it is no longer a given that that will be the case.

Article 2 para 2


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:50 pm 
Piperade wrote:
Yes, it was 2 flashes on the same trip.. Can't remember the excess speed but it was around 30km/h in both cases. It was this little experience that decided me to change the car for one with cruise control.


We had that but in cases where the speed limits keep changing, it is not a player but good for long journeys where the speed limit is constant and without changes.

Coming across the Pyrenees a few years ago from Spain towards France and close to Perpignan there were several roadworks and the speed limit kept changing and not clear, or obvious. The temporary cameras were put on the central concrete barriers, I suspect it was a really good earner, the b******s!


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:57 pm 
ErnieY wrote:
Incidentally, since the new EU licence came into effect on Jan 19th member states have the right to require holders of old paper licences to exchange them for a community model photocard after living in the country for 2 years. Whether the French will take up on this or not we don't know but for those sitting on old UK paper licences hoping to hang onto them until age 70 then that it is no longer a given that that will be the case.

Article 2 para 2

Ernie,

I have the old French "paper" licence and several of us have been informed that we are OK until 2033 until they need to be changed for the newer licence. I would prefer to change it asap, as the other one is in rather poor condition.

Can you confirm what we have been told?


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:58 pm 
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We have a 110 limit in 06 and long stretches of tunnels and autoroute around Nice that are 90. There are speed cameras all over the bloody place. Cruise control is great with multiple settings to select the speed.

Bastards with Monaco and Swiss plates just speed away because they can't be traced.


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:03 pm 
Found it, Ernie.

http://www.service-public.fr/actualites/002083.html

À partir de septembre 2013, le permis de conduire sera au « format carte de crédit ». Une photographie, les mentions liées à l’état-civil et aux droits à conduire du conducteur, une puce électronique et une bande de lecture optique y seront insérés. Les conducteurs détenteurs d’un ancien modèle de permis devront le renouveler d’ici janvier 2033, la reprise des anciens titres n’intervenant pas avant 2014. Ce nouveau modèle devra être renouvelé tous les 15 ans.


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Evening Ernie.
You're quoting refs to EU Directives, not French law
Clarification of the status of EU Directives is given on the EU Commission website, at http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/introduction/what_directive_en.htm

Basil, you beat me to it! My tatty old pink FR licence is still going (you can tell how old it is by the pic, I'm a jolie brunette in that. Haven't been a brunette for years :(()

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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:17 pm 
liz wrote:
Basil, you beat me to it! My tatty old pink FR licence is still going (you can tell how old it is by the pic, I'm a jolie brunette in that. Haven't been a brunette for years :(()


And on mine I looked like Sonny Bono, now I look more like Bob Hoskins :))


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:35 pm 
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Basil wrote:
ErnieY wrote:
Incidentally, since the new EU licence came into effect on Jan 19th member states have the right to require holders of old paper licences to exchange them for a community model photocard after living in the country for 2 years. Whether the French will take up on this or not we don't know but for those sitting on old UK paper licences hoping to hang onto them until age 70 then that it is no longer a given that that will be the case.

Article 2 para 2

Ernie,

I have the old French "paper" licence and several of us have been informed that we are OK until 2033 until they need to be changed for the newer licence. I would prefer to change it asap, as the other one is in rather poor condition.

Can you confirm what we have been told?


The legislation calls for all EU paper licences to be replaced by community model photocards by 2033 - no doubt the French will miss that deadline too but I digress.

Accordingly your French paper licence is OK until then but there will be nothing to prevent you from asking for a replacement photocard licence when they have finally got their act together and introduced them.

I think the reference to living in the country for two years in the link I gave indicates that they are talking about foreign paper licences not domestic ones ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Driving in France with a non-French licence
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:25 pm 
Ermm, I had put a link to my own question Ernie :D


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