Driving in France
Nationals from the European Union and the European Economic Area can freely drive in France with their national driving license. The driver's license exchange is not compulsory.
Nationals from outside the EU-EEA can drive up to 1 year with their national driving license, provided that:
- their national driving license is valid;
- their national driving license is accompanied by an official translation into French;
- their national driving license was issued prior to obtaining the first residence permit in France;
- the age limit is respected (18 years minimum).
Beyond one year, the driving license exchange is compulsory.
How to exchange a national driving license for a French driving license?
To exchange your national driving license for a French driving license, check that your country has concluded agreements with France regarding license exchange. If the exchange is possible, simply go to the local prefecture or sub-prefecture at the driving license office with the application form duly completed, two passport photos and a photocopy of both sides of your driving license with an official translation into French.
If the exchange is impossible, you will have register with a driving school and take the theoretical and practical tests. You can be assisted by a translator for the theoretical test, if you wish.
For more information, visit the website of the police prefecture in Paris at http://www.prefecture-police-paris.interieur.gouv.fr/ or refer to the PDF manual on how to get a French driving license at http://www.prefecture-police-paris.interieur.gouv.fr/.
The International driving license:
The International driving license is valid in France: For more information about the International driving license, please refer to the French public services online at http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/.
Guide section: Driver's licence
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