Driving Licences

Do you hold a driving licence issued outside of France? Are you legal to drive on French roads with your licence? Find out here, and how to exchange your foreign licence if you need to...

Anyone driving a motor vehicle on the roads in France must be 18 years or older and have a valid driving licence (permis de conduire). This licence must be carried on all journeys and must be presented to an official on demand.

Some foreign-issued driving licences are valid in France indefinitely (provided certain requirements are met) and some are valid for a limited period. Some may be exchanged for French licences provided a reciprocal exchange agreement exists.

Foreign issued licences fall into one of three categories:

  1. May be used in France or optionally exchanged for a French one (applies to all EU-issued licences - conditions apply).
  2. Must be exchanged within one year of residency in France.
  3. May not be exchanged. The holder must undergo a full driving test (theory and practical) in order to get a French driving licence.
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