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Exchange your driver’s license

Depending on the country in which your driver’s license was issued and your status in France, you will have to complete some administrative formalities to be able to drive legally in France.

For more information about exchanging a driver’s license, visit the public service website

Driver's license issued in the EEA

If you have a valid driver’s license issued in a member state of the European Economic Area (and issued before 2021 for UK licenses), you can legally drive in France and in Europe without having to complete any administrative formalities. All you need is your driver’s license.

However, you will need to exchange your driver’s license for a French driver’s license in the following cases:
  • Your driver’s license is no longer valid
  • You have committed a traffic offense in France leading to the loss of points, a restriction, suspension or confiscation of your license
  • Your license has been stolen
  • You have lost your license
  • Your license has been damaged
  • You are requesting a new category of license (extension)
You can exchange your European license online on the ANT website (French secure documents agency).

It is free to exchange your driver’s license except in the event of loss or theft (€25).

Driver’s license issued outside the EEA

The procedure is different depending on your residence permit.

If you have a “Student” visa or residence permit

PhD students who hold an “Etudiant” (Student) residence permit do not have to exchange their foreign driver’s license. They can drive with their original license along with a French translation done by a sworn translator registered with a Court of Appeal in France.

Important, if your status changes, you will have to exchange your driver’s license.

You have a “Passeport talent-chercheur” (Talent passport-Researcher) or “Scientifique-chercheur” (Research scientist) visa or residence permit

You can drive with your foreign driver’s license during the first year of your stay in France. You must ensure that your driver’s license is accompanied by a French translation done by a sworn translator registered with a Court of Appeal in France.

Beyond this first year, you will have to exchange your foreign driver’s license for a French license. This is mandatory and free of charge.If you cannot exchange your license for a French driver’s license, you will have to sit a new driving test in France.

If you already know that you will be spending longer than one year in France and you meet the conditions for your license to be exchanged, we recommend that you request this exchange as soon as possible as the procedure can take a long time.

If you have not started the formalities to exchange your license within this one-year period, you will no longer be able to drive in France with your foreign license. You will have to sit a driving test in accordance with French regulations.

However, in the event of a long stay, we recommend that you register your driver’s license with the Préfecture of your place of residence. Registration will enable you to obtain a duplicate license in the event of loss or theft.

In the event of a traffic offense which leads to a restriction, suspension, confiscation of your license or a loss of points, you must exchange your foreign driver’s license for a French license.

Procedure for exchanging a foreign driver's license

You can apply to exchange your foreign driver's license fully online on the ANTS website.
It is essential that your driver's license meets the following conditions:
• Be valid,
• Issued by a country where you were habitually resident before moving to France,
• Issued by a State that has a reciprocal license exchange agreement with France,
• Be issued in French or accompanied by an official translation. The translation must be legalized or authenticated with an Apostille if translated abroad. If translated in France, this must be done by a sworn translator.

All documents issued in a language other than French must be translated by a sworn translator.

Important: your residence permit must be valid

You will find the list of documents to be submitted on the website

While your application is being processed, you will keep your driver’s license and will be able to drive. Once your application has been processed, you will be contacted by email and text message so you can send your driver’s license. Once the administration has received your license, you can download a secure certificate of submission (ADS) on the ANTS website, which is valid for 4 months and entitles you to drive while awaiting your French driver’s license.