Exchanging a non-European foreign driver’s license


Foreigners holding a driving license issued by a non-member state of the European Economic Area (EEA) must exchange it for a French license within one year of acquiring habitual residence in France.


If the applicant is of French nationality, he or she must have been domiciled for at least 6 months in the country where the license was issued.

If the applicant is of foreign nationality, he/she must have obtained the permit before his/her first residence permit was issued.

  • The country must also practice reciprocity when it comes to exchanging driving licenses.
  • The permit must be valid.
  • It must have been issued by the country in which the person concerned has his or her normal residence.
  • It must be written in French or accompanied by an official translation.
  • It must not be the subject of a suspension, restriction or cancellation of the right to drive in the country of origin.

Medical examination

If the license corresponds to a category where such an examination is compulsory in France, the applicant must undergo it.

Steps to take

To exchange your driving license, contact the prefecture of your place of residence.

Documents required

As the list of documents to be provided may vary according to the situation of the person requesting the exchange, the main documents are as follows:

  • the driver’s license exchange application form,
  • proof of identity,
  • two passport-size photographs,
  • the driver’s license and its official translation (a list of approved translators can be obtained from the courts of appeal),
  • if the applicant is a foreign national, a residence permit,
  • if the applicant is French, proof of registration with the French consulate, or proof of residence or change of residence issued by the consulate of the place of residence.
  • proof of address, to enable the prefecture to verify its competence,
  • proof of residence in France for at least 6 months,

The originals of these documents must be presented when the application is submitted.

Issuing a French driving license

When the French license is issued, the original license is withdrawn.

The regional tax (which varies from region to region, and is not required in some cases) must be paid.

Appeal procedures

  • Recours gracieux
  • Hierarchical recourse
  • Contentious appeal

In the event of refusal to exchange a permit

Contact us

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Me Fatou BABOU

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Me Joséphine MOLLE

03 Rue de l’Arrivée, 75015 – Paris


+ 33 9 85 40 18 64

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