UK/France Driving Licence Exchanges Suspended
Thursday 07 March 2019
The French driving licence authority are unable to process the exchange of driving licences for UK nationals until the outcome of Brexit is known.
Substantial delays are occurring at the French driving licence centre in Nantes, primarily as a result of many UK nationals seeking to exchange their UK driving licence for a French licence in advance of Brexit.
As a result, the driving authority CERT are now refusing to process applications unless necessary.
The indications are that the change in policy is primarily about managing demand rather than anything to do with the legalities surrounding Brexit.
They have issued the following statement.
'Do you have a British driving licence that you would like to exchange for a French licence?
You will need to be a little patient and wait for the decision on the specific terms and conditions of Brexit to request your licence exchange.
Only applications that are part of a licence renewal due to loss or theft, or obligatory exchange are currently being processed.
If you are not concerned by one of the following situations, requests will not be processed, so there is no need to send your application.
- loss or theft of the licence
- expiry of the permit or expiry of one or more categories
- request for new category(ies)
- exchange following an offence committed in France resulting in a loss of points, restriction or suspension or cancellation of your licence
Until the date of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, your rights remain unchanged and you can continue to drive in France with a British driving licence.
Your request will therefore not be processed and if you have sent your file, it will be sent back to you with an accompanying letter.'
The Brexit withdrawal agreement does not contain any provision on driving licences. However, during the transition period European rules continue to apply in France and the United Kingdom: there will be no consequences on driving licences. Beyond the transition period it will be necessary to make application to change a UK licence within a year if you wish to reside in France.