Driving in France

Why you should change to a French driving licence

If you are permanently resident in France, drive a car and have not already done so, you should consider changing your driving licence to a French permis de conduire. Why?

– Travelling back to the UK. If you have a UK licence and are stopped by the police you could face a fine of up to £1,000 for not having the correct address on your licence.

– Age. If you are approaching your 70th birthday, your UK licence will expire and you won’t legally be allowed to drive – a side effect of which is invalidating your car insurance.

– Driving penalties. In the event that you receive a penalty for a driving offence (for example speeding), you are legally required to exchange your foreign licence for a French one.

– Residency. Whilst it is not a specific requirement to exchange your current licence in most circumstances, your old documentation will contain your old address in the UK and therefore is technically not correct. By exchanging it for a French licence, you will automatically have a proof of address which could be useful with banks and public bodies etc.

Brexit has also the potential to cause difficulties for UK citizens living permanently in France and who have not exchanged their driving licence for a French one. Currently, there is a mutual recognition of licences amongst EU member states. However, should both parties fail to secure agreement before 30 March 2019, this could mean UK licence holders are unable to hire cars or take out insurance. This is a scenario which may be unlikely – but is still theoretically possible.

If you wish to exchange your driving licence, from November 2017 you can now do so by applying on line, this applies to new, renewal, and duplicate licences. If you have any driving related insurance queries, please contact us and we shall be pleased to help.

AXA Marthon is the authorised AXA representative for the Marthon area in the Poitou-Charentes, providing a professional service to 1,500 English speaking clients in the Charente and Dordogne. We have access to the best insurance and financial services deals in France with bi-lingual, English speaking friendly staff.

Phone us on +33 (0)5 45 70 43 76 or visit our website www.insurancefrance.fr

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