Apply to the Préfecture for the form Cerfa n°14879*01 Demande de permis de conduire (par échange).
Provide the following along with the completed form:
Some Préfectures may request specific self-addressed envelopes, such as La Poste's Prêt-à-Poster Lettre Max
Certain licence categories in France require a medical visit. When this is the case, it is also required in the exchange of a foreign licence for a French one.
Note: if the licence was issued in the licence holder's maiden name, proof of married name is required (supply birth and marriage certificates and passport).
Note: For UK licence holders, some prefectures may request a certificate of entitlement from the DVLA if the driver is lacking either part of their UK licence (the photocard or the paper counterpart), if the licence has expired, or if it has been lost or stolen. It can be obtained by calling DVLA on +44 (0)1792 782 341.
Note: Some prefectures also request a copy of the driver's birth certificate although this is not always required it's advised to take one
The licence will be exchanged for one in the equivalent category. Once the French licence is issued, the original is taken and sent to the issuing country. The exchange of an EU licence for a French one is free in many Préfectures.
Note: A towing permit issued on some licences may not be included in the new French licence.
Application for an exchange is made at the Préfecture de Police licence issuing office. No appointment is required, however note that on busy days no new arrivals are admitted after 15:00.
An application must include:
Professional drivers of busses, taxis, light and heavy goods vehicles and haulage vehicles (LGV and HGV - those other than standard A and B category) with licences issued by an EU member state are entitled to exchange the licence for the equivalent French one. However, be aware that the Préfecture may require a letter specifying the qualifying category. A home-country consulate or French employer can be consulted and should be able to provide the appropriate information for the Préfecture if necessary. A medical certificate is also required when applying for the exchange.
In some cases there are age restrictions for professional licences: a minimum age of 21 years and maximum of 60 years.
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