Do I need to exchange my UK driving licence in France?

UPDATE -15/07/2021 – The Ministry of the Interior has confirmed that ANTS will now accept the DVLA driving licence summary available via the check code service, if your licence is in date rather than insisting on the certificate of entitlement.  Directions on how to get this are below.


At the end of June 2021, the French government issued new guidance. UK citizens who are resident in France do not need to exchange their licence if it was issued before the 31st December 2020, unless it or the photocard are going to expire, in which case they can do so 6 months’ before the expiry date.  NB This system will not be live before the beginning of July 2021.

If the licence was issued on/after 1st January 2021, you will need to exchange it within the first 12 months of receiving your carte de séjour as set out below.

Bear in mind however that in theory, DVLA rules in the UK don’t allow licences to be registered to foreign addresses .  However if you are resident in France and don’t have an official address in the UK, and can’t swap your licence as the above criteria don’t apply you can/should contact the DVLA and let them know that you have left the country.

European Pre-Brexit Licences

Legally, a European driving licence does not need to be exchanged for a French one unless you:

  • commit an infraction and incur points
  • need to renew a licence due to loss, theft or expiry
  • wish to add driving categories

These rules are outlined in French on the Service Public site.

Process for exchanging an EU & pre-Brexit UK driving licence for a French one

As of 3rd March 2020 a new online process has been launched to deal with European licence exchanges (including UK licences for those under the Withdrawal Agreement). This means that exchanges can no longer be done at the Mairie, Préfecture or police municipale, or by post to the centralised office in Nantes, as previously. Do not send any documents to the CERT (Centre d’Expertise et de Ressources des Titres) at Nantes.

The new website is https://permisdeconduire.ants.gouv.fr/ and this is the specific link for exchanging a European driving licence.

If you already have a FranceConnect account enabling you to access several public service sites with the same details you can use that, otherwise you will need to create an account on the ANTS site.

The best resource for up-to-date information on applying for a French driving licence is the Facebook group of the same name. You will find a list of all the documents required on the group page.  At the time of writing they were:

  • colour photocopy of both sides of your driving licence
  • proof of identity (passport)
  • proof of address (utilities bill or similar dated less than 6 months)
  • proof of the right to reside in France if British (titre de séjour, visa stamp in your passport), or proof of date of arrival in France (ferry/train/plane ticket or first avis d’impots), or attestation from your Mairie (if they will issue one).
  • proof of date of arrival in France.
  • photograph taken in a government approved photo booth which can be identified by the blue circle with Agréé Services en Ligne ANTS inside it.  You can find the location of one near you by inputting your post code on the ANTS site.  Your photos will have a 22 digit alphanumeric code to be included in your application.  There is also an app Smartphone ID that can be downloaded to take photos on your phone, although it wouldn’t take images using the front camera when I tried.  If you can’t get to an official booth, you can post a physical photo.
  • if you are not a national of the country which issued your licence you will need proof that you were resident in the issuing country at the time of issue (visa, registration at consul, work contract, pay slips etc…)
  • if you are not a national of the country which issued your licence you will need a document, dated less than three months, from the issuing body of your foreign licence declaring that you have the right to drive and the translation if not in French by a sworn translator as above.
  • if you have a “heavy vehicle” licence, a medical certificate saying you are fit to drive heavy vehicles or a renunciation of the right to drive these categories of vehicle.  See below for an explanation as categories that are included on the standard licence in the UK are covered by this.
  • Everybody needs to provide proof of their right to drive if they have a British licence.
    • If your licence is in date, even if your photocard has expired, you can go to the DVLA site and use their check code service to download a driving licence summary.  Please note the check code is not enough, you have to download the summary document.
    • If your licence has expired you need to contact the DVLA for a certificate of entitlement .  You can use webchat or phone on the DVLA main number 0044 300 7906801, but be aware that you will probably be cut off multiple times due to the lines being overwhelmed, and once you do get through you will be on hold for up to 30 minutes.  It helps to ring or chat at 9 am French time as that is when the lines open.



Exchanging a non EU/post-Brexit UK driving licence for a French one

Non-European licence holders have to follow  a different process to exchange their licence. This is simpler if the licence has been issued in a country which has a reciprocal agreement with France. You will find a list of those countries here.

The process is outlined (in French) here and has now also been moved on line with the link appearing on the aforementioned page.  You need to submit the following documents:

  • colour photocopy of both sides of your driving licence
  • Translation of your driving licence (if it is not in French) by a sworn translator or an apostilled translation from abroad
  • proof of identity (passport)
  • proof of address (utilities bill or similar dated less than 6 months)
  • proof of the right to reside in France (titre de séjour, visa stamp in your passport)
  • photograph taken in a government approved photo booth which can be identified by the blue circle with Agréé Services en Ligne ANTS inside it.  You can find the location of one near you by inputting your post code on the ANTS site.  Your photos will have a 22 digit alphanumeric code to be included in your application.  There is also an app Smartphone ID that can be downloaded to take photos on your phone, although it wouldn’t take images using the front camera when I tried.  If you can’t get to an official booth, you can post a physical photo.
  • original document, dated less than three months, from the issuing body of your foreign licence declaring that you have the right to drive and the translation if not in French by a sworn translator as above.
  • if you are not a national of the country which issued your non-EU licence you will need proof that you were resident in the issuing country at the time of issue (visa, registration at consul, work contract, pay slips etc…)
  • if you have an heavy vehicle licence, a medical certificate saying you are fit to drive heavy vehicles or a renunciation of the right to drive these categories of vehicle (see below).

Disclaimer: while we make every effort to keep information on our site correct and up-to-date you are advised to double check current requirements on the government website.

The French Driving LicenceFrench Driving Licence

The new licence will be sent to your home address.  It will be a full licence unless you had passed your test within the 3 years prior to the exchange in which case it will be a probational one.

The start date shown is the date of your French licence, so you are best to keep a photocopy of the old one to prove when you first started to drive for insurance purposes.

The French licence is valid for 15 years, unless you are allowed to drive HGVs in which case it will be valid for 5 years.  However all that is required at present is to update it with a new photo, as there is no age limit for driving in France and no requirement to attend a medical after a certain age, unlike in the UK.


Medium-Sized Vehicles/Minibuses

The French licence differs from the UK one in that in the UK you are automatically given the right to drive categories C1, D1, DE, C1E and D1E when you pass your test.  You can find an explanation of the categories on the UK government site.  In France the Cs and Ds are dependent on passing an additional test and a medical.

If, when you apply for your French licence,  you fill in all of the categories that appear on your UK licence, you are likely to get a letter asking you to supply a medical certificate to allow you to keep your entitlement to drive “poids lourds”, this is referring to the medium-sized vehicles and minibus categories on your UK licence.  If you are not bothered about driving a small lorry or a minibus then you just need to confirm that you are happy to lose the entitlement.

If you do decide to take the medical, then you will have to provide a medical certificate every 5 years till the age of 59 and then every 2 years from the age of 60 to 75 and every year from the age of 76 for HGV (category C), and every year from the age of 60 if you are driving a vehicle for more than 8 people (category D). Go on to the ANTS site to ask for the licence to be renewed before it expires.

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Comments


  1. Hello,

    I wonder if someone could advise me, please? I applied for my license on the French site in February and received a rejection letter on the grounds that ” à ce jour, il n’existe pas d’accord de réciprocité entre la France et l’État de délivrance de votre permis.” That’s something that must have happened to many of us. I do know that the rules have changed and I don’t need to exchange my British license anymore.

    However, I now have less than 6 months left on my license so today I went back to the site in order to reapply and get a French one. But my application form is frozen and apparently, I can’t apply because my initial application in February was rejected! What am I supposed to do? I need to exchange my license and now I can’t do it. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Jamoral,
      ANTS is notoriously glitchy as a site and it could just be something temporary. Try clearing cookies and refreshing your screen, or using a different browser. If that doesn’t work, you can contact ANTS and ask them to delete the rejected dossier and try to start again.

      1. Thank you very much! I actually managed to work it out so I decided to post it here in case somebody else has the same problem.

        When my initial application was rejected, I wanted to start a new one, then abandoned it unfinished on their site. It was sitting in my application folder under “Brouillons” (“Drafts”). Apparently, once you have a draft, you can’t start a new application. You need to either modify the old draft or, if it’s not modifiable (as it was in my case), you need to delete it and start a new one.

        Once I deleted the old draft, I was able to start a new application.

  2. Having read all these comments and having started the ANTS exchange application I can tell you that the actual application form is easy to follow, once you have your ANTS account. Our biggest problem is that after over 6 weeks, after many phone calls and promises from the DVLA in the UK we have still not received the D737’s. The comment about using the code is false. The ANTS application will only accept a D737. But the DVLA are certainly not being helpful.

    1. I used the number supplied by David Wheeler below and got through in about 20 mins (0300 083 0013). The D737 came about a week later. I also emailed the D888 form above and the D737 came 4 weeks later. Unfortunately I had already uploaded the check code and can not seem to be able to replace it with the D737!

      I upoaded all the requested forms about 6 weeks ago and have yet to receive a reply. Is this normal? I’m getting a bit concerned as my licence runs out on the 18th of October.

      1. If you’ve uploaded the driving licence summary then you shouldn’t need either of your D737s, but hang on to them just in case.
        Nobody knows what normal is these days – I suspect that they are drowning in the pent up demand from Brits needing to exchange. I have requests that were made ages ago, and have still not moved beyond the stage of having been passed through to be examined. Before they authorised the UK exchanges, other countries were going through within a few weeks.

    2. Hi Janet,
      The statement about the driving licence summary document obtained from the DVLA check code service is certainly not false. I have used it for my own licence exchange and for other clients.
      However if your licence has expired and you are over 70, you will not be able to use it and have to have a D737. I found the DVLA helpful, but incompetent as far as faxing the thing went, however they put one in the post to me without a problem and I received it a couple of weeks later, although by that stage I didn’t need it as I had already used the driving licence summary.

      1. Incompetence knows no bounds these days. Having sent a D888 requesting a D737 (even though I then found out I didn’t need one as it’s only the photo that has expired), I received an email from the DVLA saying I need to telephone them in order to request the D737. I obviously didn’t bother as I didn’t need it, then lo & behold, a couple of weeks ago, guess what I received in the post. Yep, the D737. You have to laugh don’t you.

  3. I finally received my French licence after 14 months – but they left off C1E / D1 / D1E – so I sent them a letter.

    I just got this back –
    Les catégories C1E / D1 / D1E comportent un code (colonne 12, code 107 ou 101) qui indique qu’elles ont été acquises avec des restrictions propres au pays de délivrance.
    Ces catégories ne sont donc pas échangeables et ne peuvent être portées à votre permis de conduire français.
    Les catégories f, k, l, n, p ne peuvent être retranscrites sur un PC français.
    they I say I cannot have them! Despite my licence being issued in 1982 – when we go everything including tanks!

    Code 107 is < 8250 kg and 101 is not for hire. Nothing to do with country specific.

    And you point out in your article above that these are exchangeable with a medical (which I provided).

    Any ideas?

    1. Hi Julian,
      You have to say that you want to keep the categories when you apply for the exchange. It is one of the questions on the first page: Possedez-vous des catégories “poids lourds” O/N ? Or words to that effect, if you answer oui, you then have to say whether you want to keep them or not. If you do, you need a medical certificate from an approved doctor (not your GP), and if you don’t you have to provide a signed statement saying that you give up your right to drive those categories.
      You could try writing back and saying that you are really sorry, you didn’t realise that you needed to get the medical certificate to exchange them and can they make an exception please, sending the certificate and your old certificate of entitlement to drive to prove that you did have them.

      1. Hi Madeline and thank you for your answer.

        I did send a doctors certificate listing the categories that I want to keep. They seem to have ignored that.
        I will write back to them. I understood there would be equivalence and I know people who have got the categories changed over in the same way (medial certificate only).
        They’re a pain!

        1. Oh dear, I’m sorry. Do you have a record of the stuff that you sent with the application? I know the official receipt doesn’t show it, but if your application is still in your ANTS account, you should be able to see the answers to the questions that you provided and the documents uploaded. You could take some screenshots and send them as well.

  4. Many thanks for the various pieces of clear information regarding licence exchange ! Perhaps I’m missing something, but the ANTS online form does not appear to have a tick-box for a straightforward expiry of either photocard or licence, and so everything seems to grind to a halt and access to the next stage is denied ? Site overwhelmed ? or browser issue as you mentioned to one inquirer ?

    1. If it is a foreign licence that you are wanting to change for a French one, you just need to tick “exchange foreign licence” and continue to answer the questions from there. There is no particular box to tick for an expired foreign licence.

      1. Dear there, thank you for your very useful info as I am really confused by the french website and I did follow the steps and applied online but I got rejected. The reason seems to be my driving licence is before the 1st of January, 2021. It was a real pain to get all the paper work to apply and for me, it seems to be very strange that I cannot exchange it. I share with you the feedback from the ants website to my applicaiton here:

        En application des dispositions des notes verbales entre les autorités françaises et britanniques, le principe de reconnaissance demeure acquis pour les permis de conduire britanniques obtenus avant le 1er janvier 2021 quelle que soit la date d’acquisition de la résidence normale sur le territoire national du détenteur du titre de conduite. Par conséquent, vous n’êtes pas tenu de procéder à l’échange de votre permis de en cours de validité. Aussi, aucune suite ne sera donnée à votre demande.

        I am not sure what to do now, as I am definitely going to live in France and need a french permit but I cannot exchange it.

        Thank you so much!

        1. Has your licence expired (either photo or actual licence)? You don’t need to exchange it unless it has, or unless you have committed a traffic violation here & been caught.

  5. DEAR GROUP MEMBER I HOPE EVERYONE ARE OK.HOW CAN I GET CERTIFICATE OF ENTITLEMENT TO MY FRENCH ADDRESS FROM DVLA. AS I AM LIVING IN FRANCE MORE THAN FIVE YEARS. MY DRIVING LICENCE IS REGISTER IN UK ADDRESS. BUT I DID NOT CHANGE ADDRESS AS STILL REGISTER SAME ADDRESS IN UK . IF DVLA SEND ANY LETTER TO UK ADDRESS I CAN NOT OBTAIN. HOW CAN I GET D737 TO MY ADDRESS IN FRANCE .IF I DO ONLINE VERIFICATION DOES IT ACCEPTABLE TO ANTSGOUV.FR. I FEEL WHEN I DO ONLINE DOWNLOAD WITH MY DRIVING LICENCE NUMBER AND WITH OTHER DETAILS THEY MIGHT SEND ME D737 TO MY UK ADRESS IF THEY SEND I CAN NOT OBTAIN..ALSO I DID NOT DRIVE FOR SINCE I GOT LICENCE .I OBTAIN 2015 MAI . CAN MY LICENCE WILL BE STILL REMAIN VAILD AS I DID NOT DRIVE FOR AGES. I DID NOT HAVE ANY POINT OR ANYTHING TO MY DRIVING LICENCE.AS I DID NOT DRIVE SINCE I HAVE OBTAIN AFTER EXAM. I WILL BE REALLY GRATEFUL TO YOUR ANSWER. CAN I GET FULL POINT TO MY LICENCE AFTER EXCHANGE AS IT IS 5 YEARS OLD.IT Will be expaire 2025 I SHARE MY
    OPINION AS I BELIEVE MIGHT BE IN THIS GROUP SOMEONE WILL BE LIKE MY SITUATION.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE LEADING THIS GROUP. This group is very helful

    HAVE A NICE DAY

    YOUR SINCERLY

    AHMED RAJON

    1. Hi Ahmed,
      Your licence is still valid and you can still drive. You will not be able to change it till 6 months before it expires in 2025.
      If you have a UK NI number then you don’t need to ask for a D737, you can just download a copy of the driving licence summary document from the check code service. If you don’t have an NI number then you can tell them to send the D737 to your French address.
      In any case you should ring the DVLA and tell them that you have left the UK and give them your French address, so that their records are up to date.

  6. Can anyone tell me how long after you put in your application on the ANTS to exchange your UK driving licence for a French is it before your receive your plastic licence.

  7. Dear group member I hope you are well.
    My first uk driving licence was issued may 2015 it will expired June 2025. I was at student visa in UK.
    I am living in France since 2016. I am not British national. I got my first salary card in France 2020 June.
    My question is do I have to exchange now. Or if I want to exchange now how can I exchange. How can I get certificate of entitlement from DVLA I have lost it. I will be really happy for your answer. I have proof of residence
    permit when licence was issued. I have pay slip. I have original photocard of driving licence. But I don’t have counter part. My UK driving licence will be expired June 2025.
    But I wanted to exchange before if is it possible.
    I will be really grateful to you.
    Have a nice day

    1. @Husan,
      You will not be able to exchange until 6 months before the expiry date, unless you get caught speeding or committing an offence which involves points on your licence. The certificate of entitlement is only valid for 3 months, so you will have to contact the DVLA when you apply for the French exchange, and ask them to send you one at that point.

  8. i have tried to find the facebook page for information on exchanging a driving licence but nothing is coming up – does anyone have the link?

    1. It’s called ‘Applying for a French Driving Licence’ but it’s a private group & the person running it picks & chooses who she allows to join/remain in it. If she doesn’t like your FB profile (& especially your political views) then you don’t stand a chance. It may have been made unavailable to anyone new now due to ‘high demand’.

  9. What document do they require on the ANTS application to exchange my U K driving licence as proof of arrival in France ?

    1. If you have your Brexit carte de séjour that does as proof that you’ve been here longer than the 185 days. Otherwise, a ticket or receipt for the plane/train/ferry or an avis d’impots or something similar.

  10. Good Afternoon.

    I am looking for some help with exchanging my UK driving licence.
    The government page says

    ‘If your UK driving licence was issued before 1 January 2021. Your UK license is recognized in France for as long as it is valid. Paper licenses are usually valid until you are 70. For plastic photo card licenses, the expiry date is on the front. Check the expiry date. If your UK license has expired, or has less than 6 months remaining, you must exchange it for a French license from Monday 28 June. You do not need to take a driving test. After you have applied, you will receive your secure deposit certificate. You can use this document to drive in France until you receive your new licence.”

    Does this mean the “issue” number on this particular photo card or when my license was issued for the very first time???
    I received my license more than 6 years ago but because my card was recently stolen I had to replace the card which has a new issue date that is after January 2021? the card and my license do not expire until 2025.

    Many thanks
    Ryan

    1. Lets face it folks, This so called licence swap ‘deal’ is a non starter.
      There is nobody home ! Thanks to all the good people who really believed this would work and all the good info. but as I read through all the posts and some of them heart-breaking, I realised we are being played by both sides. I thought this was legit. to get us back in our cars and the road again, it is not. The cruel lesson is, I chose to stay here and even got a WARP card with no problem whatsoever. My UK passport expired during this time and I replaced it , no hassle in 8 working days. The UK passport office was just great.
      I am lost for words .I cannot express my disappointment at the foul treatment we Brits have been subjected to over a simple exchange of licence to drive. . I’m 72 now and caught by the 70 year rule. Hoping for a miracle , signing off.

      1. @John House – it was the British government’s fault that the French stopped exchanging licences, as they didn’t bother to put reciprocal arrangements in place for French citizens in the UK, and the only way to get them to focus on it was to stop exchanging UK licences over here.
        I am currently in the middle of helping someone who is also over 70 and whose licence ran out because of the pause. You simply need to get a certificate of entitlement from the DVLA showing your driving rights and you will be able to exchange.

    2. Hi Ryan,
      I would play safe and apply to exchange it as the date on the card is after January 2021. If they believe that you don’t need to, CERT/ANTS will tell you so.
      Madeleine

  11. Hi all… Like everyone here i’ve had two years of “misery” trying to change my driving licence, until on purpose’ I believe, it ran out in january.. But good news it looks like its finally going through!!!… fingers crossed ( they asked for my u/k licence to be sent to Nantes). Regards to the D737 form I had 4 sent to me over the period I’ve been trying because after 3 months in their system they simply reject the dossier.. but they contacted me to say I had to send a up to date 373 form , I couldn’t get through to DVLA so I downloaded the “view your licence” page on DVLA site and they accepted that. Afterwards I tried to call DVLA again just in case they asked for it later and got through to a human on 0300 083 0013 ( the official DVLA number just isn’t being answered)and they sent the D373 form to me free of charge no problem.. Best of luck! D Wheeler

    1. This post for Mr Wheeler who has actually had a form D737 sent to him. Did you have this document translated into French? There is now an article on the internet from a reliable source that says you have to have it translated

      1. Hi John House, I’ve sent ANTS three D737 forms over the last couple of years and they have never asked for a translation, ANTS have accepted my “dossier and asked for my old u/k licence to be forwarded in to them, so I assume it’s all going through now.. If download it on their site and they want it translated they will message you more or less straight away I think.. good luck !

      2. Hello John, RE. D737 forms… The simple answer is no I’ve not had to get the form translated.. I’ve sent three 737 forms to ANTS over the time I’ve been trying to exchange my licence. 1 to Lorient 1 to Nantes both by postal applications and finally again to Nantes via the on line application, and they have never asked for a translation.. Have you tried the view your licence document?. When ANTS started processing the backlog a few weeks ago they asked me for an up to date D737 form I couldn’t get through to DVLA ,so I downloaded and sent the V.Y.Licence doc. and ANTS accepted it .(By the way my licence expired 6mths ago.) I sent the actual document not just the code.. They may have accepted this because I already have a D737 in my file who knows? hope this helps.. In the meantime I’ve had another D737 form sent from DVLA just in case ANTS demand one later.. if you are having problems getting through to DVLA try this number..0300 083 0013..

    2. Glad that you managed to get through. As I said in the article, you can now get away with a DVLA check code document (view your licence page), if your licence is still in date. Hopefully you should get your licence soon.

      1. Hi,

        It seems that not all of us can get away with the DVLA check code page. ANTS have refused it this morning and are insisting on the D737 form.

        1. Well it all sounded very nice but in my opinion, I thought, too many variables. No blame being laid here but obviously form D 737 creating another bottleneck . I’m in the over 70 group, no easy way out for me except to comply and it is the pot of gold I seek. DVLA in no hurry to produce and ANTS using it as another delay tactic, because they can. I agree the situation is loaded..

        2. Regarding licence check code document, did you download the actual doc. and send stating you have a full u/k licence ect. or did you just send the code? Because my licence had run out in january and i downloaded the actual licence check code doc. to ANTS after they asked for a d737 form ( because i couldn’t get through to DVLA.) and it was accepted? I have to say ANTS had an out of date D737 form in my application dossier already that may be where this inconsistency arises from…

          1. Thanks for this information, David. I actually managed to get through to the DVLA after an hour on the phone yesterday, so the form should be on its way some time soon… hopefully. If it doesn’t arrive I will try again sending all the stuff you suggest.

        3. If your actual licence has expired rather than the photocard, you have to have the certificate of entitlement, not the check code document.

          1. That is really strange, as they actually linked to the check code document in one of my clients’ accounts and they accepted mine without a problem. Did you download the licence summary document and upload that, rather than just giving them the code?

          2. Well there appear to be inconsistencies because the licence has not expired, it is valid untill October. And yet ANTS refused the check code and are asking for the D737, which is infuriating because it’s impossible to get hold of the DVLA.

  12. Hello.
    Thanks for you helpful updates. I applied to ANTS before January 2020. I have just received a reply which asks for a CoE D737 even though my licence has not expired – I have sent the form 888.

    They also want me to provide a written note if I no longer need categories C&E even though I checked the box on the original application saying that I don’t want them included. I know that you need a medical if you want to keep C&E. However it would appear they seem to require one even if you don’t!

    Si vous n’avez pas encore réalisé la visite médicale, téléchargez ce document. Celui-ci devra être rempli et visé par un médecin agréé par votre préfecture, puis chargé en pièce justificative de la présente demande en ligne.

    Si vous avez déjà réalisé la visite médicale, veuillez charger le feuillet bleu remis par votre médecin.

    Si vous souhaitez conserver vos catégories lourdes (famille des catégories C et D): veuillez faire parvenir un avis médical RÉCENT délivré par un médecin de votre département, agréé pour le contrôle médical de l’aptitude à la conduite (liste téléchargeable sur le site internet de votre préfecture). Si vous ne souhaitez pas les conserver, faire parvenir une attestation manuscrite, datée et signée, le précisant. Vous perdrez vos catégories lourdes et devrez repasser les examens pour les récupérer

    1. Question, Has anyone received back the D 737 certificate from the DVLA yet?

      1. I sent the form 888 as suggested here & have received an email stating I need to ring them to request a D737. I’ve not had a reply yet, but now I see I don’t need the D737 after all. I’m just hoping ANTS don’t request it.

        1. Thanks for letting me know that you have to ring to receive the D737. I actually got mine in the post on Friday, having had a fiasco with them trying to fax it, but had already sent the licence check document to ANTS and had it accepted the same day.

    2. Applying for a French driving License.
      I filled in the application but they sent it back saying one section was not completed and that I need: Certificate of Entitlement, Licence summary – Form D737.
      My UK license expired at the end of December and I applied for the French one in November and only got this reply about Form D737 today.

      I emailed DVLA about this form and am waiting to hear.
      I feel slightly confused because in your info you mention Form 888. Ants said D737 so who is correct?

      1. I applied in November and my licence expired in February, Because of Brexit only just being processed and now asking for certificate of entitlement. Have rung DVLA numerous times and gone on chat line and after seeing this have printed D888 and emailed it in the hope that something will happen

      2. Form D888 is the one that you use to apply for D737 by email.
        As of Thursday, they changed the rules and if your licence is still valid, you can use the licence check code document. This applies even if your photo card is out of date.

    3. Hi What does refused by instruction mean I have no points on my UK licence.It refers to the Highway code.It says to apply again.I did get a speeding ticket a couple of years ago.I have no code to check up .Surely these have expired.Help.Regards Brian

      1. Brian,
        Your application has been refused for some reason. I’m afraid without seeing what they put I can’t help you. If you need further help then you can contact me and I will make the application for you, but I do charge for my time. Otherwise, if you are on Facebook, you can apply to join the Exchanging a UK driving licence group, and ask for help there.

    4. Hi Tim,
      You have misunderstood. You only need the medical if you are planning on keeping your licence, otherwise you have to supply an “attestation de renunciation” stating that you no longer require the “poids lourds” categories. I know that you ticked the box saying that you didn’t want to keep them originally but I guess they are taking a belt and braces approach.

  13. Hi So Re form D737anticipating the worst I went onto the DVLA chat at https://contact.dvla.gov.uk/driving-licence

    After some mucking about with the web bot I managed to get to an adviser after 20 mins or so and it went incredibly smoothly here is the relevant conversation.

    As a postscript I provided my address in France and was told it would take 2/3 weeks no one asked for any moneyLets see if it all happens

    Enquiry: I need to obtain and fill in a form D737 in order to exchange my licence to a french Licence.YTou website has led me to form 888 to apply to fill in form 737 it also staes that you are very busy and postal appilcations will be delayed so I should foillow online procedure howvere there is no indication of where I can find the aforementioned online procedure can you send me a link please/

    5:16:53 PM
    Thank you, you’ve been added to a queue.

    You will not receive any further messages until an advisor becomes available. There may be a short wait.

    Please do not start typing until you’re connected to an advisor as you may lose your position in the queue.

    5:16:54 PM
    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are busier than usual and we apologise for any delay this has caused. We will answer your query as soon as possible.

    Thanks for your patience.

    5:16:56 PM
    CHAT_TRANSFER_TO_BUTTON_INITIATED
    Laura is your new agent for the chat session.
    Laura
    Hi, you’re through to Laura. Please hold a moment while I read through the chat details.

    5:32:32 PM
    I can arrange for a certificate of entitlement to be sent via fax or post. Which would you prefer?

    5:34:03 PM
    You
    Hi Laura post would be fine to my address in France please

    5:34:30 PM
    Laura
    No problem, please provide the postal address to send this to.

    1. So now the question is, does Form 737 certificate need to be translated to French when it arrives? Anyone clear on that?

      1. According to the information regarding documents needed to exchange….yes it does.

        1. Madeleine, May I just double check with you that as it’s just the photo part of my license that has expired, I only need to download a summary of my driving license & I don’t need to apply for a COE please? And that it doesn’t need translating?

          Thank you

          1. Hi Karen,
            Yes, you can download the summary of the driving licence and no it doesn’t need translating. I uploaded mine yesterday and my application was approved a couple of hours later.

  14. The e-mail address you have given is incorrect, should all be in lower case

    1. Not on Orange they are, my message was rejected when I put the capitals in

      1. That’s odd. There are a very few cases where the server is set up to be case sensitive, but it was deprecated years ago. And Orange’s help pages actually state that their servers don’t distinguish between lower and upper case. Anyway, I’ll change it just in case.

    2. Email addresses are case-insensitive (if such a word exists). You can type them all in lower case, all in capitals or a mix of both, it doesn’t matter.

  15. Hi

    Resident in France and my UK licence expired in January. I had already applied to ANTS to exchange and this was “en cours d’instruction” until the two governments agreed the way forward. ANTS have now asked for a Certificate of Entitlement (Form D737) so I’m confused by the refernce to Form D888 as ANTS speified Form D737 on their message to me. Anyway, due to strikes & Covid at DVLA no one is answering the phones and the webchat can’t help as you have to pay for D737 so you be speak to an advisor to give card details.
    Anyone have any idea how I can proceed as I don’t want my application with ANTS to time out due to DVLA inaction.
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Alison,
      You use form D888 to request form D737. Do it by email at the address given above and include a fax number if you have one. Be sure to specify that you have to have a D737, an online licence check will not do.

  16. Unfortunately, the ANTS’ site sucks massively. I have tried three times this morning without success (“error”, “non valid”, “cannot do it” messages). I had a lot of hope from this announcement but nothing seems to have been changed.

    1. I agree. At this stage, all I want to know is what documentation I need to supply & whether they require translations. But I can’t get anywhere near the part where they tell me that due to ‘error’ messages. My UK photocard has expired (photo only) & as I haven’t even got my RDV for the new WA Residence card until August (which I know they want as part of the documentation) I don’t want to be applying for the ‘Certificate of Entitlement’ from the DVLA too soon as it’s supposed to be dated within 3 months. Bit of a palaver to say the least.

  17. Hallo, thank you for your posts.
    I have exchanged my Italian driving licence for a GB licence back in 1991 and have now been living in France for over 15 years.
    ANTS now asks me a Certificate of entitlement, but I cannot find where to apply for it. I have tried the website they indicate (https://contact.dvla.gov.uk/driving-licence) but all I get is a webchat that do not answers. No phone numbers to call.
    Any idea?
    Secondly: could you please tell me where you fond the news that since June 2021 I can actually keep my British driving licence until its expiry date? Thank you so much for your support.

    1. If you look at the process above it, gives a link to a form and an email address to use to contact the DVLA.
      The French and UK governments have issued a press release, and the Embassy has confirmed it. Kim Cranstoun on the FB group who is in communication with them all has also confirmed it on the group.

      1. Please be aware that not everybody can access the FB group run by Kim Cranstoun.

  18. Hi. Do you have a link to the live ANTS system for exchange as of 28/6/2021.

    I have a photocard license expired as of 2018. I didn’t actually try to exchange it before now but do you know if I will qualify for an exchange?

    1. Madeline, I’m not sure that applies to UK issued licenses whilst still part of the EU. For one thing, I’ve heard from Kim Cranston that we’ll need to show proof of the new Titre de Sejour. I’m sure she’s posted on her ‘Applying for a French Driving License’ site what documents are needed, but as I don’t have access to that site….. Perhaps someone reading this can confirm on here what’s needed.

      1. You need to have proof that you are entitled to live in France – so a residence permit (titre de séjour) will do that whether it is the Brexit one or not. If you arrived after Brexit, but your licence was issued before, you will have either a visa stamp in your passport, or a non-WARP titre de séjour.
        You also have to have proof that you have been in France for more than the requisite 185 days before you exchange.

    2. It is https://ants.gouv.fr.
      As long as your licence itself is still valid (i.e. you haven’t been disqualified for any reason), you should be fine to exchange but will need to get a certificate of entitlement to drive from the DVLA.

      1. Thank you so much for your quick response and reference to the DVLA doc I need.

        My question about the link was where in that particular website is the actual link for exchanging. I found this page but it only seems to have information:
        https://permisdeconduire.ants.gouv.fr/Vos-demarches/Echange-de-permis-etranger-pour-un-permis-francais

        I have my own login space and have been through it but haven’t yet found the right link. Apologies if I’m being really dumb (!) and have missed the obvious and, of course, if you don’t have this specific piece of information, no worries 🙂

        1. You log into your ANTS space, and click on mon espace conducteur. From there you can create an application to exchange the licence. If you want someone to do it for you, I run a business helping people with their paperwork. https://anglophone-direct.com/listing/french-paperwork-etc/
          In any case the site was flooded yesterday with too many people applying and they turned it off again temporarily to stop it crashing. If your licence isn’t about to run out imminently, I would leave it for a few days.

  19. Hi… We are confused. If the criteria for exchange is expiry of 4b or 11, which takes priority. I have a license where 4b expires in July 21 but 11 is 2034. Which do I take as the expiry date for exchange?? Also is the ANTS site up and running as it doesn’t make sense when going through the application process online. Thanks

    1. The 4B date is when the card expires, you need to renew the card by that date. The column 11 date is the expiry date for each category, if you want to use those categories then you need to renew before that date too, which will require a medical for C and D categories. I’m guessing you have a UK licence, in France C and D categories expire after 5 years, or less if you’re over 60.
      I’ve just renewed my French licence, the 4b date is June 2026, but for the C and D categories column 11 says October 2023, only valid until my 60th birthday, after which I will need a medical and apply for a new card to keep those categories every 2 years.

    2. The one that expires the soonest takes priority. I’ve not tried to exchange a licence on ANTS since the system was made live but it should be working now.

      1. Unfortunately it doesn’t work… if you answer that have a titre de sejoure it just refers you to a “letter” and won’t proceed on to the next section…. This is tiresome

        1. The ANTS site was flooded yesterday and they stopped people applying temporarily to stop it crashing. Are you sure that you are ticking the right thing? If you need help, I offer a paying service (see link above) or you can download Kim’s guides from the Facebook group “Applying for a French Driving Licence” – she has a backlog of people waiting to join, so it may take her a while to approve you.

          1. The list of documents is above, under the heading “Exchanging a non EU/post-Brexit UK driving licence for a French one”.
            The DVLA check code service is not the right one. I’ve altered the page above to give the link to the form that you will need to send to the DVLA to get the certificate of entitlement.

          2. The ANTS site still doesn’t appear to be working.
            I too cannot access the ‘Applying for a Driving License’ FB site & as this site seems to have the monopoly on the up to date information, it’s very frustrating having nowhere else to go. All I want to know is what documents are required in order to exchange. The photo part of my card has expired.

  20. Hi, my license is due to expire in September, I have tried to join the Facebook group but have been denied 3 times , and cannot find a way to message Kim. I called the prefecture yesterday and was told that I am not able to exchange my license at the moment because of brexit, and that I will be driving illegally if I drive after September. Is this true? I am questioning this because the person on the other end of the phone also told me that I had been driving illegally for the past four years and I should have exchanged my license after a year of being, which is not what I was told when I tried to do that. When I tried to exchange my license before I was told that I did not need to do this unless my license was up for renewal or I had an infraction involving points. Can somebody please clarify for me. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Caron,
      The person you spoke to at the Prefecture was wrong. You did not have to change your licence as the UK was in the EU, in fact UK citizens were stopped from doing so for a while because we were flooding the system.
      At the moment, all we can do is sit tight until the accord becomes law and then we will be told what to do next to apply for our licences to be exchanged.
      The latest news is that there is going to be an announcement this evening which is apparently good news, so check back in a couple of days when I’ve updated the article.
      Madeleine

  21. Hi all,

    Im french, left in Scotland for 4 years and passed my driving licence over there 3 years ago.

    I’m back to France since 2 weeks and I feel a bit lost and scared regarding driving licences exchange.

    Will I really have to take a french driving test within a year ? Do we have any indications yet regarding an accord ?

    Thank you for you help

    Capucine

    1. Hi Capucine,
      There will apparently be some news tonight. I’ll be updating the article in the next couple of days, but you shouldn’t have to take a French driving test, we should be able to exchange our licences.

  22. Hi how are you everyone. I have uk driving licence . It will expire 2025
    Normally driving licence should be exchange within 1 year from the date when i got my first salary card in france. My first salary card was for one year but i have to apply for before first card finish. It will be finish very soon. But ants is not allowing to apply for exchanging .
    I am worried can i apply for after one year if french and uk have reciporal agrément. I am worried as my first titre de sejour date will be finish soon on other hand because of reciporal agrément i can not apply for exchange within 1 year.
    Please give me advice but my driving licence will be expired 2025
    Thank you

  23. I applied for exchanging my UK to a French one on 2.9.2020. Ants recorded the application in early November and until now my application showed on the site as ‘under investigation’ . Today I logged onto find that there is now nothing under my name at all. It would seem that my application has just been deleted.

    1. James, sometimes applications disappear for a bit and then come back again. Has it showed back up? If not contact ANTS via the online contact form and send them the receipt that you will have had when you first applied. They should reinstate it.

  24. Why isn’t anyone mentioning our human rights and how Brexit negotiations or none negotiations by our selfish British government have left us stranded. Both my husband’s and my own licences have now expired. We tried exchanging them in 2018 2019 and again in 2020 on the online site ! We are now walking everywhere. If Mr.Stanley Johnson had retired to France would he have been treated like us ?

    1. I have been waiting for someone to bring this up and yes this is not right. We also applied 2018 2019 2020 and got only silence and the French shrug from ANTS.
      Now we have to go through the process one more time and it has cost us money. Lots of money and time. We have most of our docs. together now just waiting for after Brexit titre to arrive. Thanks for being honest about what is really a sham that should never have happened

  25. Thanks for the reply Madeleine. I have sent Kim a message and am waiting for a reply.

  26. Hi, in my experience there is no point wasting your time gathering forms together and making an exchange application. It will be refused until the UK and French governments have reached an agreement. If you collect all the documents needed now they will probably be out of date by the time an agreement is reached. If the UK government had not insisted on a short transition time these situations would probably not have occurred. Gary

  27. Hello,
    I have tried to apply to the ‘applying for a French driving licence’ Facebook group about three times now and have not heard anything. It has been about six months since my first application. Is there any other way at all that I can have access to the document that confirms my right to drive in France. I have lived in France since 2014 and my photo card has expired, so i would greatly appreciate a print out of the document for my car. Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Paul,
      I don’t know why you’ve not been accepted, but I’m afraid that the document is one that is put together by Kim and is her copyright. One of the group rules is that documents must not be shared outside the group. Here is a link to the Ministere d’Intérieur site which gives the rules for British drivers post Brexit https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/Brexit-ce-qui-change-depuis-le-1er-janvier-2021/Permis-de-conduire. It doesn’t say anything about expired photocards but the prefecture de police has confirmed that it is the licence date that counts.

  28. Me and my husband moved to france in January 2020. My husband’s licence was due to expire last July. He applied to swap his license last June. It has been accepted but we last heard in January still ‘under instruction’. I take it he cannot drive in france until he receives his French license?

    1. If it is his actual licence that has expired then he is not allowed to drive. If it is his photocard and the licence itself is still valid then he should be okay to drive as long as he makes sure that he has proof that he has applied and is waiting for ANTS to process it.

  29. hello, the French Government website concerning uk driving licences swap is not up to date and misleading. I was in fact mislead into thinking I could still swap my very old , but still valid uk driving licence (one of those withouth picture). I applied a couple of months ago and my application was rejected. There’s no way I will pass the french code de la route despite the fact that I ‘ve been driving for the past 39 years…. My technical French is not good enough and I don’t fully understand the questions. I live in a place where there’s no public transports and I will not be able to go to work… Does anyobne know (more or less of course) when a decision is likely to be taken and where will we be able to find the information?

    1. @Cinzia Lorusso – if you read the bit in red at the top, it states very clearly that the French government is not swapping any British licences at the moment. We’ve not changed the main article, as once the UK government signs off the reciprocal agreement it will once again be relevant.

  30. Hi Sarah it probably won’t help, given my own experience. Gaz

  31. My experiences are no different from what I read here, and I’m no farther forward in exchanging my licence.

    The Cerfa links on gouv.fr are broken. If you want to find the documents, copy and search.
    https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/Brexit-ce-qui-change-depuis-le-1er-janvier-2021/Permis-de-conduire

    The ANTS site, which is the only place I can get this exchange organised, despite the offer of forms from the gouv.fr site, tells me:-
    “… à ce jour, il n’existe pas d’accord de réciprocité entre la France et l’État de délivrance de votre permis.” – that would be the UK.

    Patience, patience, patience.

    Derek

    1. Hello,

      I hope someone will be able to help me.

      I am French and I passed my driving licence in London in June 2017. I moved back to France in September 2020 via Eurostar.

      I read what the Service-Public.fr said about UK driving licence. I have contacted ANTS site and since January 2021 there is no agreement between France and UK. But what if you arrived before January 2021? Does It mean that before january 2021 it was possible to exchange your driving licence?

      The answer received from ANTS site was :
      “… à ce jour, il n’existe pas d’accord de réciprocité entre la France et l’État de délivrance de votre permis.”

      I decided to write to M. le Ministre de l’Interieur and give him all the documents proving that I was living in the UK when I passed my DL, the date when I arrived in France, translation of my DL…etc .

      Do you think it will help me?

      Many thanks!

      Sarah

      1. I have uk driving licence it will be expired 2025 june.
        But my first 1 year salary card will be finish 04.06.2021.
        Normally i should exchange within 1 year of first résidence card in France. But i coule not apply for exchange ants gouv.fr because still not reciporal contrat between france and uk.
        Please give me suggestion can i exchange when reciporal agrément créate between france and uk.
        Please give me advice what should i do
        One side few more days first salary card will be one year
        On the other hand i could not apply for exchange ants because of reciporal agrément

      2. Hi Sarah,
        Nobody can exchange their licence at the moment unless they actually applied before the site was shut to applications in early Jan 2021. There are two things you can do: the first is to sit and wait until the agreement between the UK gov and the French is signed. The second is to take a French driving test. Apparently negotiations are now underway, but the UK gov doesn’t seem to see the urgency and doesn’t care that thousands of people whose licences have expired have no choice but to either take a French test or drive illegally or not drive at all.

        1. Vraiment Madeleine!! I just want to cry. I don’t want take another test, it will cost me another 2000e. That is not fair for everybody who actually has their driving licence. Do you think it will be a waste of time if I write to Monsieur le Ministre de l’intérieur?

          Thank you for your reply.

          Sarah

  32. My UK driving licence expires June 2021. If and when the situation is resolved and hopefully we can swap UK licence to French (as before), will France accept my EXPIRED Uk licence!!??

    1. The Samse thing happened to me, Irish licence expired Icould not return there because of Covid and now the French won’t exchange an expired licence for a French one! So do your best to organize it before June! good luck Adele

      1. Hi Adele, I also have an expired (since March 2021) Irish driving licence, I have read so many contradictory comments on varias sites, but your experience with ANTS seems to be very clear, which means I am doomed to take the driving test here (& the code !!), have you taken the test ?, how did it go ?, is it obligatory to take 20 lessons (OMG!!) & do the full code exam ?
        Thank you so much in advance if you have any more info’ on this,
        All the best, Peadar

  33. My personal advice is, if you have not applied to exchange your licence yet, wait until the UK and French governments have reached a decision.
    This is supposed to be soon.
    I have tried just about every UK gov website/department and always get advised to try somewhere else.
    There is nothing we can do but wait and see.

  34. A friend of mine applied via ANTS in August last year, they won’t answer the phone and just send messages that it is still “under instruction”
    This is after her original application with the Préfecture at Nantes was rejected as she had not sent the old licence – which they then returned to her!!

  35. The latest information I have received is that you will need proof that you lived in the UK when your licence was issued. I have not found a way to do this.
    If you worked in the UK at the time a payslip may be accepted.
    I got my licence in 1980 do not have payslips from then.
    Good luck !!

  36. Hello, above you state that if a person was UK resident, with a UK licence, but not a UK national, they will need a a document, dated less than three months, from the issuing body of your foreign licence (in this case, DVLA) declaring that you have the right to drive. I have looked on the DVLA website and cannot find any contact details there within the DVLA to get this. Do you have any further details? Thank you

  37. As stated in the article, section ‘ Exchanging a non EU-driving licence for a French one‘ …..
    “Translation of your driving licence (if it is not in French) by a sworn translator or an apostilled translation from abroad “

  38. Hi , my english driving licence runs out in January next year , I am a tax payer in France have everything together for exchange, question is,, do I have to have an offical translation of my english licence and if so where do I get it from .

  39. Can you drive a small camping car on a B or BE or do you need a C1?

    Information much appreciated.

    1. The French licence differs from the UK one in that in the UK you are automatically given the right to drive categories C1, D1, DE, C1E and D1E when you pass your test. You can find an explanation of the categories on the UK government site. In France the Cs and Ds are dependent on passing an additional test and a medical.

  40. Reading this article it doesn’t sound like you need to translate either the photo card or the paper version of the licence. Is that correct?

    I’m just gathering all my documents together to go through this process, so would really appreciate confirmation on this from one of the admins or another member of the group who has already gone through this process.

    Merci beaucoup !

    1. Hello. That is correct according to the info we have at this time.

  41. @glynd and @rafemckenna – it’s apparently normal not to have heard anything. A friend rang after a few months and managed to get hold of somebody who confirmed that they had his application in the system but said that they had huge delays and that they would be in touch.

  42. i sent my application in january 2018 also.

    its been 9 months now and nothing.

    i sent it suive and it got deliverd

  43. We sent out application to Nantes in January 2018 and have not heard a thing. We have spoken to numerous people and they seem to have the same problem.

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