Find the answers to many of your expat questions here

View Latest Posts

You're missing out...

As a member you can enjoy exclusive info and offers.


Exchanging an American Driving License

Posted by anglofilia - Created: 4 years ago
0 0
Sorry no image available

5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

Sorry no image available
Posted by anglofilia - 1 year ago

I'm an American expat living in the Saint Raphaël/Fréjus area and would like some tips on exchanging and testing for the French driving license. I happen to be from one of those states that does not have an reciprocal agreement, so this mean that I have to pass the French Code. No problem with that, but does this mean that I have to take the whole 20 hour driving course? The Marie says "not really", but the local driving schools don't seem to know what to do with me. Has anyone in the area gone through this before? Any suggestions?

Sorry no image available
Posted by garsar-215067 - 4 years ago


I know all about it having just been through part of it myself, so contact me if you want to speak to me.  email me and send your telephone number and I'll call you.

How good is your French?

Are you planning on moving here permanently or just staying for a few years?

Also do you have any good friends in any of the states that do exchang?

Sorry no image available
Posted by belamica-188434 - 4 years ago

Been there, done that.  What a hassle!  However, if you can get a letter from your local Préfecture saying you're NOT a jeune conducteur/conducteur apprenti, then you show that to the boss of the driving school which should - in theory - just check you out for 1 - 2 hrs. to see you CAN drive.  If they ask for the full 20 hrs. see another driving school. Then you do the driving test which is dead easy (but only AFTER you've done the theory part) and you get that famous piece of paper, with 6 points to your credit.   If you need any more info, pm me.  Good luck. 

Sorry no image available
Posted by ibseur - 4 years ago

To be honest with you, you will probably have to do the drivers' licence all over again: pratice+ theory.

Sorry no image available
Posted by Cathouse-290059 - 4 years ago

I've heard that the written test is the real stumbling block for US expats along with the driving test itself.  I've passed your posting onto another US expat who's been through it all, I hope they'll be able to reply soon. 

I'd guess this is because we all learn to drive a manual car, a stick shift, in Europe, while in the US most people drive automatics.  Frankly I think we should all drive automatics, it makes life so much easier!  Good wishes.