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Getting photocopies certified as originals.

Posted by jmroberts-180597 - Created: 16 years ago
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9 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 9)

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Posted by mike-179830 - 16 years ago

Just to stress, an International Driving licence has NO LEGAL STANDING. It is (as is well explained here) simply a convenient way of explaining in a bunch of languages that you do actualy have a licence.

And it's also worth stressing that your SA licence is no longer valid after one year of residency. That means if you drive a car you are doing so unlicenced and (by extension) uninsured. The only thing you can drive is a 50cc scooter (which doesn't require a licence).

Finally, the exchange can take place after the 12-month period has expired, with the approval of the Minister of the Interior. This doesn't mean that you have to go to Paris and make a personal visit, however - you just go to the Préfecture and apply for the exchange in the normal way, and then pass a couple of tense weeks while awaiting a decision. If it goes against you then you need to take the French test. However, experience suggests that many more people are lucky than the letter of the law suggests.


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Posted by wendy-179831 - 16 years ago

Hi jm<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

You've got it a bit wrong - it's all a whole lot easier than that.

A licence exchange agreement exists between SA and France. This means that if your SA licence is valid in SA you can exchange it for a French one within your first 12-months living in France (from the "start" date on your residence permit). You can legally drive in France on your SA license for 12-months, after that the SA licence becomes invalid in France.

Full details on licence exchange here: http://riviera.angloinfo.com/information/1/exlicence.asp

The SA Consulate in Monaco can certify your copy (but just so you know, an international drivers licence has no legal status and does not entitle you to drive - it merely shows that you have a driver’s licence which is unnecessary if your SA one is valid, and pointless if it’s not).

SA Consulate Monaco contacts here: http://riviera.angloinfo.com/af/122/

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 16 years ago

it's like I said - the Mairie used to do this on a scale rivalling the industrial output of a medium sized  nation state.  Now they don't.  If a Notaire will do it for free as Irishman suggests - that is your best bet.  I am sure a stamp from a french Notaire will be perfectly acceptable to the SA authorities.

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 16 years ago

I got the 'centre de vie' (which I think is part of the mairie) to certify a copy of my UK passport.  after some uphill.  First they said I had to do it myself as an 'attestation d'honneur' ... ( hello ....!),  then they said they couldn't do it because it was in English, but when they realised I was going to sit there and give them a hard time until they did it or showed me in black and white where it said they couldn't,  they did. 

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Posted by Ellen7-187820 - 16 years ago

Last time I tried to get a document in English certified as "copie conforme" at the Mairie, they said they could only do documents in french.Ellen

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Posted by jmroberts-180597 - 16 years ago

Thanks Irishman.

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Posted by irishman-180738 - 16 years ago

As far as I know the Mairie will do this for you.

Failing that, any Notary Public will - I even found one who said that it would cost him more to invoice me for the 1 minute job than he would charge for it. He did it for nothing!

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Posted by jmroberts-180597 - 16 years ago

Thanks for your reply Legend.

I need to send the photocopy back to SA to have my SA driver's renewed. Then I'll get another international driver's license, thus allowing me to drive here. It's the SA government that asked for a certified copy.

Why not get a French driver's license you may ask... well, to get a French license I have to do 20 hours of accompanied driving (with some official or school I suppose), whereas if I were to get a UK driving license I just hand it in and get a UK one. Much easier and I don't have the time to go to a school and I'm not keen on paying the driving school fees (can't be free) plus the administrative fees.

You can also only swap licences during your first year of residency here.

For anyone else needing info on this:





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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 16 years ago

The French Administration used to be preoccupied with stamping documents as "copie conforme" and the local Mairie often had surly individuals who did nothing but such menial tasks.  Thankfully recent government changes swept away much (most?) of the bureaucracy around personal documents to the extent that the Mairie now no longer has these rubber-stampers as the French Administration no longer demand such. 

Who is stipulating that your SA license photocopy needs to be "certified"?  Why not ask them what their measure of certification is and for a list of approved certificators?