Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting a French Driver's license

These are a few pictures from the "Toques et Clocher" festival.  Caleb, Micah, and I went.  It was quite crowded and I can not imagine seeing more cars parked.  They were packed in every spot.  I did enjoy seeing some antique cars and some wooden models of the churches that have been repaired.  Sunday went well.  We received word that one of Angie's uncles had passed away.  He had been sick for a while, but it is still sad to hear about it, and not be able to be with the family.  We enjoyed the services in Carcassonne and also listening to the morning services of our sending church.  Today I dropped of the paperwork for our drivers license exchange.  If you do not remember the history of our driver's license issues, let me summarize.  We found out that getting a french driver's license the french way is very expensive.  We also found out that there were several states that had a exchange agreement with France.  Colorado was one of these states, and also one that did not require proof of residence.  It was actually cheaper for us to fly to Colorado and exchange our Texas driver's license than to go through the process here (classes, driving lessons, exams).  Thankfully I have a aunt that lives in the Denver area that hosted us for our trips.  When we arrived and received our Colorado driver's license we tried to exchange them, but because our visa (carte de sejour) was issued before our driver's license we could not.  We did found out that we could drive with a US license the entire time that we were students.  So we had some time to spare.  After language school we returned to the states to get our visa changed to non-students.  We arrived back in France, and received our visas (thankfully before 1 year was up, because you can only drive for one year in France with a US permit if you are not students).  All the paperwork we needed was a couple of photos, proof of residence in France, marraige license (for Angie to show her maiden name), official translation of the Colorado license, stamped and addressed envelopes, copes of our visas and driver's license.  I got that all turned in this morning and ours should arrive soon.  I didn't even have to pay, excluding the cost of the translation.  I think this could be the smoothest paperwork trail that we have done since being in France.  I will let you know for sure when we have the French "permis de conduire" in hand.  God bless, JASON   


Meg said...


I found your post through searching on Google. I am from Colorado and will soon be dropping off my documents to do the recipricol exchange.

However, I am afriad of a little problem that you mentioned in your post. You said that it was an issue that your Driver's License was issued more recently than your visa.

I am worried as Colorado DL's are issued every 5 years, so the one I have translated and for which I have records is for January of this year, thus obviously AFTER my visa was issued (last August).

Should I just bring my previous DL's to the appointment, or are they only going to be looking at these dates?

I'm jealous it went so smoothly for you! For me they want official copies of our driving records, and as I've got two speeding tickets from when I was 16, I'm quite nervous!

I would appreciate your advice on the matter, even though i know this is almost 2 years later!!!



abainfrance said...

Of course they may not even notice or ask. But, like you said, I would bring the previous one and try to explain that the new one is just a "renouvellement" and not the first issue. Sorry I can't be more help. If it doesn't work the first time you can try again a few months later when the laws have changed or someone new is working. Courage!