Is your UK driving licence expiring?

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Mrs H

Is your UK driving licence expiring?

Post by Mrs H » Fri 12 Sep 2008 15:41

Although not common knowledge the new credit card sized UK driving licence is only valid for 10 years.

Now, if you live in the UK this is not a problem..... just send off to the DVLA and they send you a new one. But what about all the expats who have quite legally continued using the UK licence, how can they get a new one without a UK address? Personally I'm OK for another 2 years but the first new licences were issued 10 years ago so some of us will be affected soon. BTW you can check the expiry date by looking at section 4b on the front.

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Roger O
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Post by Roger O » Fri 12 Sep 2008 15:49

If you live in France as a permanent resident, you can exchange your UK license for a French one. It's free and, for a change, exceptionally uncomplicated.. and there is no validity period (yet) so it's for life!

I did this last year as my UK license (used in France since 1994 without problem) ran out at 70 (I was on 5th July this year). I went to the local police municipale in Le Soler, filled out a simple form with 2 photos and my old license. The french one came back in about 10 days.

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Post by carol sheridan » Fri 12 Sep 2008 16:00

Roger, I am 70 in two years, so I will have to change mine. Did you not need the usual bumf.......birth and marriage certificates, RIB, FT bill, etc?

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Post by opas » Fri 12 Sep 2008 16:34

Carol I changed my UK one for a French one, not that I am anywhere near 70 you understand :wink: Just because I wanted to .
As Roger says , was remarkably simple, although I cannot remember if the usual 10 page dossier was needed.....although I just think proof of address was requested. I did mine at the Local Maires office.
When you have sorted yourself out after this new move , get it done before you forget.

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Post by PaddyFrog » Fri 12 Sep 2008 16:43

opas wrote: get it done before you forget.
Get what done?????
I am sure it was important.

I wrote it on my hand, then I washed them.

:wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:
Michael

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Post by opas » Fri 12 Sep 2008 17:05

was that befor or after eating all the pies! :wink:

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Roger O
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Post by Roger O » Fri 12 Sep 2008 17:05

Carole, it is free, gratis and costs nothing so no RIB etc etc. You will need a proof of residency (the usual EDF bill) partly because your address will be on the license - unlike the older ones which sensibly had no address on them. Annaïck's is the same one she had at 18 (with a gorgeous photo!!).. Ask at the mairie or the police minicipale (seems to depend on the commune as to who does it..) The paper they give you has a list - I think only about 4 items, passport, EDF, old license, photos as far as I remember. As a usual precaution, before you give up your old license - they need the original which is returned to the UK for cancellation - photocopy it recto verso first.. I think that's "it". Roger

er.. oh yes.. and of course your UK license and passport name should agree, otherwise you probably would need the rest of the name-related bumpf.. especially as you changed yours by deed poll as I remember. I wanted to do that in Switzerland after my divorce and remarriage but the Swiss told me I would then be (for their admin) a different person and have to reapply for residence permit all over again with a 5 year wait for a "C", so I dropped that idea, which caused the Swiss guy to heave a sigh of relief as deed poll is unknown there and they hate unknowns.

PS I meant to mention that one cannot retain the original UK license and have a French one as well.. seems to be an EU convention! I did, however, sneakily retain my Swiss license which also has no date/age limit, though mostly as a souvenir like our 3 residency "C" permits, because as it has our old Swiss address in it and as we emigrated with option to return as full residents up to max. 6 months later, it would now be considered as invalid in CH and confiscated if offered at a police check, probably with a fine.

However, it may come in useful some time in some place like Argentina or Venezuela where UK citizens are not sooo popular and I can get by as a Swiss with the language/accent without problem... heh heh.. Grüezi!!
Everyone likes them because they are "neutral" and always wave about big bundles of cash!!

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Post by carol sheridan » Fri 12 Sep 2008 18:06

Thanks, Roger....I need a new passport too, so I will get all the photos done at once.

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Post by Roger O » Fri 12 Sep 2008 18:35

carol sheridan wrote:Thanks, Roger....I need a new passport too, so I will get all the photos done at once.
You'll need this, then:
http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/resources/ ... ion-adults
By the way, for the new biometric passports:
http://www.ips.gov.uk/passport/apply-ph ... ndards.asp
and, of course, no escaping this (daylight robbery!):
http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/en/passports/passport-fees
and if you happen to fancy a quick trip to Paris next Saturday to meet Sir Peter Westmacott at home (!),
see the middle blue box (European Heritage Day) on the homepage:
http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/en

Mrs H

Post by Mrs H » Fri 12 Sep 2008 18:43

Roger O wrote:If you live in France as a permanent resident, you can exchange your UK license for a French one.
I don't want a French licence, when the time comes I want to renew my UK one.

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Post by Roger O » Fri 12 Sep 2008 18:57

Mrs H wrote:
Roger O wrote:If you live in France as a permanent resident, you can exchange your UK license for a French one.
I don't want a French licence, when the time comes I want to renew my UK one.
Normally if your main residence is in France you would be obliged to change - if not, but you will be in France at the time your license would expire, then I would call the nearest consulate. I think Marseille is responsible for this region:
http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/en/our-off ... -marseille

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Post by Tiffany » Fri 12 Sep 2008 20:58

Mrs H, you cannot get a UK licence on a French address. You would have to use the address of a friend or obliging relative in the UK. I had mine sent to my Dads - they don't ask for proof of address or anything. In my opinion it is well worth hanging on to the UK licence, particularly while they can't put points on............

Roger - 70? My goodness, you're weathering well, must be the French lifestyle, or French/Swiss lifestyle! And I spent a year living and working in Argentina a couple of years after the Falkland Islands war and they loved us. Despite signs of 'Las Malvinas son Argentinas' (The Falklands are Argentinian)posted liberally about, the general population didn't really understand what all the fuss was about - fortunately for us!

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Post by Tiffany » Fri 12 Sep 2008 21:01

er...I would just like to say that I got married and had my name changed on my driving licence, not because I am anywhere near 70..........!

Not that there's anything wrong with being..........oh, I'd better go now....

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Is your driving licence expiring?

Post by Chantal » Fri 12 Sep 2008 21:32

A UK driving licence needs not be exchanged when living in France, unless there has been some driving accident, fine, etc.. i.e. the driver has incurred a loss of points on his licence.

The French driving system uses 'loss of points' (a full licence has 12, and 8 for a new driver during his first three years), as does the British one.

Chantal :)
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Post by PaddyFrog » Fri 12 Sep 2008 22:05

Tiffany wrote:Mrs H, you cannot get a UK licence on a French address. You would have to use the address of a friend or obliging relative in the UK.
/quote]

That is not actually true, after intervention by the EU, the UK has had to accept the last address in the UK.
UK citizens have a right to renew their licences at their last known address, and DVLC have a duty to send them to their overseas address.
That is the European law.

But unfortunately " Taffies" do not understand this.
Last edited by PaddyFrog on Sat 13 Sep 2008 14:54, edited 1 time in total.
Michael

Mrs H

Post by Mrs H » Fri 12 Sep 2008 23:13

PaddyFrog wrote: That is not actually true, after intervention by the EU, the UK has had to accept the last address in the UK.
UK citizens have a right to renew their licences at their last know address, and DVLC have a duty to send them to their overseas address.
That is the European law.
If this is true then there isn't a problem, where did you get this info?

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Post by mpprh » Sat 13 Sep 2008 08:54

This is an ongoing saga.

20 years ago, you had 3 months to swap the license within EU countries. Over time this expanded to 6 months, 12 months, 24 months, then never.

There was an early court case in Belgium establishing that not exchanging the license was equivalent to "not notifying change of address" rather than "driving without a license".

The dream of the EU driving licence had arrived ? Not if you were from UK !

I can't see any benefit in not swapping the license. Most keep a duplicate copy of the original (report the original one lost before leaving UK) for safety.

10 years ago, my local prefecture refused to exchange a license as it was "no longer neccesary unless you had earned points". On my next visit, I explained that I had been stopped and was very worried that the French state would not be able to award any points due. The exchange license arrived within 48 hrs.

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Post by john » Sat 13 Sep 2008 09:34

I'm with you on this one PF and Peter. I really cannot see the point of changing your licence. Despite what Roger says,several people I know who've tried to do it have been met with a mass of hassle and bureaucracy.

It's the same in Spain. Someone I know tried to do it there and they even suggested he should retake his test!!!

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Post by Colin L » Sat 13 Sep 2008 09:47

I'm a bit confused, John. Peter says he sees no benefit in not swapping your licence while you seem to be saying it is better to keep your UK one.

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Post by mpprh » Sat 13 Sep 2008 10:01

I had a current UK license until 1991. Then I had a Belgian license until 2001, when I swapped to a French license. During the "'life" of the Belgian license I had lived in Sweden for 5 years.

So, I swapped my existing EU license, but kept a duplicate copy of my original UK license.

The main reason for swapping it was that I was using a 10 year old handwritten Flemish Belgian license from a village I hadn't been to for 10 years. My concern was getting a replacement if I lost it.

But, I can't see any benefit in not swapping - particularly if you are getting close to 70.

Does anyone know if points are also swapped to the new license? If not I can see a very good reason to swap for some !

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Post by Roger O » Sat 13 Sep 2008 10:30

john wrote:Despite what Roger says,several people I know who've tried to do it have been met with a mass of hassle and bureaucracy.
John, I admit my case could have been easier than some as Le Soler is very progressive - see their website and try and find a village in the PO with a similar one! - and, of course, Mr Calvet, the Mayor, is also a UMP Député which jollies things along a little!!
http://www.lesoler.com/

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Post by Tiffany » Sat 13 Sep 2008 11:59

And I quote from directly off the DVLC website:

Keeping your details correct
Informing DVLA of your changed details will ensure your record’s up to date and all future driving licence reminders are sent to your correct address.

Remember, if you permanently move to another country, you can’t register your new address on your British driving licence. You’ll need to contact the driving licence authority in your country of residence.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/Dr ... DG_4022088

This would imply that they will only send the licence to the correct address as shown on the driving licence.

On the subject of changing your licence for a French one - why on earth would anyone wish to be able to put any points - or rather take any points off - their licence if they don't have to?

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Post by mpprh » Sat 13 Sep 2008 16:49

Tiffany wrote:
On the subject of changing your licence for a French one - why on earth would anyone wish to be able to put any points - or rather take any points off - their licence if they don't have to?
Say you had 10 points on a UK license and moved to France ...........

If the points are NOT transferred it would be worth swapping for a shiny clean French license ?

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Post by john » Sat 13 Sep 2008 17:32

mpprh wrote:
Tiffany wrote:
On the subject of changing your licence for a French one - why on earth would anyone wish to be able to put any points - or rather take any points off - their licence if they don't have to?
Say you had 10 points on a UK license and moved to France ...........

If the points are NOT transferred it would be worth swapping for a shiny clean French license ?

Peter
That certainly USED to be the case,Peter,but I read somewhere it was changing,and probably already has!

So in that case ,that's what I mean...what's the benefit in changing?

I guess it comes down to whether you have a legitimate address in the UK for the DVLC to send it to. We have,so thats why I'm not swapping.

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Post by Tiffany » Sat 13 Sep 2008 17:41

Say you had 10 points on a UK license and moved to France ...........

If the points are NOT transferred it would be worth swapping for a shiny clean French license ?

Peter
Ahh, well that would be worth it! But not having applied for a French one, I don't know if they do take them into account.

Also, yes, they ARE talking about swopping information on points etc between the two countries, but I can vouch for the fact that they have not started yet, having recently been picked up by a radar - only 5kph over the limit, I might add- but I paid the fine and got away without the points. Phew!

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Post by john » Sat 13 Sep 2008 18:10

Exactly Tiffany. I can see several down sides to swapping from Uk to F licence,but as yet I've not been presented with any advantages of doing so. Any offers?

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Post by PaddyFrog » Sat 13 Sep 2008 20:02

Tiffany,
If you get done by the boys in blue and you are a resident, you are obliged to change to a frog licence so that you can have your points deducted.

you also do not have to have renew at 70 if you have a French one.
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Post by Webdoc » Sat 13 Sep 2008 20:29

PaddyFrog wrote:If you get done by the boys in blue and you are a resident, you are obliged to change to a frog licence so that you can have your points deducted.
So I can collect points in the UK, and have them taken away in France? Fantastic!

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Post by Tiffany » Sat 13 Sep 2008 20:50

Well, I received the fine, paid the fine and noone has mentioned the points. Noone has obliged me to give up my GB licence at all. However, I expect they would if I committed a serious infraction, like drink driving or something.

Mrs H

Post by Mrs H » Sun 14 Sep 2008 12:45

PaddyFrog wrote: That is not actually true, after intervention by the EU, the UK has had to accept the last address in the UK.
UK citizens have a right to renew their licences at their last know address, and DVLC have a duty to send them to their overseas address.
That is the European law.
PaddyFrog, where did you find this info?

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