Thanks to driving license exchange agreements between countries and the International Driving Permit, it is increasingly easy to be able to drive your RV to the 4 corners of the globe. Find out if your driving license is sufficient for your next roadtrip !
What is the International Driving Permit ?
If you come to France for your holidays, you can easily drive with your foreign driving license. The latter will simply have to meet two criteria :
• be valid. Indeed, it is forbidden to drive in France with an expired foreign licence. You must not have been subject to a suspension, cancellation or restriction of your driving rights in the country of issue of your licence.
• it must be accompanied by a French translation or be accompanied by an IDP. If you wish to obtain the translation once you arrive in France, you will have to contact a certified translator. You will find a list of experts to contact on the website of the French Court of Cassation. You can also contact your consulate or embassy directly.
Beyond a short stay (i.e. for a stay beyond 185 days), you will be considered as having your normal residence in France. You will therefore have to apply to exchange your license for a French license (if your country practices exchange with France, otherwise you will have to pass the French license).
To exchange your national license for a French licence, you must provide the following documents :
• the license exchange application form (cerfa n°14879*01) completed, dated and signed
• form 06 cerfa n°14948*01 completed, dated and signed
• 2 copies of your foreign driving license and its official translation
• proof of address
• a certificate of your driving rights produced by the State that issued your driving license
• 2 copies of your identity card or passport (for French, Swiss or European expatriates
• 2 passport photos
• a copy of student card for student requests
• 2 copies of your residence permit or Ofii passport sticker for non-European applicants
Please note that you will need to submit the original version of each document.
Please note that the regulations in France are not the same with regard to the driving of recreational vehicles. The standard French license (the category B license) allows you to drive vehicles weighing up to 3,500 kg. In other countries, such as Canada or the United States, the standard license allows you to drive vehicles weighing up to 4,500 kg. During a stay in France, it is the French regulations that you will have to follow and your standard license will therefore only be valid for RVs whose weight is less than or equal to 3,500 kg. If you wish to drive a heavier vehicle, you will need to hold a license equivalent to the heavy vehicle license in France. Pay attention to this detail before planning your stay.
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