Britons living in France will be able to continue to drive on their UK driving licences in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the French government has announced.
There was some good news for British people living in France on Monday.
The French government has published a decree stating that UK driving licences can continue to be used in the case of a no-deal Brexit by those who can prove “normal residence” in France. Britons can also apply to have their licences converted to French ones under the same conditions as now.
“Normal residence” means those who have been living in France for six months (185 days) and the move will come into effect the day the UK crashes out of the European Union without a deal.
If you fall into this category, you won’t need to exchange your licence until either the photocard or licence expires, or if it is lost or stolen.
However if you do not have the required 185 days evidence you will have to apply for a new license as a Third Country National, meaning you have 12 months to apply after Brexit day.
“This decree specifies the conditions for the recognition and exchange of driving licenses issued by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to persons who have transferred their normal residence to France,” said the statement.
Previously Britons in France were advised to exchange their driving licences as soon as possible to avoid the prospect of having to take a driving test in France.
That led to thousands of Britons inundating French authorities with exchange applications which led to backlog. Many have been waiting over a year to get their French driving licence. Recently French authorities in Nantes, where applications,ns are processed, said they would not be accepting new applications until they knew more about whether Britain would leave the EU with a deal.
It was believed French authorities would give Britons a year to exchange their licences following a no-deal Brexit but the latest decree does not include a deadline.
The decree has been welcomed by many although there is still frustration felt by those who have already sent their applications away.
“Many people are very relieved,” said Kim Cranstoun from the “Applying for a French driving licence” Facebook page.
“But unfortunately this still doesn’t help the vast amount of people that are still waiting for their applications to be finalised.”
Cranstoun added that many have been “stuck in the system for months”, saying that she would like the authorities “to respond to people”.
“There’s no point in giving them the advice to continue to try and contact these people when they are getting nothing back, on either contact form, email address or phone numbers.”
The full announcement on driving licences can be found on the government-run Légifrance website.