DRIVING IN FRANCE
TOURISTS AND SHORT TERM RESIDENTS
If you are a tourist or short-term resident (90 days), you can legally drive in France provided you have both a valid Australian State or Territory driver's license AND a valid international driving permit (that you must obtain before leaving Australia) or an official translation in French of the Australian driver's license.
LONG TERM RESIDENTS
During the first twelve months of residency
Long term residents may legally drive in France provided they have both a valid Australian State or Territory driving license AND a valid international driving permit only during the first twelve months of residency.
After the first twelve months of residency
Long term residents CAN NO LONGER legally drive in France on Australian driving licenses. They must either stop driving or obtain a French driver's license.
Exchanging an Australian driver's license for a French driving license
Long term residents may exchange their Australian driving license for a French driving license provided that they:
1. Apply for the exchange during the FIRST twelve months of residency in France.
2. Possess a French titre de sejour.
Documents required for the exchange, which is applied for at one’s local Prefecture of Police include originals and photocopies of the following documents: (the below list is suggested guidelines of what the local prefecture may request - please check with local authorities).
- Possession of a valid state/territory driver's license
- Translation of the driving license by a certified translator.
- A letter from the relevant state/territory licensing authority stating when the license was first issued with licence history record
- Translation of the above letter by a certified translator.
- A valid French carte de sejour
- A valid Australian passport
- Proof of address (utility bill)
- 4 photos and color copies of your IDs
- For further Information please consult the following website : http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/Vos-demarches/Permis-de-conduire-et-papiers-du-vehicule