As much as I’d love to write a blog post this week, I’m too busy stressing! The French drivers’ code test is on tap for February 16th.
Finally! there’s a date for the first part of my French Drivers License – the code test. I promise it’s one of the most agonizing things I’ve had to do living in France. Studying a poorly translated manual is bad enough. Paying for an online tutorial that’s translated even worse is the crowning blow.
Then there are the driving lessons, in French, and driving test if/when I pass the code test.
It all adds insult to injury.
So … hang on. I’ll be back to blogging soon. Meanwhile …
More about getting a French Drivers License … from the post: “Buying a Car in France”
What I’m going to tell you now is a good example of “do what I say, not what I do.” This is especially meant for Americans relocating to France, but it could apply to more.
Get your French drivers license your first year.
From my understanding, Americans have two ways to get a French driver’s license: the “easy” way, or the stressful, hard, complicated and frustrating way. To take advantage of the easy way, you have to move here from a state that has reciprocity with France, or a “reciprocal” state. Check here for your state.
If your state is listed, you’re one of the lucky ones. You “simply” exchange your US license for a French one. I notate “simply” because there’s nothing’s simple in France, especially dealing with French bureaucracy. The simple exchange took eight months for one friend.
For those of us without reciprocity, we must earn our driver’s license the hard way. That means, we must study the French driver’s code, take a test; then pass a practical driving test with a dual-control car … and a French instructor. Did I mention the code test is in French? And it’s administered only one day each month in my department, the Gard. The good news is that people my age can pay for a translator for the code test. The whole process takes months. First example: I ordered a copy of the driver’s codebook translated to English. It took 2 weeks to arrive.
Believe me, you’ll be hearing more about the driver’s license.