I originally took my driving test in Ohio at the age of 16 and received an Ohio license. While I was in college in Arizona, I converted that license to an Arizona one. Last year, I converted the Arizona license to a German license per the reciprocity agreement. Now I have license cards for Germany and Arizona as well as a card for Ohio with a hole punched in it.
Now I have lived in France for almost 1 year so I need to get my license figured out. I see that the prefecture websites all say that if you have a license from a country that has reciprocity with France then they distinguish between a license that is actually from that country and a license that has been converted from elsewhere. In this way, if my German license was converted from an Arizona license, and considering that Arizona does not have reciprocity with France, I must take a test to get a French license.
However, it seems to me that my Ohio license may be relevant, as Ohio does have reciprocity with France. As France treats the states basically as separate countries for the purpose of licensing, it seems that I could perhaps show my records regarding the conversion of the original Ohio license. From the wording on the French websites, I believe the inverse would be true. If I had an Ohio license that was converted from an Arizona license, it seems I would be required to take a new test (if the French had a good way to verify the origin of the Ohio license, as they likely do with German licenses).
Is there any mechanism by which I can provide documentation for the entire chain of licenses to prove that I was originally licensed in a state with reciprocity and thus eligible for a free conversion to a French license? I also realize it is possible that my German license may not even be relevant. Perhaps I can just show them the Arizona license and convert it, given that I can get documentation proving it is exchanged for an Ohio license?