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I have been in France for 6 months, 3 months as tourist and now for next 3 months onward as a French resident (5 year titre de sejour). I am non-EU citizen and I carry Dubai, UAE driving license which I got when I was living there for 5 years (I can prove that by my UAE visa issue and cancellation dates).

How long can I drive without French (and without EU) driving license? How can I convert or permanently exchange my Dubai, UAE licence into a French driving license - what are requirements/process?

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According to service-public.fr, you can drive for up to a year with your non-EU license (the page suggests you need a translation or “international driving permit” as well) and you can exchange it for a French one within one year of arriving in France (i.e. less than one year after the beginning of the validity of your first titre de séjour).

Beware: Non-EU licenses cannot be exchanged at all after the one-year delay is over, so you should start gathering the documentation and apply for an exchange quickly, even if you don't need to drive right now, and cannot simply take care of it when you need it later.

The process is also explained in Exchanging an American driving license for a French one.

  • So can I drive on foreign license up to 1 year after titre de sejour? – hB0 Nov 27 '14 at 16:24
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    @hB0 If it's your first titre de séjour, yes. There is actually another page explicitly about that, I will add it to my answer. Also note that you can't exchange the license after that so you do need to get all the documents and apply for a French license sooner and not start take care of it once the delay has slipped. – Gala Nov 27 '14 at 16:25

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