Monday, 5 January 2015

Our French Life - Permis de Conduire

Monday 5th January 2015

Prefecture Laval
we had been dreading changing our English driving licences for French ones as we had read numerous postings on the Internet of how some people had to wait 16 months to get it, some of the stories had been of Biblical proportion, so when we went 2 weeks before Christmas to change our permit de conduire (English driving licence) we were expecting the French brick wall along with the Martian speak that is the French Language, not so, it all went very well, The lady we saw there spoke fairly good English and with my French we got there.
Half way through just as things were going fine, those dreaded words (Ah problem) we looked at each other and thought ..NO..
All the double photocopies of proof of residence were fine for John but not for me as my name was not on them, note to self get them all changed as it might be a big problem if John were to die, where would I stand but that's another blog.
John had to sign a declaration to say I lived there so all was ok, the whole thing took about 30 minutes and were told it would take 2 weeks when we would get a letter calling us in to collect the licence's

Voila, Saturday 3rd Jan the letter came, YES in 2 weeks, we were amazed as Christmas had happened in-between and New Year, we were excited and planned to get up early Monday morning and trot off to Laval Prefecture (we don't normally do early in the winter).
We set the alarm for 8am and got up both a little bleary eyed, the dreaded fog was out there and we both said we didn't much like it but we would take it easy and keep our eyes peeled for the crazy French drivers, we arrived at the Prefecture at 10h and took a ticket as per the norm and sat expecting to wait a long time as there were lots of people from other countries (we could tell by their language) well you can imagine when our number came up straight away and we seemed to jump the queue - in we went to be greeted by a lovely young girl who sadly did not speak any English so our French was put to the test, we managed ok, she did John's first showing him a list of information which included the 12 points which here they put on and take away if you are naughty unlike in England where they put them on, is everything backwards here?
Then onto mine - She asked what my maiden name was and proceeded to look for mine under this name, yes sure enough my licence is in my maiden name so I questioned this and she said c'est normale - bizarre.
I think it only took 20 minutes this time, were we just lucky or is it because we live in the Mayenne! who knows, I do think that they take kindly to anyone who try's to speak the language plus it is in their interest to have everyone with French documents as they can now take our points and fine us...

1 comment:

I am always happy to read your comments and I will try to answer you all x