Where I am at with France at the moment

Written for TDO on “Only B&H HCO between me and coming back to UK”:

To enroll for the exam next April you basically need a medical certificate, which I got weeks ago and a course in first-aid. The latter I finished last week, it was nine hours in three parts and it took place (I just booked the next one possible) in Soultz-Haut-Rhin, some 110 k´s away from Freiburg, where I am at at the moment.

You´ll particularly love that part, that I did a last minute call, to see if I could still participate, on Friday, which was ok, and then, because I was on shift the next day Saturday and don´t have a car anyway I just grabbed the cab and drove there in the morning, just wrote down a fare to Mulhouse airport (Soultz is not far away from there actually).

So, while I was in the course, my nice red German Easter egg-cab (as already shown here) waited for me on a parking space of a gym in Alsace, France! (For the next two times I took my brothers car and had to return Friday night at 11.30 am and leave again for France the next day at 7 in the morning!)

Anyway, though it is amazing how fast French can be spoken I passed the course and went yesterday to the office in Colmar (which is just a counter in the prefecture) to hand in my documents and to enroll.

In general, in France everything is very centralist and Paris-oriented, so throughout the nation the cab-exams are just once a year, mostly in April (some are in autumn) and nationwide divided in four parts, two of which are national parts and part 3 and 4 are regional.

So, you only need to take part 3 and 4 when you already hold a licence of another French town. And! Now here´s the truly amazing part, that goes too if you in fact hold a licence from another EU-country and show proof of a least two years employment (a statement of your employer will do here)! Just let this sink in!

So, I did, I casually showed them, to their amazement and delight, licences of three countries already and a letter from an employer in Freiburg, translated into French by me (and the medical and first-aid certificate)!

Now here is the part, where it gets really exciting!

Back then they told me I even could enroll for the exam with a German driving licence and so I did, I laid on the table my German driving licence! Get a hold of that!

Now, sadly, we all know about my troubles about renewing my licence in Brighton, erm, don´t we, and that a UK-driving licence is required. To this I have already mentioned here that in Germany for a renewal, other than in Brighton, a foreign driving licence would do, yet for a complete new application a national licence actually is required.

Now, here I am at the counter of “HCO” in France and lay on the table for a complete new application a national (German) driving licence and a German address, I just want to get this point through!

So, what will happen now, will I get through with this, bold, action? Will the French in the end be more European than the Germans?

Well, all I can say at this moment is that she will make an inquiry at the ministry (in Paris, I guess)! So, stay tuned for further information,  as soon as I know I will know I will keep you posted. 


About Jochen Lembke

Europe's cab-driving writer
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