October 2019

Permis B - Candidat Libre


Official link 1: Service-public.fr

Official link 2: Haute-garonne.gouv.fr/candidat-libre

Foreigners can drive in France upto 1 year from the date on their visa stamp or during the entire duration of their studies (if student). Please check the previous article for more info. After this period, they need to obtain the french driving license (Permis B), if they want to continue driving in the country.

Obtaining the French driving license involves two steps. Passing the theoretical traffic rules exam (Code de la route) and the practical driving exam.

So, we can do the same by either registering with a driving school (Auto-école) or doing it on our own (Candidat Libre). This article talks about the later one i,e. Candidat Libre and this option is really affordable assuming that you can already drive properly.

In short, you can pass the Permis B as a candidate libre, i,e. without being attached to a driving school to train you and take the exam. You must have a NEPH number (Numéro d'enregistrement préfectoral harmonisé) to do it. To pass the code de la route, you must register at an approved examination center like La Poste. To pass the practical test, you must contact the local prefecture (DDT or DDTM).

Requirements for Candidat Libre:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to obtain the Permis B.

  • You must have stayed in France for at least 6 months and have a valid residence permit.

  • If you have a health problem, you must do a medical check-up with a certified doctor before applying for a driver's license.

Step 1: Request for an NEPH number:

Inscription details : www.haute-garonne.gouv.fr/Examen-du-permis-de-conduire-Inscription

Inscription details : www.haute-garonne.gouv.fr/Candidate-libre-pdf

To pass the driver's license, you need a license file number, i,e the NEPH. This can be obtained by making a request online on the ANTS website . You need the following documents in digital format:

Step 2: Registration for the theoretical test (Code de la route):

To pass the code as a candidat libre, you must register at an approved exam center like La Poste (French Post) or SGS or Bureau Véritas or Pearsons VUE or DEKRA . You need to register yourself in their respective website with your NEPH number and select the date and exam center (600 centers in Frence) of your choice. This process will cost you 30 euros and result will be available in 2 hrs after the exam.

If you require an official translator (French to English) for the exams, you can hire the services of the translators. Official English translators.

Step 3: Registration for the practical driving exam:

After passing the Code de la route, you can proceed to the practical exam. This can be done by sending an email to ddt-candidatlibre@haute-garonne.gouv.fr with the following documents.

After sending the email, you will receive an confirmation email. If there are any documents missing, you will be asked to provide them. If all the documents are in proper order, you will receive an email (Convocation) with the exam date within 2 months of sending the email to the prefecture.

Meanwhile, visit a nearby driving school (Auto-école) for making a demand of accompanying you to the practical exam. This will cost you 75-100 euros (monitor + vehicle) depending on the school.

Step 4: Practical driving exam:

On the day of the practical exam, you will be accompanied by the auto-école person in their vehicle to the exam center.

You need to carry the following documents:

  • Identity proof

  • Printout of the convocation email.

  • A5 envelope with appropriate postal stamp including your address in the receiver’s section.

Person accompanying you need to carry the following documents:

  • Identity proof

  • Permis B

  • Vehicle insurance

  • Official authorization from the Auto-école for accompanying you to the exam.

An official monitor from the prefecture will verify the documents and explain the exam procedure. Normally, you will be asked to drive for approximately 25 minutes including 5-10 mins in Autoroute (Highway). Just follow the instructions of the monitor and the code de la route for a successful exam.

The results of the exam will be available in 48 hours after the exam. You can check the results here. You will also receive the result by post (in the same envelope that you presented to the exam monitor). The results will have 2 sections - Indice de presentation (no. of attempts) and Resultat (Result). A resultat of ‘A’ or ‘B’ means that the candidate has passed the exam. Otherwise, the resultat will be ‘Ajo’ which means that he/she has failed the exam. All the relevant information will be available in the downloaded result.

If you have passed the exam, you need to make a request for the Permis B card in ANTS website within 4 months from the practical exam date. Normally, you should receive the original Permis B within 2-4 weeks of making the demand. This document is valid for 15 years and the same will be mentioned in it.

If you have failed the exam, please repeat the steps 3 and 4.

Additional info:

  • All the statistics about people applying for Permis B or others are available here.

  • We can drive with the French Permis B across the EU zone without the neeed of an International Driving Permit. Also, it is not necessary to exchnage it with other EU zone countries’ driving licenses.

“Drive safely. Respect the rules. Enjoy your drive in France.”