Life In France

French Bureaucracy


It is well known that when dealing with the administrative side of French Life it can be a challenge – now I like a challenge but only when I know the rules…
We are in the process of surrending our British driver’s license (yes, I do have a British license) for a French one and are amazed at just how difficult this is. Having checked on the French Government website, phoned the Prefecture (government office) to find out what was required, off we went with two copies of our paperwork. Oh the French and their love of paper!
We knew that we we’re in for a nightmare when the sour looking lady who was dealing with us had to ask her supervisor if England was in the Euorpean Union! She asked us if Di had a copy of her birth certificate because her last name changed when we got married – we replied that it was not a requirement according to the website nor did the person that we had spoke to mention it! That was met with a puff of her cheeks and a “NON” we have to have a certificate. That was it, end of conversation as far as she was concerned.
We headed home frustrated but not defeated and found Di’s birth certificate. Back we went, thinking this will be done only to find (after waiting in a long line) that the birth certificate must be officially translated into French (they didn’t tell us that first time) in order to comply with their requirements (where does it say this)?!
Shaking our heads in disbelief, we walked out of the office wondering how can such an amazing country function so poorly!
So we’re working on the ‘Official Translated Document’ and await the next round…


French Bureaucracy – it’s true!