New Zealand Embassy Paris, France
As a visitor, you can drive for up to one year in France on your current, valid New Zealand driver licence. It must be a full driver licence with no restrictions, and should be accompanied by an official translation in French or an International Driving Permit (IDP). An IDP is not a driver licence; it is a translation of your licence and is only valid accompanied by the original, current driver licence.
For an extended stay in France, you will need to obtain a French driver licence. Since 23 June 2009, a reciprocal licence swap arrangement has been in place, allowing New Zealanders who have been resident in France for less than one year to exchange their New Zealand licence for a French one, without having to pass the local driving test. Applications need to be made directly to the driver licence section of your nearest Préfecture de Police or Mairie. Take a copy with you of the official bulletin (see 1. below) in case your local authority is not yet aware of New Zealand’s addition to the list of countries with which France has a driver licence exchange agreement.
For New Zealanders who have been in France longer than one year, the practical and theoretical licence tests must be sat and passed.
Note that car insurance is obligatory in France. Insurance companies may refuse claims if your driving status is invalid, e.g. if you have not obtained a French licence but have been in France for longer than one year.
Full information on driver licence requirements (in French) is available on the French Public Service website, or at your local Préfecture de Police or Mairie.
Lost or stolen New Zealand photo driver's license
If you lose your New Zealand photo driver licence overseas, you can either apply for a replacement licence or have the details of your driver licence record (Certificate of Particulars) sent to you.
Applying for a replacement licence
Form DL2A is intended for New Zealand licence holders currently outside New Zealand (and therefore unable to visit a driver licensing agent) who need to replace their personal driver licence. It also provides an option for the driver to extend the expiry date of their personal driver licence by up to 12 months. Download the DL2A application form here. Application instructions are on the form. Alternatively, email the Transport Registry Centre to obtain the form.
Applying for a Certificate of Particulars
If you need to prove you are a licensed driver you can request a Certificate of Particulars. This can be emailed, faxed or posted to you and outlines what classes of driver licence you hold, the issue date of the licence, whether it is current and so on. There is a fee payable for this certificate.
To request a Certificate of Particulars, either call (tel: +64 6 953 6200) or email the Contact Centre providing your full name, date of birth, the address that appeared on your licence, and if possible, your driver licence number. Please include an email or postal address for the return of the certificate.
For more detailed information, including fees payable, consult the Kiwis driving overseas of the New Zealand Transport Agency website.