French drivers who still have a pink driving license, made from aging cardboard, will have to adapt to a major change. This document, which dates from 1922, will gradually be replaced by the more modern and more secure driving license in blue card format (see illustration below). This new permit presents many advantages for road users – but also obligations to respect.
A more practical and reliable license
The legendary pink driving license – which was issued to French drivers until 2013 – is a cardboard document with 3 panels which no longer complies with standards in Western countries. It is easily damaged (and often torn), falsified very quickly and it is not recognized internationally. It also does not allow you to know the number of points remaining on your license, which can be a source of uncertainty for drivers. They must go to the mespoints.permisdeconduit.gouv.fr service to find out their points balance.
Conversely, driving license in “blue card” is a laminated document the size of a bank card. It is already in force in most European countries and the United States, which makes driving abroad easier. It also offers several advantages to French drivers: it is more resistant, more difficult to counterfeit and easier to carry (in a wallet). It also allows you to consult your license points balance online, which is very practical. It can even be recorded on a smartphone, which makes it easier to control by law enforcement.
The new format of the driving license © Presse-citron/Unsplash/Florian Steciuk/Ministry of the Interior
A gradual but obligatory change
It's now official: pink permit holders have until January 19, 2033 to apply in order to obtain the new driving license in blue card format. From the end of January 2033, the pink license will no longer be valid and drivers may be penalized in the event of an inspection. In this case, they will have to pay a fine of 11 euros for failure to present the license – which may be increased to 38 euros subsequently. If no valid driving license is presented, the fine may reach 135 euros and the vehicle may also be immobilized.
Officially,there are therefore less than 10 years left to complete the process of changing your license. This is quick and will allow you to meet standards, which is also practical for car rentals abroad, for example. You should know that the “new” driving license has been issued since 2013, so pink card licenses are becoming increasingly rare. Note that the new CB license has a validity limit of 15 years, which was not the case for cardboard licenses (unlimited duration).
Should we act now ? For the moment, it is not obligatory to take the steps to change your cardboard license – except in the event of loss, theft or damage to the document. Keep in mind that a torn license (at the fold) will be refused. If yours is in poor condition, it is better to change it and request a new plastic model in CB format.
To apply for a new license in the event of theft, loss or damage, you must go to the ANTS website (National Agency for Secure Titles) and pay 25 euros to obtain the new license . Otherwise, the new driving license is free if you still have the pink cardboard model in good condition. The Ministry of the Interior specifies that “no decision has been taken concerning its replacement before 2033”.
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