Based on these answers over on the Expats SE site, I understand that if you have a full driving license from one European Union country, you are fine to use it as-is in other EU countries on holidays, and for up to some time after moving there without exchanging it. All seems simple and easy enough.

What about provisional (learners) licenses? And specifically with France? If you have a learners license issued by another EU country, are you allowed to drive in France under suitable supervision of someone with a full EU driving license?

Or is it not possible for a visiting learning to get supervised practice in in France? (short of somehow qualifying for + jumping through the associated costs + hoops of getting a French learners permit too)

  • 2
    Not an answer, but it might provide a hint: learner's licenses which allow you to drive while being supervised by a more experienced driver do not even exist in all EU countries. In some places you need to go to a driver's school. Based on this I don't expect that there'd be EU-wide rules about learner's licenses. I don't know how this works in France, and what agreements France might have with your country.
    – Szabolcs
    Jun 11, 2014 at 15:16

4 Answers 4


The provisional supervised drivers license is only applicable in certain EU countries. I am not aware of all the details for each country. However, when I took driving lessons I was doing an internship in another country. I wasn't allowed to even take driving lessons in my internship country at that time. You need to be eligible for a local drivers exam. Back then the requirement was that you need to be a resident for at least six months (next to a minimum age of 18).

It is an interesting question (either on expat or travel), what the current requirements are to do a drivers test.

To answer your question, a provisional drivers license is given in the context of a specific country. To be able to drive without a drivers license in another country you need to adhere to local laws, which in your case implies getting a local provisional license if such a thing exists.

If such a license does not exist (e.g. the Netherlands), you are not allowed to hit the road. In Belgium a provisional licenses exist, however it requires a theoretical exam and a minimum set of professional guidance before your are allowed supervised driving. As said in 1996 you needed to be a resident for at least 6 months to be considered eligible for driving lessons and exam. This might have changed recently.


I am not aware of any provisions for that in EU law (nothing about that in the driver's license directive). I don't know about the opposite direction (i.e. coming to France) but I know for a fact that people doing supervised driving in France are explicitly advised that they don't have the right to drive in neighbouring countries (learners get a little booklet and an hour-long lesson/discussion with an instructor and the person(s) that will supervise them to explain what is allowed or not during supervised driving).

  • France is not listed as a country having learners permits en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learner's_permit might I suggest to update? I am currently working on an update on Belgium, which also has a Learners permit
    – user141
    Jun 11, 2014 at 12:48

In france we can learn to drive from age 16 but it's not a license and you have to drive with someone who is more than 28 and has a license for more than 3 years, it's called AAC (Aprentissage Anticipé de la Conduite, Anticipated Driving Learning). So, a learners permit as described in the wikipedia article in jwenting's response does not exists.

I dont know if foreigners can enjoy this status as it requires to take classes in an official driving school and get a designated supervisor. What is sure is the pupil can not drive outside the country until he/she gets her definitive license.

I know that any EU citizens are allowed to get a license in any country of the union, according to local rules (for France you need to have minimum age 18 to be accepted to apply for the exam). That's a real (unlimited in time) license but our roadway rules have some specificity for junior drivers (no alcohol at all, reduced speed limits on highways, etc.)

Getting a license costs aroud 800 to 2000€ and much more depending on locallity and the school (some offers learning on really expensive cars for instance). But, if you already have 18+ and a license from your original country, it can be converted for much less money (it has worked for people I know with US and Lebanon drivers licences)

  • Can anyone be the supervisor, as long as they're old enough and had their license for long enough? And are there any residency requirements to get the AAC? Or could a visiting learner just get an AAC and then have a suitable friend/parent continue to supervise them much as they did at home?
    – Gagravarr
    Jun 11, 2014 at 14:44
  • @Gagravarr Yes, anyone can be a supervisor but the supervisor needs to be mentioned in a contract with a driving school and to inform his or her insurer. You cannot just “drop in” as a supervisor. There is however a theoretical exam and a mandatory number of driving lessons for the learner. That's what will cost the most.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 11, 2014 at 15:09
  • Can you clarify where the driving school comes into it? If you don't want to pass a French test, just keep practising before you head home, do you need to involve a driving school or take any formal lessons, or can you just drive with a pre-agreed experienced person supervising you?
    – Gagravarr
    Jun 11, 2014 at 15:15
  • 2
    @Gagravarr You don't apply for it directly from the state, you get it from a driving school, which will give you some training, etc. and finally the booklet that proves you have the right to drive under supervision. When you want to apply for a full licence, you will (usually) also do it through a driving school. Formal lessons (at least 20 hours I think) and a theoretical exam are required in any case, whether you chose to go for the full licence directly or practice under supervision before.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 11, 2014 at 15:19
  • 1
    Also, AAC is the name for teenagers between 16 and 18. There is a similar system called “conduite supervisée” for people over 18.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 11, 2014 at 15:22

Why do you think you would be OK? Most countries don't even know such "learner's license" or provisional license, and in countries where they do exist you're usually not allowed to drive without a person with a full license being in the passenger seat.

So almost certainly no, your provisional license will not be recognised as a valid driver's license by other countries. I don't know specifically about France, but in the Netherlands you'd get in serious trouble if stopped by police.

As to supervised practice, I'm pretty sure there's no laws against people with foreign nationality booking driving lessons. Which is what you'd have to do, go to a driving school and hire an instructor and car for a session.
Again, I'm not sure about the French situation, but in the Netherlands there's no permit needed to take driving lessons. You just have to be 18 years of age, and only certified instructors are allowed to give instruction on public roads (so it's the instructor needing the permit, not the student).

  • 1
    The question is explicitly about driving under supervision from someone with a full license!
    – Gagravarr
    Jun 11, 2014 at 10:18
  • @Gagravarr it's about driving with a provisional license explicitly, which isn't recognised abroad, with or without supervision...
    – jwenting
    Jun 11, 2014 at 10:29
  • @jwenting that is not completely true. You need to be eligible to do a drivers exam to take lessons. If you are not a resident for some time, you can't take lessons either\
    – user141
    Jun 11, 2014 at 12:22
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    @jwenting Also learners license are quite common: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learner's_permit
    – user141
    Jun 11, 2014 at 12:25

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