Driving in France: what you need to know

Driving in France: what you need to know This article covers driving in France: paperwork, insurance, and how to obtain it. Buying a car. In case of accident. Items you are required to have in the car. If you are British, you may want to follow this link for regulations coming into place now that Great Britain is not part of the EU. DRIVER'S LICENSE: Generally speaking (because there are of course exceptions, this IS France) if you are in France for over a year and your driver's license is not European, French law requires you to have valid French driving papers for driving in France. This one year period starts on the date of your first carte de séjour. Etudiant status is one of the exceptions; as a student you can drive with your foreign license for the duration of your studies. Some US states and other countries allow an exchange of licenses, other states and countries do not and you'll be required to pass the French exam to obtain the French license. Keep in mind …
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Moving in France?

This article is about moving WITHIN France, if you are moving TO France see our other article. www.fusac.fr/moving-to-paris/

A very practical website offered by the French Public Service allows you to officially update your address with public service and administrations when you're moving in France. In one fell swoop and a few clicks you can inform the EDF, vehicle registration, tax, social security, carte vitale, retirement, unemployment offices and other administrations of your new address.

Plus this form works not just for moving in France and your physical address but also for updating:

email address,landline phone number,mobile phone number

They call this service The Teleservice of Service Public.

You'll need certain ID numbers (client numbers, social security number, carte grise...) to complete all the info required on the form. Check on the site first then gather the necessary from your bills or ID cards. Start by looki…

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Understanding the Municipal Elections in France

First: what is a Municipality? In France a municipality is referred to as a « commune ». The French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin « communia », meaning a large gathering of people sharing a common life; from Latin « communis », things held in common. It consists of the municipal council and the executive which is the mayor and deputy mayor. The mayor, elected by the councillors, is solely responsible for the administration. But he can delegate some of his functions to one or more deputies. In Paris there is a council for the whole city and for each arrondissement. The term hôtel de ville designates the building which houses la mairie. The terme mairie designates the communal administration since the Révolution of 1789. In smaller towns mairie is used for both the building and the administration. Who is elected in the Municipal Elections in France? All French municipalities will elect their local councillors for 6 years all at the same time. …
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Bicycle visibility – Darkness is coming

Darkness is coming - Bicycle visibility (for joggers too)! When daylight savings time ends and you have daylight from only 8 am to 4 pm there's a lot of bike riding to be done in the dark. How can you put the odds of being seen on your side? Bicycle visibility! Some things are pretty obvious: florescent shirt, reflective vest, headlights and tail lights. That's the minimum. But you can do more and with more panache too! I ride with multiple forms of light and reflectors and for that matter I use all of my visibility techniques during broad daylight too. You can never be too visible. http://www.saintgermainenlaye.eu/en/pages-speciales/detail-decouvrir0/article/security-of-cyclists-well-seen-well-protected/ Consider the following: Fashion? Yes you can! Ugly yellow construction vets? OUT! OUT! OUT! Put on something with style like a well-fitted multicolored vest from Rayon Jaune.

Who is Rayon Jaune? Béatrice: Ingénieuse ès produit. Béatrice worked in confecti…

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A tongue-in-cheek look at the French Education System

If you have children in France, there’s a good chance that you might possess at least the stirrings of the beginnings of a stab at understanding it. Then again, you might not. If you don’t have children in France, there’s a mega-chance that your quest for grasping it will prove even more futile than your search for a short line at La Poste. No, we refer not to The Meaning of Life. We refer to…..the French education-system. So, here is a very incomplete (in the interest of space), extremely simplified (in the battle against cerebral overload) exploration of pedagogy as known and--sometimes not--loved in France and beyond. Which brings us to our first point: the “beyond” part. The French system of elementary, middle and high schools not only graces Gallic soil but also extends throughout the world in what is recognized as a unique offering that accommodates the needs of French expats and follows the same curricula, administers the same tests and delivers the same degrees as do sc…
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French letter writing logistics

In high school French class you learned how to conjugate the obscure pluperfect-subjunctive. In college you memorized the name of every Gallic king going back to Charles the Bald. Your graduate courses included reading La Chanson de Roland and La Quête du Graal in their original Medieval idiom. BUT NO ONE TAUGHT YOU THE LOGISTICS OF WRITING A SIMPLE FRENCH LETTER-and are you going to be surprised at what you missed! Here-to save you from wrath of civil servants, rejection by potential employers and, especially, ridicule by your mother-in-law-are the basics of French letter writing: Placement (1)  This is done the opposite of the Anglo-Saxon way: Your name, professional title and address go on the top left of the page (or in a centered frame at the top of the page)...and ...the recipient’s info goes on the right, slightly lower than yours. (Note that words like rue, avenue, boulevard, place, allée, etc. are not capitalized, although the name of the rue, avenue, etc. is...Th…
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French money: New Euro banknotes

French money: New 5 Euro notes 5 Euro notes have always been floppy and very worn, rather like dishrags. They are rather scarce too. Maybe that will all change with the introduction of a redsigned bill. This month the new € 5, the first of the new "Europa" series, was simultaneously released in all the countries that use the Euro. Have you seen it yet? It took us 3 weeks before we saw the first crisp new bill. Why make a new bill? To keep ahead of conterfeiters! The Euro notes are some of the most secure bills around, but after 10 years of circulation it was time for an update. Here's what's new. Security features have been improved and make notes more safe. The security features built into all new notes are easy to check with the method of "touch, look, tilt". Look for the new watermark and hologram showing a portrait of Europa, the character from Greek mythology who gave her name to the new series of banknotes. Tilt to see the large new number 5 change color from emerald …
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Paris Apartments: Glossary of French-English terms

Paris Apartment: Glossary of French-English terms To help English speaking renters and owners to wend their way through contracts and advertisements as the hunt for the Paris apartment moves along FUSAC has compiled a glossary of terms for Housing. accusé de réception: receipt that is signed by the recipient of a letter and sent back to the send as proof of reception acompte: advance payment, down payment agence immobilière: estate agency [UK], real estate agency [US] ancien: built more than 20 years ago appareils électriques: appliances appartement vide: unfurnished flat [UK], unfurnished apartment [US] armoire: storage cabinet assurance habitation: homeowner's or renter's insurance. Note: it is obligatory for renters to have an insurance policy. bail, contrat de location (plural = baux): (rental) lease / contract bien immobilier: property box: enclosed parking space with a locked door cage d'escalier: stairwell canapé: sofa, settee canapé-lit, canapé convertible, clic-clac:…
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Honest Advice about Moving to France

I don't want to be the one to crush people's dreams. Really, I don't. But when I get emails from people asking, "Do I really need a visa to stay in France? Why can't I just buy a one way plane ticket and move there?" or "I don't speak a word of French, how hard will it be for me to find a job?", I just have to say...really? In this day and age, I have a hard time believing that people can still be that naive. And in order to answer those kinds of questions, I choose to be brutally honest. Which often doesn't go down very well. Of course it's my own fault. I'm the one who asked the should you move to France question, and I wrote the Moving to France Tutorial and shared my trials and tribulations of attaining French citizenship. So I'm the one who opened the door. Also, I love helping people who have done their homework. Moving to a foreign country takes a lot of courage, but it also takes a lot of research, and unless you hire someone to do some of the legwork for you, th…
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