French bureaucracy: The tasks you can get an extension on during lockdown

French bureaucracy: The tasks you can get an extension on during lockdown
All photos: AFP
With most offices closed, doing the routine paperwork necessary for life in France has become even more difficult - but for many tasks an extension is on offer until June.

Authorities had already announced an automatic three-month extension to long-stay visas and titres de séjour that expired during the lockdown.

And any côntrole technique vehicle safety certificates that expire during lockdown also benefit from an extension, meaning people can carry on driving legally even if their current certificate has expired.

But now an ordonnance has been passed that lays out a more general extension to routine administrative tasks that would normally have to be completed with a certain timeframe. For full details, click here.

The extension covers any task that normally would have been completed between March 12th and June 24th, one month after the expiry of the current State of Health Emergency.

The two-month automatic extension applies to;

  • Legal action
  • Appeals against legal matters
  • Legal formalities of registration such as registering births
  • Legal formalities of making a formal declaration
  • Gaining permits or authorisations
  • Inspections such as building or works inspections

Things that are not covered by the extension include;

  • Any criminal legal matters or criminal proceedings
  • Matters pertaining to votes covered by the Code électoral such as prohibitions on voting or appeals against prohibitions
  • Time limits to register for a job as a teacher or fonctionnaire
  • Financial obligations covered by Articles L. 211-36 of the financial code


The deadline for the annual tax declaration – which opens on April 20th – has been extended to June, but everyone still needs to complete the declaration, which this year can be completed online by everyone – even those declaring for the first time.

READ ALSO What you need to know about filing taxes in France in 2020

Brexit admin

At this stage it looks like Brexit will be continuing on the previously agreed timetable of ending the transition period on December 31st (although the scenario of a UK government declaring that it definitely wouldn't delay and then delaying anyway has happened once or twice over the last three years) so British people living in France may have some extra admin to do over the coming months.

Driving licenses – the new online portal for swapping British driving licences for French ones opened as planned at the start of March and is now processing applications.

However you only need to swap your licence if;

  • The licence has been lost or stolen
  • You have added a new driving category to your licence
  • You are specifically instructed to exchange it by a gendarme or police officer (this usually happens if you have committed a driving offence)
  • Your licence or photocard is due to expire within six months – anyone turning 70 must exchange their licence and the photocard licences need renewing every 10 years for most categories.

Everyone else can continue to drive on a British licence.

READ ALSO Website to swap British driving licences goes live

Cartes de séjour residency cards – The French government's plan is that a special online system will be set up for the hundreds of thousands of Brits in France who need to apply for a carte de séjour. This was scheduled to go live in July and as far as we know that is still on track.

READ ALSO France to launch website for post-Brexit residency cards

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