French law does not authorise holders of a special residence permit issued by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) to exchange a driving licence issued by a country that does not belong to either the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) for a French driving licence (cf. http://international-relations.web.cern.ch/stakeholder-relations/hoststates/Vehicles/Foreign-driving-licenses-France).
Following problems encountered by several members of the personnel, CERN has asked the MEAE to investigate the possibility of authorising such an exchange in cases where the issuing country has signed a reciprocal agreement and refuses to replace a stolen, lost or expired driving licence. This would avoid those concerned being systematically required to pass a driving test in France.
In this context, you are reminded that people residing in Switzerland and holding a carte de légitimation issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAE) may exchange their foreign driving licence for a Swiss licence without taking a test, provided that Switzerland and the country of origin have signed an agreement on this matter (cf. https://www.eda.admin.ch/missions/mission-onu-geneve/en/home/manual-regime-privileges-and-immunities/introduction/manual-vehicles/foreign-driving-license.html).
Host-States Relations Service
Tel.: 72848 / 75152