How to anthenticate your documents?
When you arrive in France, the French authorities can ask you to « authenticate your documents » in order to prove that your documents are real documents.
This may be to drive in France, to find a job or to start a training.
Here we explain how to authenticate your documents.
Let’s start with the driver’s licence.
Authenticate your driver’s licence
When changing a foreign (non-European) driver’s licence to a French one;
you will submit your request to the French Prefecture.
The latter will then ask the issuing country for the authenticity of the document, to be sure of the validity of the document (and to be convinced that it is not a forgery).
She then asks for a certificate of authenticity.
To speed up the process, it is always better for you to provide this certificate.
Where can we find this document?
Normally, it is the administrative entity in your country that gave you your licence that must provide it to you.
If you go there with your licence in your pocket, this document can be done directly on their website, it is faster.
To obtain it, you often have to bring in: your passport with the French visa (the visa is not necessarily necessary) + a photocopy of your permit + 2 photos.
Some countries offer this service online.
The other option if you cannot go to your country is to ask your consulate or embassy. Depending on your country, they can either authenticate the licence themselves or apply for it.
The delay may be longer.
How much does it cost ?
Generally, this service is free, but depending on the country it can be charged.
Authentificate – Legalise a diploma
For your diploma obtained abroad, according to the agreements concluded between your country and France,
you will need (or not) to have it authenticated.
Where to find this information?
At your embassy in France, by calling them directly or on their website.
Where do I get it authenticated?
If you need to have your diploma authenticated, know that the legalization of the diploma requires an official stamp.
The embassy or consulate can do that.
For example, an Indian act may have been legalized at the French embassy in Chennai.
That is why it is always better to have these documents authenticated before leaving.
Legalise other documents :
letter of recommendation, certificate of accommodation
It is the same procedure as for the diploma, it is done at the French embassy located in your country.
Be careful : very important !
To be legalized, a document must be written in French.
For you, your document is surely written in your language, so you must have this document translated by a « qualified » translator.
You have here the list of sworn translators for Paris, Page 289, these translators are classified by the translated language.
This translation must be done before proceeding with legalization/authentication.