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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Hassan Ayaf - a man with two valid French driving licences

Whenever some sort of bureaucratic balls-up occurs you can be certain that somewhere along the line it's going to have repercussions for Joe Public - or in the following case, Hassan Ayaf.

The 36-year-old father-of-three lives the town of Belaruc-les-Bains, a half-hour's drive from the southern French city of Montpellier.

And that's important to the tale because Ayaf operates bulldozers for a living and as a consequence has to be able to travel from building site to building site without any difficult.

In other words he needs his driving licence.

French driving licence (permis de conduire), car registration document (carte grise) and car insurance (carte verte) - from Wikipedia

But in January last year he received a letter in the post telling him that he had lost his licence.

As he told the regional daily Midi Libre, Ayaf felt that, "His world had fallen apart" as no driving licence equalled no job.

What made the whole thing more incomprehensible, as far as he was concerned, was that he thought he still had enough points left on his licence.

In France a person possessing a full driving licence (or permis de conduire) has 12 points.

Whenever an infraction occurs a certain number of points are lost until at zero (obviously) the licence is withdrawn.

"I didn't understand," he told the paper. "All I did was drive without a seat belt."

But that didn't help his cause in the slightest as his licence had gone and in spite of writing to the local administration insisting that some sort of mistake had been made, he was obliged to wait the required six months by law before he was able to apply to retake his driving test.

"It was a difficult time," he said. "I had to rely on family and friends to drive me to different building sites and often I remained there over the weekend."

In June he received the green light to begin the process of retaking his test - the theory and the practical parts - which lasted until January this year when he passed.

And that meant that Ayaf was now considered a "novice" with, as is the case with all recently-qualified drivers, just six of those precious points to his name and the possibility to gain the remaining six points over a two or three year period.

But wait - this is where Monsieur or Madame French Bureaucracy stepped in to admit its "mea culpa".

Because in February Ayaf received another official letter informing him that the cancellation of his original driving licence had now been quashed.

That's right, he is now the certified holder of two valid driving licences; one as a novice (with six points) and the other as a now re-instated longtime driver (with three points).

Vive la France. Vive la bureaucratie!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

French Administration = Definition of Bureaucratie!

professional driving school said...

I think that he is not alone and this is not a very rare case of having two driver's licenses. Most people in the government have special licenses as well. They are permitted to carry two driving licenses.

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