Saturday, 21 December 2013

Merry Christmas from l'Administration Française!

I almost hesitated to post what I wrote last week about my experience registering to vote in next year's elections, and when I received a phone call from the mairie on Friday telling me that my application as it stood was likely to be rejected, I was cursing my act of hubris.

Because, you see, an attestation from EDF, normally the French gold standard of proof of address, was not acceptable, and what I needed was the actual bill. But unfortunately, as we only added my name to the account at the beginning of December in order to get the attestation, we had no bill.

However, the very nice man who took the trouble to phone me and tell me this was also able to give me some other suggestions, one of which was a recent pay slip, which in France has your address at the top. When I confirmed that I could scan one and send it within the hour, he gave me his personal email address and promised to process the application by the end of the afternoon. And sure enough, by 5pm I had received confirmation that my application was going through, and, assuming it's given the final stamp of approval, I should get my card in March.

I like to think (and have a few examples like this one to prove it) that while French bureaucracy is still complicated and frustrating at times, the people who administer it are becoming more and more helpful, and also more willing to use technology to increase their efficiency. Let's hope it continues.

In other news, on my way to the airport with a large suitcase at rush hour last night, not one but two people helped me through the gates to the metro, and smiled at me as well. In the end, France gave me a nice send off for my trip home for Christmas!


  1. Oh my - I cant imagine how stressful that must have been :( I am so glad that it is all sorted though! Have a good xmas!!

  2. It would have been less stressful if he hadn't phoned just two hours before I had to leave for the airport, but I guess that wasn't his fault!

    Have a great Christmas too, Holly! (I tried to leave a comment on your blog the other day but it didn't work - I'll go back and try again soon.)

  3. He gave you his personal email address and responded promptly? I think I need to bookmark this post for when I need a little optimism in relation to paperwork.