In what surely must be a record, it only took 3 1/2 months and two trips to the préfecture to get my French driver's license! They told me after my last trip that they would reply within 2 to 3 months - they waited exactly 3 months and then asked me for a bunch more stuff, including a 'justification of my presence in New Zealand territory when my license was issued', proof of address here and other stuff that I had already given them the first time. So this time I was not expecting them to actually give me the license, I was thinking it would take several more months, IF I was lucky.
So I'm pretty excited, even if honestly I'm way too scared to drive here, with: a) manual transmissions (I suck), b) parallel parking (I suck), c) on the other side of the road and d) surrounded by French people. But you have a year to do the exchange, so I thought I might as well do it and that way I'd be set to drive if I have/want to. And it works anywhere in the EU of course!
Bit bummed that I had to surrender my NZ license, especially since it had a half-decent photo and was a nice plastic wallet-sized card, unlike the cardboard monstrosity that is the French one! More importantly, though, they only gave me a license that lasts three years from when my NZ license was issued, stingy! So it runs out in August 2012, after which I have no idea what happens. They don't tell you that when they tell you you can swap it! They missed the fact that I'm meant to wear glasses when driving, suckers (I mean, I will obviously, but there has been the very odd occasion in the past where they were at the optometrists or whatever).
So, anyway, excited! It feels like another big step towards genuinely living here and not just being a fly by night expat. Not that I know what the future holds, but anyway...