How French bureaucracy will drive you insane

My préfecture allows applying for a new carte grise by mail, so I thought, Great! No waiting in line! I can just send everything by mail and be done with it.

Oh, but I was wrong.

I mailed my old carte grise, a copy of my CDS, a copy of the June quittance de loyer, and a stupid expensive return envelope with accusé de réception to the préfecture one week ago. Today I received all of that stuff back because the idiot working on my dossier would not accept the quittance de loyer as a justificatif de domicile and for some reason thinks I am a personne hébergée, even though MY NAME IS ON THE QUITTANCE DE LOYER WHICH IS ON THEIR STUPID LIST FOR UN JUSTIFICATIF DE DOMICILE.

I just don’t get it. Even when you follow their rules to the letter, you are still wrong. This is why living in France drives me crazy. And of course, I don’t yet have another justificatif because the agency is taking forever giving us a copy of the lease, and EDF screwed up and only put David’s name on the new contract for this apartment. The quittance de loyer from the agency is the only thing I have for the moment. So maybe I will have to be considered a personne hébergée after all.

Normally I wouldn’t worry too much about this type of thing but changing the address on your carte grise is the only thing that’s required by law and I don’t want to get a fine because it took me more than a month to do it after moving. And I don’t even know what date is considered our official moving date!  The lease is probably dated May 19 even though I didn’t really stay here until June, and our very first quittance de loyer is dated May 25. So if they are really picky about the dates, I am already screwed. Not that any French cop has ever stopped me and asked to see my carte grise (since that’s totally legal here), but there’s a first time for everything.

Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.