driving licenses – As a French national (as well as Mexican), what nationality am I if entering to another EU country (say Spain)?

The two are totally unrelated. There is no requirement for French citizens to hold a French license in either France or Spain. For example, a license that a French citizen obtained while residing in another EU country is fully valid in both countries, even if you were to take up residence.

I am not familiar with the requirements for your Mexican license to be recognised in Spain but I would be extremely surprised if it was tied to your Mexican citizenship. In Spain, like in many other countries, what definitely matters is whether you are a resident or not. If you were to move to Spain, you might be required to get a local license (rather quickly in most cases, after 2 to 10 years for EU licenses).

To the extent that citizenship would be relevant, you could certainly “play the Mexican citizen card” as you put it. You are and remain a Mexican (and French) citizen. Contrary to what many people seem to believe, the passport you use at a border crossing doesn’t change that, there is no notion of being-in-the-country-as-a-X. It can work to your advantage (e.g. EU freedom of movement rights remain intact even if you don’t have a French passport) or to your disadvantage (e.g. you are not entitled to consular assistance in France, even if you enter using your Mexican passport).

customs and immigration – My daughter’s US passport is expired but she has a valid french passport. Can she can travel back to the US with her french passport and approved ESTA

We are flying to Mexico from Boston on 4/10 and we have just noticed that our 10 year old daughter’s US passport is expired. She does have a valid French passport to travel on. I dont expect any issues going in to Mexico, but have concerns for the way back. I have applied for an ESTA indicating her dual citizenship and it got approved, so technically she has the paperwork to board the plane. But I’m concerned that once the airline sees the rest of the family with either green cards (for me, me husband and our other daughter) or US passport for our son, they might ask why she is traveling on ESTA and deny her boarding if they realize she has an expired US passport….
I’m less concerned about immigration once in the US as we can prove her citizenship by showing the expired passport and they cannot deny her entry…
Is there a big chance that american airlines might deny boarding??

france – Is leisure travel a valid reason to get a second French passport?

I have an ordinary French passport, which expires in a few years. I am looking into getting a second French passport to make it possible to cross borders while my first passport is stuck in some postal service warehouse or at some embassy for visa purpose.

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F21517 states:

En principe, vous ne pouvez pas avoir plusieurs passe ports français. Toutefois, un second passeport peut exceptionnellement être délivré dans 2 situations : si votre passeport est immobilisé pendant une période de voyage ou si le passeport risque de faire apparaître des destinations incompatibles.


In principle, you cannot have more than one French passport. However, a second passport can exceptionally be issued in 2 situations: if your passport is immobilized during a period of travel or if the passport risks showing incompatible destinations.

So my case seems to fit the first case “if your passport is immobilized during a period of travel”. Must these travel be for business or in some other way compulsory, or is leisure travel a valid reason to get a second passport?

Note that 2 travels have to be considered:

  1. The future travel causing the passport to be immobilized (e.g., passport stuck at embassy waiting for visa)
  2. The current travel causing need to have a passport in one’s pocket to cross the borders.

Therefore, I wonder whether it is ok that both travels are leisure, and if not, whether it is ok that 1 out of 2 travels is leisure and if so which one.

I am asking as https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F21517 is unclear on it. Later on the page they say “immobilized for a period during which you must travel” (emphasis is mine), which made me wonder whether leisure travel is ok:

Votre passeport peut être immobilisé pendant une période au cours de laquelle vous devez voyager. Par exemple, le passeport peut être conservé par le consulat pour une demande de visa alors que vous en avez besoin pour voyager.


Your passport may be immobilized for a period during which you must travel. For example, the passport can be kept by the consulate for a visa application when you need it for travel.

france – In which conditions is one’s French ID card not a proof of one’s French citizenship?

I right on some French embassy website:

La carte nationale d’identité est un document officiel qui permet à tout citoyen de justifier de son identité et, sous certaines conditions, de sa nationalité française.


The national identity card is an official document which allows any citizen to prove their identity and, under certain conditions, their French nationality.

In which conditions is one’s French ID card not a proof of one’s French citizenship?

Example of a French ID card:

enter image description here

The content of the red rectangle means “French citizenship”.

French Language for XenForo

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French language file for XenForo 2.2.4.

Read more about this resource…


Circumflex key doesn’t work Windows 10 French Keyboard

I’m trying to type the french circumflex accent with a windows 10 computer set to French(France). The key used to work. Normally I would press the ^ key(On a qwerty keyboard it’s where ( is) and then a letter to create the accent.

For example, ^ + e would type ê. Recently it stopped doing that. ^ + e just makes e.

I tried this with a new account on windows and it worked. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the language and it didn’t do anything. I’ve tried the on-screen accessibility keyboard windows has and it still doesn’t work so it definitely is a software issue and not a dead key.

Has anyone had this issue before? Thanks.

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usa – How to minimize cost for cash withdrawals at French ATMs with a Bank of America card?

Bank of America is part of the so called Global ATM alliance. According to Bank of America’s FAQ (see “Using your ATM card or debit card at an international ATM” and then “What is the Global ATM Alliance?):

Use your Bank of America ATM or debit card within the Global ATM Alliance to avoid the non-Bank of America usage fee for each withdrawal, transfer or balance inquiry, as well as the ATM operator access fee. An international transaction fee of 3% will apply when converting your currency.

In France, BNP Paribas is part of the alliance and you can use your Bank of America card at their ATMs to minimize your cost.

Note that BNP Paribas doesn’t charge any fees for using their ATM (according to TransferWise), so the only fee you’ll pay is the relative transaction fee. There seems to be no minimal transaction fee from Bank of America’s fee schedule (it’s hard to link to it, you have to select Bank of America Core Checking and enter a ZIP code, then go to ATM fees and View more important information), so it shouldn’t matter whether you withdraw a large amount once or many smaller amounts (but it’s better to check after your first withdrawal just to be sure).

However, when you try to withdraw money from a BNP Paribas ATM, they might offer you to do a conversion for you. In this case they will offer you two options: a.) to withdraw the Euro amount in which case the currency conversion will be handled by your bank, or b.) to withdraw a Dollar amount in which case they handle the conversion. Of course, they don’t do this for free and I’ve never been anywhere where it would have been better to use the conversion offered by the ATM. Bank of America agrees on that:

Bank of America will assess an international transaction fee of 3% of the converted US dollar amount. Foreign ATM operators may offer to do your currency conversion for you, but they may charge a higher fee for conversion. To insure that your currency conversion does not incur a fee higher than 3%, you may refuse the ATM operator’s offer to convert the amount of the transaction.

For next time though you could consider getting a bank account with debit card where you even don’t pay (or are reimbursed for) currency transactions. Such accounts are offered for example by Charles Schwab or Capital One 360.

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