I arrived in Nice in 2017, and some procedures have since been computerized, so hopefully they're faster and easier than in 2017.
- Carte Vitale: took 2 yrs because my US birth certificate had US dates: 02 removed link Unfortunately the French read that as April 2 (not Feb 4). I wrote to correct it; they corrected it. But then somewhere down the line a second person changed it to April 2 again, and I had to have them correct it again. Moral of the story: get your birth certificate translated into French first! I got temporary number after about 10 months.
- Exchanged a FL Driver's License: took 18 months. A real nightmare because the French admin issues you an Attestation that says you have the right to drive in France for 12 months. The Attestation is dated to be valid for one year. But when it takes them 18 months to deliver.... and if you were to have an accident driving after the Attestation expires, the insurance company can claim you're an unlicensed driver. That plus you can't drive outside of France, can't rent ANYWHERE, and you can't even drive in the US without your US license. Moral of the story: before you leave the US, bring a duplicate of your US license (pretend you lost it when you ask for a duplicate).
- Carte de Sejour renewal in Nice: I have renewed 4 times already for the annual VLS-TS Visiteur Carte de Sejour. Their website says to request a renewal THREE MONTHS before expiration. If you follow their stated timeframe, you'll get the new card on time. DO NOT BE LATE. Getting a RDV at the prefecture to pick up the new card is a bit of a headache, because finding an appt slot online can be problematic. Appts are at least 2-4 weeks out.
- Renewing a US passport by mail is easy-peasy. Mine took 2 months via Marseille's US Consulate. Every now and then, the US Consulate even has on-site representatives that come to Nice to issue passport renewals. You can get notified if you sign up with the US State Dept website: removed link