22nd March 2015

Finally I have my new French driving licence. Yes, with enough perseverance, the infamous bureaucracy here can be overcome. But what's this on the name line?  I had forgotten that, since last year, the law states that married women will receive official documents in their birth surname. Apparently laws have existed here since the French Revolution stating that 'no citizen can use a first name or surname other than that written on their birth certificate'. Then, why is there a tick box on French tax returns for women to use their birth names? Surely the opposite should apply, but what do I know?  No point telling the authorities that I particularly wanted the new card, with my recent photo embedded, to be used as a useful id card - when the name 'Olswang' doesn't match the name on any of my other documents.  Indeed, it's the first time I've seen my forename and birth surname together for nearly 50 years!  Quite a shock.  I asked Him indoors what he thought. He says he doesn't know why babies take their father's name anyway, when his identity can often be dubious. I agree. Let's mount a campaign for babies to take their mother's name. At least she can't be denied.

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