“What Bureaucracy?” Third Renewal of Our Residency Permits (Cartes de Séjour) Part 2

Our self-addressed envelopes from the Préfecture des PyrénéesOrientales in Perpignan arrived notifying us that our new Cartes de Séjour (Residency Permits) were ready for pickup.  The letter advised us that our 2016-2017 Cartes de Séjour can be picked at the Préfecture on Monday afternoon or Wednesday or Friday mornings. We are required to bring our old Cartes de Séjour and €106 each in timber fiscaux (tax stamps.) It took just over two weeks from the day we dropped off our renewal application to receiving the “ready to pick up” letter.

Notification Letter from the Prefecture that Carte de Sejour can be picked up.
Notification Letter from the Prefecture that Carte de Sejour can be picked up.

The following Monday we took the €1 Bus to Perpignan and spent the morning shopping, having lunch, enjoying an obligatory coffee in Place de la République, and wandering around the historic town center before the Préfecture’s étranger bureau (immigrant office) opened at 1:30.  We stopped by reception and were issued numbers and there were 14 people ahead of us.

"Take a number"
“Take a number”

Despite there being only one window open, the electronic display counted down quickly.  Most people only required one or two minutes to complete their transaction.  Most seemed to be doing exactly what we were doing, picking up a new Carte de Séjour. The waiting room looked like every other large doctor’s office/ DMV waiting room we have ever spent time in with individuals, couples, and families sitting, talking, and straightening out their documents in folders.

Renewal Documents
Renewal Documents

For this visit we were only required to bring our Cartes de Séjour and tax stamps for payment with our Passports for identification.  But we brought our entire renewal dossier, “just in case.” We were called up for our turns in less than a 30 minute wait and it literally took less than one minute each for the immigration officer to issue our new Cartes de Séjour for 2016-2017. We’ve spent far more time waiting in DMV lines back in the US. As often as we have been warned about French bureaucracy and “red tape” in France, we have pleasantly been surprised how straight-forward and helpful government representatives have been. Perhaps it is a much different story in large Préfectures  in major cities like Paris, Marseille, or Lyon, but in the Préfecture des PyrénéesOrientales and the Préfecture de l’Aude in the Languedoc-Roussillon region we have always been well treated.

This year’s renewal process now complete, Tracy and I are legal residents of France for another year.

Carte de Séjour 2016-2017
Carte de Séjour 2016-2017

 

Related posts: First Renewal of Our Residency Permit (Titre de SéjourCartes de Séjour Arrived To Help Celebrate Our First Year In France,  Second Renewal of Our Residency Permits (Cartes de Séjour) Part 1, and Second Renewal of Our Residency Permits (Cartes de Séjour) Part 2Parfait!  Third Renewal of Our Residency Permits (Cartes de Séjour) Part 1

And . . . we’re done!

We made the final move on the last Friday in February and just ahead of the worst wind and rain we’ve seen since our arrival in Argeles-sur-Mer in April 2015. We spent the first two weeks enjoying the upgraded internet speed while watching hail, wind and rain from those incredible windows.

Sami and Lou protested the move at first and we weren’t able to leave them alone for the first two weeks without some major howling complaints. They both started up barking when we put them in their crate and tried to leave. Not wishing to upset our neighbor downstairs, Denis, I stayed in with the dogs. Eventually we were able to get it under control just in time for our appointment at the prefecture in Perpignan to renew our visas.

We have had quite a bit of fun exploring this new neighborhood. This end of the plage is a bit more developed with beautiful sand-set brick paths, large grassy areas, lots of trees for shade, beautiful lighting. Which makes walking the dogs in the rain a bit less messy.

The unpacking is being held up by the lack of places to put things. The bedroom has a small but serviceable closet, more than enough space for our minimized wardrobes, but without a dresser for all the things that don’t hang we’re using the closet’s floor and upper shelf for clothing. Eventually our luggage will store up there, but first we really need the rest of our purchased shelving to arrive . . . hopefully this week.

When you haven’t owned furniture in three years it can be a challenge to decide what you want from all the options available. It can be a little more challenging when everything you purchase must serve a dual purpose. For example, the microwave cart that we purchased at Conforama had to be able to hold the induction cooktop, a toaster oven, offer storage for cookware and utensils. It’s a big ask for one item to do all that and fit into a space that is 13″ deep by 26″ wide, the unit also had to be a minimum of 36″ tall so that both Alan and I can comfortably use it. Oh, and did I mention that I wanted something that could be mobile so it’s easier to clean up around it?

Our online shopping prowess has assisted in the purchasing of everything we need. Even if we plan to purchase in the store we do all the research online first to make sure that we are getting a good deal, that the item will fit in the space we have and that it matches the rest of the decor (which isn’t much yet).

We still need to purchase a dining room set, a rug for the tile floor, a few kitchen items that we just can’t live without, and a console table to use as a charging station. Did I mention that we have only 9 outlets in the whole apartment? We have more things that need charging then we have plugs to charge them in . . . first world problems for sure, but still a challenge for our digital lives.

Everything is coming together slowly, but we are completely enjoying this new space. Spring has brought quite a bit of cold, wet weather but now that the jasmine is blooming it’s gentle fragrance is a reminder that warm, summer weather is just around the corner.

Ahoy matie!

Every day in France offers unique experiences. This evening as we were preparing to take Sami and Lou for their evening stroll along the promenade I noticed some activity outside our apartment.

Sitting on a green chair next to a green couch (neither of which were there earlier in the day), was a pirate. Yep, a pirate. He was wearing a tricorn hat, bright pink shirt and drinking a bottle of rum . . . nope not kidding!

As we left the yard (after I snapped a few photos from the balcony) he offered Alan a seat in the empty chair next to him with a pirate-y smile.

Last week we sat with a gypsy, this week a pirate . . . wonder what will happen next week~ 🙂

600th Anniversary of the Procession de la Sanch à Perpignan

Tracy and my most recent micro-adventure was joining 10,000 other spectators at the 600th observance of the annual Procession de la Sanch (The March of the Penitents) in Perpignan on Good Friday, 2016. (La Sanch is pronounced “lah sank.”)

Poster of the Procession de la Sanch à Perpignan (Perpignan Tourism Office)
Poster of the Procession de la Sanch à Perpignan
(Perpignan Tourism Office)

Outside of Spain, the Procession de la Sanch isn’t really performed any longer. In France, it is only held in the southern Catalan country. The largest and most famous of the French penance processions still performed during the Semaine Sainte (Easter Holy Week) is the Procession de la Sanch a Perpignan. Nearby Arles-sur-Tech and Collioure also still perform la Sanch ceremonies, though on a smaller scale. The event was originally brought to Perpignan in 1416 by Saint Vincent Ferrier, a Valencian Dominican. (Remember, Columbus reached the “New World” in 1492, 76 years after the first Procession de la Sanch.) The Pyrénées-Orientales département (which includes Perpignan, Arles-sur-Tech and Collioure, sometimes referred to as Catalunya Nord) has strong Spanish and Catalan roots that has helped this French department retain a traditional event that is typical of the Semana Santa (Spanish Holy Week). The strength of this French-Catalan-Spanish blend can be easily seen in the departments’ flag, gold and red stripes, the same colors as those used in Catalan and Spanish flags.

The somber, masked procession began centuries ago as a method to support condemned men on their final march to execution and ensure their Christian burial. La Sanch’s robes and the conical hoods (the hood is called a Caperutx — today the entire ensemble is referred to as Caperutx) were worn by the executioners and the prisoners to conceal their identities. Apparently early on in history the victims and families of the victims were a bit too happy to pull them out of the procession and just beat them violently to death in the streets.

The Caperutx worn during La Sanch are either black (worn by the penitents representing death) or red (worn by the leader, the Regidor, representing blood), only the children and priests in the procession (representing the innocents and the saved) wear white. A Regidor, in his red Caperutx is at the head of the procession and rings an iron bell to warn of the coming procession. The robes worn in la Sanch, while reminiscent to the costumes worn by the Ku Klux Klan, actually predate the Klan’s by 500 years and have a completely different origin and meaning.

About 700 members of local associations, Confrérie de la Sanch, organize, march, and carry the approximately 35 “misteris” in the procession. (“Misteris” mean mysteries in Catalan.) The misteris are litters with life-size portrayals of scenes from the Passion of Christ. Weighing between 60 and 100 pounds, the misteris may be carried by up to eight persons. Some of the penitents in Caperutx carried drums and beat a steady, slow tattoo for the procession. Penitents also may sing”goigs,” traditional songs dating back before the 15th century, that recount the sadness of Mary’s suffering in Calvary. We didn’t hear a “goig” being sung while we were watching the procession.

The Procession de la Sanch takes three hours (from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.) to circle the historic downtown of Perpignan and passing other parishes, starting and ending at Église Saint-Jacques (Saint James’ Church) which dates back to 1245.  

Prior to the procession start, we visited Église Saint-Jacques. We found a beautiful 13th century church with a unique bell tower that was built in the southern Gothic style. Its most unusual feature is that there are two Catalan-styled altarpieces at opposite ends of the single nave with the organ at the center. Inside the church were many of the Misteris with their fresh flowers being displayed before the procession. We had a wonderful opportunity to see the Misteris up close and appreciate their size and weight. We spoke with another visitor to the church who was admiring the Misteris. He was French, but had completed his doctorate at the University of Minnesota. He recounted the history of the event with us and told us we were very welcome there and encouraged us to have a look around the church. Since Tracy and I share an appreciation of sacred architecture, his invitation was quite welcome.

Église Saint-Jacques de Perpignan (Saint James' Church)
Église Saint-Jacques de Perpignan (Saint James’ Church)

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We choose a location to watch the procession in Place Puig (Puig Square) in the Quartier Saint-Jacques which is also referred to as the Quartier Gitan because of its significant Gitan (Roma people, often called Gypsies or Gitanos in Spain) community. While waiting for the event to start we visited with a local Gitan man who explained the Gypsy history of the area and how the former military barracks adjacent to Place Puig were converted to public housing and was now home to primarily Gitan peoples.

Procession de la Sanch Map (Perpignan Tourism Office)
Procession de la Sanch Map (Perpignan Tourism Office)

The procession was preceded with a loudspeaker explanation about the history and meaning of the event.  After the announcement we heard the tattoo of drums and the procession became a solemn, slow-moving parade.  Approximately 700 men, women, and children participated in the procession.  Although it is easy to fixate on the penitents wearing the Caperutx hoods and robes, there are a surprising number of women dressed in black marching in the procession.  The misteris on their litters looked impressively heavy as their were carried on the procession. Both the men and the women carried misteris.  The carriers had an unusual technique of using a forked walking stick under the carrying poles to support the weight of the misteris when the procession stopped and to trade carriers. The use of the forked sticks was performed without verbal direction with orders by tapped by the team leaders with their stick on the ground to alert the other carriers. Tracy noticed that several women were wearing heels up to 4 inches to allow all the women carriers to be the same height. Several of the hooded penitents wearing the Caperutx elected to walk the entire route and to carry the misteris in their bare feet. 

I spoke with one of the marchers who was collecting charity contributions from the crowd.  He attempted to chat with us in French, Spanish, Catalan, and, I think, Caló (Gitano-Roma) before I explained that our French and Spanish was very poor and that we were Americans. While saying he didn’t speak English, he spoke enough English welcome us, thank us for a supporting the procession,and gave us a prayer card with the “Our Father,” . . .  in Catalan, of course. It is always amazing to us the number of multilingual people we meet in the Pyrénées-Orientales département, even though English is seldom one of those second languages, usually the French people in this area of the south will most often also speak Catalan, Spanish, or Maghrebi (Moroccan Arabic – Darija.)

At the end of the official procession pasted, members of the public joined at the end of the parade and followed the official participants.

In all, it was a unique opportunity to watch the 600 year old Procession de la Sanch in person. A chance to observe a traditional Catalan and Spanish religious ceremony performed in a very secular modern France. To be involved in the conclusion to the penance and atonement of the Lenten season in a historic ritual dating back to 1416. It was an extremely powerful experience.

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

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Parfait! Third Renewal of Our Residency Permits (Cartes de Séjour) Part 1

Our third effort at renewing our Cartes de Séjour (residency permits) was exceptionally easy. We seem to understand the renewal process well now and are experienced with the requirements at the Bureau des étrangers (immigration office) at the Préfecture des PyrénéesOrientales in Perpignan.  It also help that we started preparing in January although the permits do not expire until the end of March.

The Préfecture des PyrénéesOrientales is extremely responsive to e-mail.  I was uncertain about which forms to download from the Préfecture’s website, but an e-mail was answered in 24 hours with links to the correct forms and a currently list of supporting documents.  The list of documents was the same as last year. They were also kind enough to make an appointment for us to submit our renewal application.  The Préfecture’s e-mail responsiveness saved us from making a physical trip to Perpignan to pick up forms and make an appointment saving us a great deal of time while we were in the process of changing residences.

The list of supporting documents for our renewal appointment is actually short and straight forward.  Bring the original document and a copy of the following:

1. Current Carte de Séjour (residency permit) that is being renewed. Something that was different this time: during our appointment our Préfecture officer made an extra copy of both Carte de Séjours and added them to each other’s renewal application.

Carte de Sejour
Carte de Sejour

2. Passport with copies of pages with identification information, expiration dates, with all entry stamps, and visas.

3. Marriage certificate since our passports do not confirm marital status. This document was not specifically on our list from the Préfecture des PyrénéesOrientales but from past experience we knew marriage status had to be confirmed at each renewal.  There is also an attestation that we are married on the renewal form that our Préfecture officer witnessed us signing.

4. Birth certificate.

5. Proof of the location of residency with our lease, rent receipts from last year, and our power bill (A French Power Bill is the Ultimate Identity Document)

6.  Four recent passport-style photographs.  There are passport photo machines everywhere from retail stores to train stations.  Photos are required with almost all government applications.

7.  €106 payment for each of us submitted by timbres fiscaux (tax stamps.)  The tax stamps are sold in specific Tabacs (tobacco and convenience stores).  This was a bit more challenging since I couldn’t find a Tabac in Argelès-sur-Mer who sold them and in Perpignan I was also having difficulties.  We were finally sent to the Trésor Public (Public Treasurer) at the Centre Des Finances Publiques à Perpignan where there was a helpful gentleman at a cashier window who was happy to sell us the timbres fiscaux.

 Tax Stamps (timbres fiscaux)
Tax Stamps (timbres fiscaux)

8. Proof of financial independence equivalent to 12 times the monthly French minimum wage.  I had previously requested an income verification letter about our pensions from the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System.  We also prepared a translation including a conversion of dollars to euros at the current exchange rate.  That was the only document we bothered to translate.  We submitted a confirmation letter from our French bank that stated that we were customers in good standing too.

9. Sworn handwritten attestation not to exercise any occupation in France. There is also an attestation on the renewal form that our Préfecture officer witnessed us sign.  Our visa status is specifically for retirees and prohibits us from working in France.

10.  Self-addressed, stamped envelopes which are available from any supermarket or post office.

Tracy (A.K.A. the “Queen of Organization”) took my collection of paperwork, rearranged and organized our documents exactly in the order of the checklist, and made certain the required spaces on the renewal form were filled in.

Carte de Sejour Renewal Paperwork with our mobile file of personal documents
Carte de Sejour Renewal Paperwork with our mobile file of personal documents

On our appointment date of March 15, (yes, the ominous ‘Ides of March’)  we took the €1 Bus the 23 kilometers (14.5 miles) from Argelès-sur-Mer to Perpignan.

Préfet des Pyrénées-Orientales, Perpignan.
Préfet des Pyrénées-Orientales, Perpignan.

Our appointment was at 9:15. so we took the early bus and arrived in Perpignan with time to enjoy a café crème and a pain au chocolat before walking to Préfecture’s annex in the Hôtel D’Ortaffa located behind the actual Préfecture. We arrived as the office opened at 9:00 and waited as a police officer from the Police Nationale hand-checked the bags of visitors as they entered.

Tracy having a café crème at Le Grand Café de la Poste in Perpignan
Tracy having a café crème at Le Grand Café de la Poste in Perpignan
Hôtel D'Ortaffa, Perpignan
Hôtel D’Ortaffa, Perpignan

There was a short line at the check-in window, but before we could reach the window, a young customer service representative in a red vest looked at our appointment e-mail and walked us into the immigration office.  We waited a couple of minutes and were called to a window for our appointment at exactly at 9:15.

Our very helpful and friendly immigration officer was extremely impressed with Tracy’s organization and deemed it “Parfait!” (Perfect!) The only issue was with the electronic fingerprint scanner which had difficulties reading my dry hands and it took several attempts to get readable prints.  Tracy had no such problems.

This renewal was much simpler than last years since we were not changing regions and we had a regular lease and power bill.

Our final step was to sign and accept our Récépissés de Demande de Titre de Séjour (receipt of application for residency permits) that serve as temporary Cartes de Sejours. Our immigration officer advised us that we will be sent notification letters that will let us know that we can return with our timbres fiscaux (tax stamps), passports, and Récépissés de Demande de Titre de Séjour to collect our new  Cartes de Sejours for 2016-2017.

Récépissés de Demande de Titre de Séjour 2015
Récépissés de Demande de Titre de Séjour 2015

Success!

And Tracy received official recognition that she is, “Parfait!” But I already knew that. We were “in-and-out” of the Préfecture in 45 minutes total after processing  both our renewals.  I know there is a stereotype of cumbersome French bureaucracy, but (“knock on wood”) we have had minimal challenges and all the representatives have been very patient and helpful.

Now we just have to wait for our notice in the mail to arrive and our return trip to Perpignan..

Tracy in front of the Castillet near the Prefecture in Perpignan
Tracy in front of the Castillet near the Prefecture in Perpignan

Related posts: First Renewal of Our Residency Permit (Titre de SéjourCartes de Séjour Arrived To Help Celebrate Our First Year In France,  Second Renewal of Our Residency Permits (Cartes de Séjour) Part 1, and Second Renewal of Our Residency Permits (Cartes de Séjour) Part 2

 

Voting in the Global Presidential Primary

Hello. My name is Alan and I’m a politics addict.

I was part of the Twenty-sixth Amendment’s first class of 18-year-old voters allowed to participate in federal elections and have voted in every election since. My first degree was in political science and I have a master’s degree in public administration and public policy. I have a personal philosophy of “voting for the person, not the party” and have changed my party affiliation numerous time to support a candidate I believed merited my support in a primary election and I have voted for local, state, and national candidates of all parties. I have volunteered to work on election campaigns. I follow elections, legislative sessions, and court decisions the way some people follow the NFL football season. I believe voting is a privilege and a duty and find it appalling that the US has such low voter participation. I strongly support programs like Oregon’s “Motor Voter” system to encourage more people to actively exercise their political franchise. Since moving to France Tracy and I have made a point of “voting back home” by use of absentee ballot.

Hello. My name is Alan and I’m a politics addict.

I can tell you that Tracy, who does not share my politics passion, puts up with my obsessive following of all things political with the same kind of patience that she did when the kids were little and telling her why they HAD TO hit their brother first.

I had recently — and by recently I mean every day since the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary — been lamenting the fact that our home state of Nevada has replaced primary elections with the caucus system since 2008. There is no option to participate by “absentee voting” in a caucus which requires face-to-face participation.

However, while reading about the upcoming March 1, 2016 “Super Tuesday” presidential primary elections, I discovered that Super Tuesday includes the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary that we can participate in.

Global Presidential Primary logo (Democrats Abroad website)
Global Presidential Primary logo
(Democrats Abroad website)

Democrats Abroad is a fifty-two year old, official Democratic party organization representing US citizens living permanently or temporarily overseas. It has “state-level” recognition by the National Democratic Party for representing overseas voters. The Republican Party has a similar organization, Republicans Overseas, but the Republican National Committee does not considered Republicans Overseas a “state committee” and it does not conduct its own global primary.

From 1976 to 2004 Democrats Abroad have sent delegates to Democratic National Convention using a caucus system. Since 2008, Democrats Abroad have conducted Global Primary Elections for Democratic party voters among the approximately 8,700,000 Americans that live overseas.

US States by Population with the Number of Overseas Americans (Democrats Abroad website)
US States by Population with the Number of Overseas Americans
(Democrats Abroad website)

Participation in the Global Primary Election is extremely easy.

1.) Be living permanently or temporarily abroad.

2.) Take a couple of minutes to join Democrats Abroad via their website.  You list your name, date of birth, phone numbers, US voting address, and your physical address abroad. After completing your application you are sent a e-mail link to activate your membership account.

3.) You are then authorized to vote at one of the 121 official Voting Centers in more than 40 countries, during the week of March 1 to March 8. (There are ten Voting Centers throughout France.)

4.) If you are unable to vote in person (Toulouse is our closest Voting Center and we are in the middle of moving), you can e-mail, fax, or “snail mail” your ballot to Democrats Abroad.  In just a few minutes, Tracy and I downloaded, filled-in our indentification information, selected a candidate, signed, scanned, and e-mailed our ballots to Democrats Abroad ahead of the March 1 to March 8 physical voting period. A mailed ballot must be postmarked by March 8 and ballots received after March 13, 2016 as deemed invalid and will not be counted.

5.) Of course, you can only vote once for a presidential candidate: either through the Global Primary Election or through your home state. You can either vote absentee, or participate in the caucus in your home state. or participate in the Global Primary Election.

Based on the results of the Global Primary Election, Democrats Abroad will send 21 delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.  Our home state of Nevada will be sending 43 delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

Tracy told me I was “way too excited” about being able to vote in a primary election.

Hello. My name is Alan and have I mentioned that I’m addicted to politics?

Tracy is across the room on her laptop diligently searching for a 12-step program.

 

 

A Beautiful Valentine’s

My granddaughter Lillian had her first Valentine’s Day at school this week. As many of you know, Lillian has some very creative parents who strive to make each day imaginative and fun for this uber-special kid and her adorable big sister, Lorelei.

Because Lillian isn’t able to assemble her own cards, her Mommy — our daughter Danielle — made up the Valentine’s Day cards for her friends in class.

Being the Mom of a special needs kid comes with some unique challenges and time constraints. I love that my daughter is always able to find the time to do something as unique and special as the child she’s raising.

Lillian LOVES glow sticks. The kind that can be made into necklaces and bracelets are especially nice. This year Danielle shared Lillian’s love of glow sticks with special Valentine’s Day cards that read: “You Light Up My Life!”

Lillian has a classmate who is blind. But Danielle wasn’t about to leave this child out of the special joy of receiving a hand-made Valentine’s card, so she did one of the cards in Braille.

A little research on the Internet, the creative use of a ball-point pen as a stylus and voila, one hand-made Valentine’s card in Braille!

I cannot express enough how much I love this daughter of mine. She amazes me with the depth of creativity she employs to make sure her daughter’s childhoods are fun, loving, and special.

Kudos baby girl, you ROCK!

 

A French Power Bill is the Ultimate Identity Document

Tracy and I have never been so excited to receive a bill in our lives; yet we were smiling like new parents when we checked the mail and found our first electricity bill from EDF (Électricité de France). Also like a new parent, we photographed it, scanned it, and placed it carefully back in its envelope for  safe keeping.

To quote from “7 Things You Can’t Understand If You’re Not French,” an article by Kate Robinson.

“Your electrical bill is the most important document you own.”

Ah, the justificatif de domicile. Proof of residence is perhaps the most sought-after document in your personal arsenal of administrative papers. If you want to get your driver’s license, renew your passport, open a savings account (yes, at the same bank where you’ve had a checking account for the last two years) or do anything else involving a visit to a guichet (service counter like DMV), you’ll need to prove where you live. No, the address on the back of your state-issued ID card doesn’t cut it. You’ll need to print or dig out an electrical bill less than three months old.”

and from “You Know You’ve Gone Full-French When . . . ” by Rebeca Planter.

“You keep a relatively recent electric bill in your purse; never know when you’ll need to prove your address… again.”

Our previous rental contracts in France included the cost of utilities, so we never had to obtain an electricity, gas, or water account. That has frequently created a bureaucratic issue for us as to how to establish our physical address.  Just like visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) back in the US, French government agencies have specific lists of approved documents they will accept as documentation.

Tracy and I have managed over the last few years in France without a utility bill to serve as our  justificatif de domicile (proof of physical address) by using alternative methods to establish our physical address like:  1.) having the bank send a registered letter to our apartment and returning it to the bank also by registered mail, 2.) producing a rental contract with a stack of signed rent receipts (having our own Quittance de Loyer book [rental receipt book] has repeatedly been a lifesaver for us), 3.) obtaining an “attestation sur l’honneur” (an affidavit) of occupation from our landlord, and 4.) obtaining from the Mairie (town hall) a memorandum stating we were residents of that town and listing our physical address.

Now, just in time for our application process for our third annual renewal of our Carte de Séjour (our Residency Permits, what in the US would be our “Green Cards”), we now possess the “Holy Grail” of French identity documents, an electricity bill.

EDF Electric Bill
EDF Electric Bill