Driving in France – Are you driving on the wrong side of the law?

Another one of our 13 possible paperwork process is Car Registration

Always have the following documents with you in the car:

– Driving licencedriving-img
– Passport or identity papers
– Insurance papers
– Registration documents
– Fluoresent vest & triangle



Come on own up, how many of you are driving a car that isn’t registered in France?

Granted it’s not the end of the world but it is illegal.
What are the consequences? And just what do you need to do to register your car here? How much will it cost?
Read on for some answers to some of those key questions…..


Download Tracy’s Top Tips for Moving & Living in France HERE


The thing is, getting your car registered in France is not rocket science, you can go to any expat website and get the information of where to go and what to do.  Granted some of the information is better than others, one is never completely sure if its all correct and of course it can waste alot of time, but its all out there.


So what’s holding you back?

Well I can tell you. For the most part its the waste of your time, very often its the waiting in line, its occasionally the cost, its also that feeling of anxiety that the lady with the glasses who will send you away because you haven’t got the right documents (I’m very familiar with her now!). But mainly its just the plain hassle!


LBS can take the pain out of this process for you!


  • Any vehicle that stays in France for over 6 months should be registered in France. The same rule applies for any EU country.
  • Any non-European vehicle also needs to be registered. The process can differ from the European process and you will may need to contact the DREAL.
  • Caravans & trailers over a certain size also need to be registered.


How much will it cost me if I get stopped by the police?

The on the spot fine can be up to 135 euros that you would need to pay immediately. I guess not much in comparison to the cost of registering the car I hear you say. But the only other option is to remain a permanent tourist despite being a resident!


How much will it cost me register my car in France?

The cost of the registration is calculated taking into account the power of the engine. Depending on the age and power of the engine, you will also be charged a pollution tax. This can vary a lot – I’ve seen it be as little as 150 euros up to 1200 euros!!


What is a certificate of conformity?

This is a document that is issued by the manufacturer which gives the technical characteristics of the vehicle. You can get this from the the manufacturer of the vehicle for a cost. For older vehicles or for vehicles that have been modified, you may need to contact your local DREAL office.

For historical vehicles, you would need to go via the FFVE (Federation Françaises des Vehicules d’Epoque).


What documents will I need?

Depending on where your car originates from there are different documents requested and the process can be different. But generally you will need to have the following:

  • Original registration document
  • Invoice from garage or person from whom you bought the vehicle
  • Recent proof off address in France
  • Quitas Fiscal (from your local tax office)
  • Proof of identity
  • Insurance documents
  • Control Technique (for cars over 4 years old)
  • Certificate of conformity
  • CERFA 13750*03



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