France Vehicle Registration Process

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France Vehicle Registration Process

The Process of Registering A Vehicle In France

As one of the most visited, culturally rich nations in the world, France is a destination spot for many tourists and expats. For those looking to settle in the country and import a vehicle, the nation makes it relatively easy with a host of informational resources and the infrastructure to easily transport vehicles.

The nation enjoys the benefits of being a European Union member that includes not needing to register immediately if you’re from another EU nation and being exempt from taxes if the vehicle is already registered in another EU nation.

Steps To Register A Car In France

Bringing vehicles into France is trickier since there are strict regulations governing the types of cars that can come into the country. Because of French construction and use regulations, you may even be required to change parts that meet the standards set by local law.

After contacting the DRIRE office (Direction Régionale de L’Industrie, de la Recherche et de l’Environnement) for a checklist, you’ll likely be told to have the following:

  • A customs certificate
  • A certificate of car conformity from the importer
  • Certificate of sale
  • Proof that you paid the value-added tax
  • Original registration
  • A certificate that shows the vehicle passed an inspection
  • Proof of residency

All this will lead you to obtain a grey card – carte grise – a certificate of vehicle registration.

If you plan on shipping a vehicle to France, or are considering it, click here to find more information! Following the link will take you to our international shipping page for France that has information about shipping costs, what to expect, and how to prepare.

A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.

Getting Your License

If you’re from an EU nation, it’s easier to get through this process. The minimum age for a driver’s license is 18, with some exceptions for older teens. A driver’s license from another EU nation is valid in the country. Those hailing from non-member nations can use their old license for up to a year before needing to register once again. Mind you that you’ll need it translated when you show it as proof.

Once you become a legal resident with the correct permits, you have up to one year to apply for a French driver’s license.

Receiving a license requires the following:

  • Completed driver’s license application
  • Proof of identity and residency
  • Two passport photos
  • Your current driver’s license as well as a translation of it

The process requires you to pass a written and practical driving exam.

Traffic rules

  • The following are some general rules and regulations while on the road:
  • The speed limits are 130 km/h on highways, 110 km/h on major roads and 90 km/h on country roads.
  • Wet roads mandate drivers to slow down by 10-20 km/h
  • Seatbelts are compulsory

France Car Registration Resources

Getting A French Driver’s License – Information about getting a license in France, as well as a breakdown of driving in the country.

U.S. Embassy & Consulates In France – Resources for American citizens visiting or living in France. You can also contact the French Embassy in the U.S. for information about visiting the country.

Joe Webster

Written by Joe Webster

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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