Cash payment

Verified 02 May 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Do you want to pay for your purchases using coins or tickets? This is called a cash payment (or in cash). In some cases, it can be refused, capped or prohibited. Here are the rules to know.

Euro banknotes and coins are the only means of payment in France which, in principle, cannot be refused.


A merchant who denies you a cash payment may be fined €150.

However, a person may refuse to be paid in cash in certain cases.

Foreign currencies

Payment in foreign currency may be refused.

Banknotes and coins in poor condition

Payment with unfit coins or notes may be refused. These species could be rejected by the Banque de France.

Counterfeit currency

If the creditor realizes that your note (or coin) is counterfeit, he may refuse payment.

Number of parts

Payment of more than 50 coins for a single payment may be refused (except for payments to the public treasury).


You have to make the top-up, which is to pay the exact amount to the seller. The creditor may therefore refuse payment in cash if he does not have enough money.

Technical or safety reasons

In some cases, you may be refused cash for technical or security reasons. For example, shopkeepers on night shifts may refuse cash payment as a security measure. Time stamps can also refuse cash payment as a protection against vandalism.

There is no limit to the amount paid in cash between individuals (e.g. car purchase). Written text is required beyond €1,500 for to prove payments.

In several cases, the cash payment may not exceed certain amounts.

Payment of taxes

The cash payment at the public finance centers window is limited to €300.

Payment to a professional

Payment in cash from an individual to a trader or between traders is allowed until €1,000.

This ceiling shall be raised to €15,000 if your tax domicile is abroad and you pay a personal expense. This is the case, for example, for the purchase of a private vehicle.


These ceilings do not apply to you if you do not no other means of payment or no bank account.

You will be required to show identification for any payment over €1,000.

If your cash payment exceeds these limits, you risk a fine of up to 5% illegal cash payments. You'll have to pay half of that fine. The other half will have to be paid by the trader who has accepted the cash payment.

Payment of salary

The salary can be paid in cash up to €1,500 per month.

Beyond that, the employer must pay by crossed check or by transfer bank.


This ceiling does not apply to an employer who does not no other means of payment or no bank account.

If your employer does not comply with these obligations, it could be fined €450.

Payment of a real estate transaction

Payments made or received by a notary for the settlement of certain real estate transactions may be made in cash if the transaction does not exceed €3,000. This is the case, for example, for thepurchase of land or of a dwelling.

Beyond this amount, these payments must be settled by transfer.

If you are refused a cash payment without authorization, you can report it to the Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations.

You can also report it to the Defender of Rights.

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