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.
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.
if you have euro banknotes in poor condition, you can, under conditions, exchange them at the Banque de France. You can also, under conditions, ask for a refund at the Banque de France or at certain post offices.
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.
Who shall I contact
You can also report it to the Defender of Rights.
Who shall I contact
- Defender of Rights
By telephone (general information)
09 69 39 00 00
Cost of a local call
From Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm
By post (to lodge a complaint with the Defender of Rights) By free post, without postage
Defender of Rights
Free answer 71120
75342 Paris cedex 07
Attention: attach photocopies of the documents relating to your referral to your post.
Access to contact form
Who can help me?
Find who can answer your questions in your region
- Regulation (EC) No 974-98 of 3 May 1998 on the introduction of the euroThreshold of 50 coins per payment (Article 11)
- Monetary and Financial Code: Article L112-5 to L112-5-1Obligation of the debtor to make the supplement in the event of payment in cash
- Monetary and Financial Code: Articles L112-6 to L112-8Ceilings for cash payment
- Monetary and Financial Code: Articles D112-3 and R112-5Ceilings for cash payment
- Monetary and Financial Code: Article L112-10Ceiling for payment of salary in cash
- Monetary and Financial Code: Article L112-7Fine for exceeding authorized ceilings
- Criminal Code: article R642-3Fine for refusal to receive cash
- Decree No. 85-1073 of 7 October 1985 on payments by checks and transfersMaximum amount for payment of salary in cash
- Declaration to customsService-Public.fr
- Banknotes and coinsSupervisory and Resolution Authority (ACPR)
- Cash payment: what are the rules?Supervisory and Resolution Authority (ACPR)
- Paying in cash: coins and banknotesNational Institute of Consumer Affairs (INC)