Driving in France with a foreigners driving license (short stay, studies)
Verified 01 July 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)
You can drive in France with your state license no European for a short stay or during your studies subject to conditions.
If you come to France for a short stay (for a holiday, for example), you can drive with your license no European .
The foreigners driving license must meet the following 2 conditions:
- Be valid
- Be written in French or be accompanied by an official translation or an international driving license (except for the British license)
If you wish to obtain the translation in France, you must contact a certified translator.
if you settle in France, you must request the exchange of your license for a French license (except a British license issued before 2021).
If you are non-European and hold a student residence permit, you can drive with your foreigner license during all your studies in France.
You benefit from these provisions even if you obtain your driving license in your country of origin, during a stay during your studies in France.
Your license must meet the following conditions:
- Be valid
- To have been issued by the country where you were your normal residence before entering France
- Be written in French or be accompanied by a official translation in French
You must meet the following conditions:
- Have the minimum age to drive in France vehicles of the equivalent category of your license
- Follow any medical prescriptions noted on your license (glasses required, etc.)
- If your nationality is different from the country of issue of the permit (for example, Moroccan with an Algerian permit), have obtained your permit for a period during which your normal residence was in that country
- Not to have been punished in your country (or in the country of issue of the license if different) by a suspension, restriction or cancelation of your right to drive
- Not to have been penalized in France, before having obtained a driving license in another State, by a cancelation or invalidation of your right to drive
a foreigners student who holds a driving license does not benefit from these rules, even if he or she is also a national of the country in which the license was issued. The foreigners driving license is recognized in France for 1 year. During this period, he may request the exchange of the license.
At the end of your studies, if you get a residence permit other than students, you must exchange your foreigners driving license for a French driving license to continue driving in France.
You must request the exchange of your driving license upon exchange of your residence permit and at the latest in the year following the date of issue of your new residence permit.