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Driving in France with a foreigner licence (short stay, study)

Verified 01 juillet 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

You can drive in France with your licence issued by a state no European for short stay or study conditions.

Short stay

If you come to France for a short stay (for a holiday, for example), you can drive with your licence no European .

The foreigner driving licence must meet the following 2 conditions:

  • Be valid
  • Be written in French or be accompanied by an official translation or an international driving licence (except for the British licence)

If you wish to obtain a translation in France, you must contact certified translator.

Studies

If you European and hold student residence permit, you can drive with your foreigner licence during all your studies in France.

You benefit from these provisions even if you obtain your driving licence in your country of origin, during a stay during your studies in France.

Your licence must meet the following conditions:

  • Be valid
  • Issued by the country where you had your normal residence before entering France
  • Be written in French or be accompanied by official translation in French

You must meet the following conditions:

  • Have the minimum age to drive vehicles of the equivalent category of your licence in France
  • Meet any medical requirements noted on your licence (wearing glasses required, etc.)
  • If your nationality is different from the country of issue of the permit (for example, Moroccan with an Algerian permit), you must have obtained your permit during a period during which your normal residence was in this country
  • Not having been sanctioned in your country (or in the country where the licence is issued if different) by a suspension, restriction or cancellation of your right to drive
  • Not having been punished in France, before obtaining a driving licence in another state, by cancelling or invalidating your right to drive

  FYI : a French student holding a foreigners driving licence does not benefit from these provisions, even if he or she is also a national of the issuing State. The foreigners driving licence is recognised in France for 1 year. During this period, he may ask exchange of licence.

At the end of your studies, if you get a residence permit other than a student, you must exchange your foreigner licence for a French licence to continue driving in France.

You request the exchange of your driving licence when exchanging your residence permit and at the latest in the year following the date of delivery of your new residence permit.

If your driver's licence is not exchangeable [application/pdf - 356.1 KB] , examination of french driving licence to continue driving in France.