Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Driving in France with a European (EEA) licence

Verified 05 novembre 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

You have a driver's licence European (or a British licence issued before 2021) and you wonder if it is valid in France? You may drive in France with this licence while it is valid. Exchange for a French licence is not necessary to drive in France. This page explains your driving rights depending on whether you have obtained your licence directly in one European State or in exchange for a licence issued by another State.

General case

If you reside in France and have a licence obtained in a state European (and in the United Kingdom before 2021), this licence is valid in France.

However, you must complete the 5 following:

  • Have the minimum age to drive the equivalent category of your licence (at least 18 years for the permit B)
  • Have a valid permit
  • Meet the medical requirements noted on your licence. For example, wearing glasses is mandatory.
  • Not having been sanctioned by a suspension, restriction or cancellation of your right to drive in the country of issue of the licence
  • Not having obtained your licence during a period when you were prohibited in France from applying for a driving licence

If you meet all these conditions, you can drive in France with your licence as long as it is valid.

Otherwise, you are not allowed to drive in France with this European driving licence.

You must wait until you meet all the conditions (for example, wait until the required age or the end of a licence suspension) or reissue your licence in case of cancellation.

If you wish, you can request an exchange of your licence against a French licence.

Exchange is possible even if your foreigner permit is no longer valid.

The exchange of your driving licence against a French licence omandatory in the following 3 casess:

  • Your licence has expired
  • You are requesting a new licence category (extension)
  • In France, you commit a traffic violation resulting in loss of points, restriction, suspension or cancellation of your licence

Permit obtained in exchange

Driving rights vary if your licence European was obtained in exchange for a licence issued by a State trading licences with France, or not.

Permit issued by a trading State

If you reside in France and have a permit European obtained in exchange for a permit issued by a State with reciprocal exchange of licences with France [application/pdf - 357.4 KB] , this licence is valid in France.

However, you must complete the 5 following:

  • Have the minimum age to drive the equivalent category of your licence (at least 18 years for the permit B)
  • Have a valid permit
  • Meet the medical requirements noted on your licence. For example, wearing glasses is mandatory.
  • Not having been sanctioned by a suspension, restriction or cancellation of your right to drive in the country of issue of the licence
  • Not having obtained your licence during a period when you were prohibited in France from applying for a driving licence

If you meet all these conditions, you can drive in France with your licence as long as it is valid.

Otherwise, you are not allowed to drive in France with this European driving licence.

You must wait until you meet all the conditions (for example, wait until the required age or the end of a licence suspension) or reissue your licence in case of cancellation.

If you wish, you can request an exchange of your licence against a French licence.

Exchange is possible even if your foreigner permit is no longer valid.

The exchange of your driving licence against a French licence omandatory in the following 3 casess:

  • Your licence has expired
  • You are requesting a new licence category (extension)
  • In France, you commit a traffic violation resulting in loss of points, restriction, suspension or cancellation of your licence

Permit issued by another State

If you obtained your European licence in exchange for a licence issued by a Non-reciprocal permit trading State with France [application/pdf - 357.4 KB] , its use in France is limited.

You can only use it during1 Year from the acquisition of your normal residence in France.

To continue driving in France beyond this time limit, you must pass examination of french driving licence.