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Driving in Europe with a French licence

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

Your French driver's licence is valid for tourism or installation in other countries European. You do not need an international licence, nor do you need to exchange your licence. Please note that no driver may hold more than one licence in these countries.

Tourism in Europe

You can drive with your French licence in Europe.

You have the same right if you have obtained your French licence in exchange for a non-European licence.

Your driver's licence must be valid.

It is not possible to drive in Europe with a provisional document. For example, driving licence examination certificate - CEPC, a declaration of loss or theft of a permit...

Please note

if you go to Monaco, United Kingdom or Switzerland for short tourist stay, you can drive there with your french driving licence.

Installation in Europe

If you settle in a country European, you do not have to exchange your French driver's licence for a new one in this country.

Driving licences issued by European countries are mutually recognised.

The conditions However, the following must be completed:

  • Your French licence must be valid
  • You must not be sanctioned by a suspension, restriction or cancellation of your right to drive in your country of installation

It is not possible to drive in Europe with a provisional document. For example, driving licence examination certificate - CEPC, a declaration of loss or theft of a permit...

If you still wish to exchange your French licence, you must apply to the competent authorities in your country of installation.

Warning  

if your French licence was obtained in exchange for a non-European licence, it is not automatically recognised by the other States European. Check with the relevant authorities in your country of installation.

To submit your application for an exchange of French licences, contact the embassy or consulate of your country of installation in order to have a list of supporting documents.

You do not have to pass a theoretical (traffic code) or practical (driving ability) test.

Before issuing you a national driving licence, your country of installation checks that you have not been sanctioned on its territory, in France or elsewhere in Europe (restriction, suspension or withdrawal of licence).

In case of exchange, your French licence is returned to the French authorities.

After 2 years normal residence, your host country may limit the duration of your French licence (old model with unlimited duration) to the duration of the new European licence.

Depending on the country, the new European driving licence is valid for 10 or 15 years for motorcycles and cars.

You must renew your licence (simple administrative renewal).

Check with the authorities of the country concerned when the time comes.

If your new driver's licence (issued since January 19, 2013) expires in your country of installation, you will need to renew it with the authorities of that country.

The French authorities are no longer competent.