Driving in France

Do remember that those visiting France from England by car must inform their insurance company of that fact unless the policy covers driving in the EU. Do not forget also to carry all the necessary safety equipment.

Under European directive No 91/439 of 20th July 1991, a valid English driving licence is also valid in France, although in practice the French authorities require that an English licence be exchanged for a French licence after one year of French residency.

Lost driving licences

Lost driving licences may be replaced by contacting the appropriate prefecture (district) within the relevant department. The prefecture will provide a French licence once they have ascertained whether that person is entitled to a valid licence in their home country.

Fines and tickets

If a French resident accumulates sufficient driving offences in France, resulting in a loss of licence under the French points system, they are obliged to re-sit their French driving test.

Speed limits

Most roads are limited to a maximum of 90 km per hour, with built-up areas limited to a maximum of 50 km per hour. Dual carriageways are limited to 110 km per hour. Autoroutes are limited to 130 km per hour unless the weather conditions are poor, in which case the limit is 110 km per hour.

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French Law In Plain English
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