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Assistance to Canadians

Drivers with Alberta, British-Columbia, Manitoba, New-Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Québec and Newfoundland & Labrador Licences

The residents of France holding a valid driver's licence issued by the provinces of Alberta, British-Columbia, Manitoba, New-Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador are permitted to drive cars in France with their Canadian licences for a full year. Before the expiration of the one year delay, the latter can make use of their reciprocal agreements to exchange their licences for French ones under the following conditions (the detailled French procedure is available online in French only):

  • The exchange must be made within one year of arrival in France;
  • The licence has to be valid;
  • The exchange must take place at the Prefecture of Police in the place of residence (or sub-prefecture);
  • The following identity papers must be produced: passport, stay document, 2 photos, bank statement of account information (RIB: originals and photocopies).
  • If the licence is in English, it needs to be translated by an Official Translator. You can obtain a list at your local City Hall in France or at Cour de cassation.
  • All official documentation concerning your Canadian driver's licence as to be requested to the provincial autority directly. The Embassy does not have acces to those file and cannot assist to obtain this documentation.

Please take note that drivers with Ontario licences must have hold their licences for at least 24 months during the last 3 years.

A fee is charged for this licence. The driver’s licence issued by the Canadian province will be kept by the prefecture and given back at the time of return to Canada on surrender of the French licence. You must report this exchange to the provincial authority that issued your driver’s licence in Canada.

Drivers who have been licensed for less than 2 years must obey more restrictive speed limits: 110 km/h on main highways and 80 km/h on other roads. The various driver’s licences are as follows: Licence B Automobile, Licence A Motorcycle (all kinds), Licence AL Light motorcycle (125 cm3), Licence AT Motorized tricycle or quadricycle, Licence A or B for vehicles driven by persons with disabilities, Licence C Heavy vehicle, Licence D Public transport and Licence E Trailer. Remember that your licence has 12 points you can lose for offences. For further information, contact the prefecture of your department.

French law obliges vehicle owners to have a liability insurance certificate (third-party damages) at all times. A sticker certifying coverage, provided by the insurer, is to be placed on the windshield. Canadian travellers must have international insurance certificates.

For more information, you can also consult the heading "Permis de conduire" (Available in French only) on the French Service Public web site and also the section Echanger un permis de conduire hors Union européenne (Available in French only).


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