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Assistance to Canadians

Drivers with Licences from Other Provinces and Territories

Drivers with licences other than from Alberta, Manitoba, New-Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island or Quebec are permitted to drive cars with Canadian licences for three months. However Canadians from theses provinces or territories wishing to extend their stay will have to apply for a French licence before the 3-month period expires. They must first register with a driving school and provide the following documents:

  • a special registration form, duly completed and delivered by the driving school;
  • a piece of ID (passport, stay document);
  • recent proof of residence;
  • 2 full-face ID photos with full name and address on the back;
  • 3 return envelopes, duly stamped and self-addressed;
  • a revenue stamp - tax to be paid (this stamp can be purchased from any tobacconist or the taxation centre);
  • a photocopy of your licence if you are exempted from the theory test.

Foreign nationals are provided with dispensations for getting licensed in France. They undergo a special check: a group examination involving 40 slides with simplified legends. This test can also be taken individually, and the applicant can bring a translator (friend, family member). Once the test has been passed, it will take 20 days to 2 months to get the final licence from the local prefecture. At that time, you have to:

  • surrender the temporary «pink sheet» issued by the inspector;
  • produce a piece of ID; and
  • pay the fee (varies from department to department).

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.

You can also consult the heading "Papiers du véhicule et permis de conduire" (Available in French only) on the French Service Public web site and the section Conduire en France avec un permis non européen (Available in French only).

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Date Modified:
2012-03-12