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Assistance to Canadians

Driver's licences from Alberta, British-Columbia, Manitoba, New-Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Québec and Newfoundland & Labrador

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.

This exchange can be carried out under the conditions detailed on the French government's website, which is regularly updated.  

Please, note that:

  • From 04/08/2020, the licence exchange procedure can only be done online.

Going to the Prefecture to submit an application in person is no longer necessary. To apply to exchange your driving licence, visit the ANTS website.
Warning: For all e-applications, it is essential to create an ANTS account prior to your application or to have your FranceConnect login and password;

  • If the licence is in English, it needs to be translated by an officially accredited translator. You can obtain a list at of officially accredited translators at your local City Hall in France or at Cour de cassation ;

  • All official documents concerning your Canadian driver's licence must be requested to the provincial authority directly. The Embassy does not have access to those files and cannot provide assistance in this matter.

Please take note that drivers with Ontario licences must have had their licences for at least 24 months over 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 préfecture and given back at the time of return to Canada upon surrendering of the French licence. You must report this exchange to the provincial authority that issued your driver’s licence in Canada.

Drivers who obtained their licence less than 3 years ago must abide by more restrictive speed limits:110 kph on highways, 80 kph on most other roads and the legally tolerated maximum amount of alcohol is 0.2 g/l of blood. (or 0,10 mg/l of air).
For a 3 year probationary period you hold only 6 points on your driving licence. During the probationary period, every year, am additional 2 points are added to your licence that is if you do not commit any offences leading to a loss of points.
Drivers who have held a licence for at least 3 years must abide by regular speed limits:130 kph on highways, 80 kph on most other roads and the legally tolerated maximum amount of alcohol is  0.5 g/l of blood. (or 0,25 mg/l of air).
Your licence holds 12 points that you lose if you commit offences to the French highway code.

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 which can be lost following offences. For further information, contact the prefecture of your department.

French law requests that vehicle owners 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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