Driving in France / Road Signs To Know

Car Registration

Car Registration

“Carte grise” – Car Registration in France and bringing over a car from England or America.

The « Carte Grise » is what the Registration Certificate is called in France. (A pink slip, or owners certificate in the USA.) It is required that every car on the road here in Savoie, France, and throughout Europe, carry one in the glovebox.

Since June 2004, the Car Registration Certificate became European meaning comprehensive and common information for all member states of the European Union. And since October 2009, the user has the possibility of registering online.

Here is the French government’s site for everything and anything administrative. In French though


Registering your car in France

 This is the link to obtain the necessary forms for registering your car.


All in French though I have tried to explain as simple as possible with the following.

As soon as you have a permanent address in France you must register your car. They say you have 1 month to do so. If you don’t, you risk getting a ticket that is normally 135€ but can go as high as 750€.

You must visit your local « Prefecture » or  « Sous Prefecture ».

Préfecture de Savoie http://www.savoie.gouv.fr

Le Château Ducs de Savoie, 73000 Chambéry

04 79 75 50 00

Required documents. (The originals and copies just in case.)


Don’t forget a book too!

You must a have a paper, certificat provisoire d’immatriculation (CPI), proof that you have started the process of getting a « Carte Grise », to be legally on the road. The cashier at the « Préfecture » will give you one, another good reason to go through the « Préfecture ». I have read that some Départements (Sous Prefecture) don’t give out the CPI in which case you won’t be able to drive your car till you receive the permanent Carte Grise.

If your vehicle was not manufactured in the European Commune, your will have another step to complete which requires a visit to the D.I. R.I. E.

They will have to certify that the vehicle comforms to all E.C. standards. This can be a lengthy, and costly experience if your car, motorcycle or truck happens to be made in a country where standards are different than they are in Europe. You will be required to make the changes to the vehicle so that it will be conforming.

Here are some good and interesting sites for more in depth information:

www.driving-in.com, www.aboutfrance.com, www.fusac.fr/driving-in-France/, www.france.angloinfo.com/transport/driving/, www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/driving-abroad-whats-new-2012.html




  • Can you please help – I have just registered my car in France – an 18month old Renault Megane Dymonique TomTom 3 door hatchback – 1.6 petrol manual – I was charged €2100 – two thousand one hundred euros to do this – somewhat excessive – and to the horror of everyone who has reregisterd their car and I am now trying to get part of this money back – can you please advise the best way to do this

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