Registration of a foreign car in France


You move from a member state of the European Union to France and want to bring your car?

You live in France and want to buy a new car in another EU member state and register it in France?

Under French law, you have 15 days to take the necessary steps for its registration at the administration in charge (“Préfecture”). The Prefecture will issue a registration certificate (“carte grise”).

You need the following documents (originals):

  • The application form “demande d’immatriculation” which is also available at the Prefecture.
  • Certificate of conformity (“certificat de conformité”) if the first registration of your car was after 1997. This certificate is normally delivered by the trader of the car. If you have not received it, you can turn directly to the manufacturer in the State where you have bought the car.
    If your car is older, you need all official documents concerning the car (especially your former certificate of registration). A specific, time and money consuming registration procedure will be applied. Please contact the Prefecture for more information.
  • Your identity card.
  • A proof that you purchased the car (i.e. a sales bill ) (“certificat de vente”, “ facture d’achat”).

If your car is new, you also need an official certificate stating that you paid the VAT in France (“quitus fiscal”) which is issued by the taxing authority of your permanent residence in France ( “Centre des Impôts”).

If the car you want to register is a used car, you further need

  • An official certificate declaring that the car was unregistered in the country you come from ( “attestation de levée des sceaux”).
  • An official certificate stating that you paid the VAT in your country which is issued by the taxing authority in charge (“quitus fiscal”) (to do in the country you are leaving).
  • A certificate of road-worthiness (in GB: MOT) valuable for at least 6 month for a car exceeding the age of 4 years ( “contrôle technique”).

Be aware though that specific car types may not be listed in France (camping cars, imported cars from other continents etc). Their registration might therefore cause some problems. You will then need an “attestation d’identification” in addition to the documents listed above. In this case, please contact us for more information. If you want to buy any of these specific car types, we strongly recommend to inform yourself beforehand if a registration is possible.

For further information please contact:

European Consumer Centres France
Rehfusplatz 11
77694 Kehl
Tel.: 00.49.7851.991.48.0
Fax.: 00.49.7851.991.48.11
[email protected]