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Old (classic ? ) Motorcycles and bureaucracy.


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We hope to move to France (Dordogne probably) next year; I'm reading pretty much everything I can and this forum is great.  We won't keep our British car, more trouble than it's worth as I can sell it on very easily in the UK. 

My problem is motorcycles which are a bit different because I get attached to them; one is a 1995 BMW R1100R, which shouldn't be too much of a problem, but the other is a 1978 Suzuki GT750, a three cylinder two stroke, just the sort of thing that emissions rules have outlawed.  I have had this since 1989 and it's a low mileage, sparkling dry use only minter, so I intend to trailer it down and I want to keep it.

I can't imagine getting a certificate of conformity for a 28 year old bike but I'm more than happy to submit it for testing.  How will I find my local DRIRE, are they likely to give me any grief because it's a two stroke?  These bikes were very popular in France when they were new, but the DRIRE identification form I have downloaded only mentions cars, is there a bike specific form?

Hoping someone else out there is equally attached to an ancient two wheeler and a bit less bewildered than me.    

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You might have some problems with the stroker, so try the conventional way first.  See if you can an attestation d'identite from Suzuki France.  This confirms that the bike is type approved for France.  Ring them on 01 34 82 14 00 and ask for Madame Fabienne MANGIN and she speaks fluent english which is helpful.

However you'll need to write a letter to them requesting an attestation with a copy of your V5C registration document. They'll charge you about 120 euros for this.


If, as you say, the bike was commercially imported into France, you may be OK, but if Suzuki can't issue the document, then you can have the bike registered as a "classic" ie, a voiture de collection. This way, you won't need evidence of type approval. [;-)]

Under the current rules, to qualify for "classic" status the bike must be over 25 years old. If you are issued with a carte grise "collection" you are restricted to riding in your home departement and neighbouring departements. You also get a book of 25 carnets which you get stamped by your prefecture which authorises you to go outside this zone for attending rallies, etc. The carte grise collection is not valid outside France,

From January 2007, the rules are to change. The bike must be 30 years old to qualify for a CG "collection" and as a concession, the restriction on travelling outside your home "zone" is waived - ie, you can ride all over France. So if you get in before this date, you'd be OK on your 28 year old bike.

You can find full details on the Federation Francaise des Voitures d'Epoque website [url=http://www.ffve.org]HERE [/url]

You need to download their application form for an attestation d'identite and send back to them with a copy of your V5C and some photos. The FFVE will issue the attestation which is the equivalent of a single vehicle type approval certificate.  This will be sufficient to register the bike at your prefecture.

PM me if you need any more help.


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Very many thanks for the hugely detailed reply, as is usually the case, sods law applies in that the bike will only be 29 years old when we hope to move, but at least I have the choice of following the slightly complicated process or waiting for a year until it turns 30 years old.

The Carte Grise Collection is definitely the preferred route; one thing though, exactly what function do DRIRE perform and how are they found........internet search or through the local hotel des impots?

TTFN............Kettle 738



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The DRIRE (Directions Regionales de l'Industrie, de la Recherche et de l' Environement) are concerned with industrial development and environmental protection.  They have a regulatory role in industrial safety which includes mining, quarries and nuclear installations.

For vehicles, they undertake all type approval certifications, whether that's EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval for new cars, or single vehicle type approval (reception de titre isole) for non-homologated vehicles.  Their database also contains details of all cars with French national type approval manufacturered between 1990 and 1998 when EUWVTA was introduced. They provide the necessary type approval attestations for imported vehicles which are required for registration.

You can find further details on their national website [url=http://www.drire.gouv.fr] HERE [/url]

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Thank you again for that, I tried to download the form for an attestation d' identete, however it requires a French version of Adobe Acrobat to open it which seems to clash with my existing Adobe programme; being a slight numb nut as far as computers are concerned, that's an insurmountable problem.   Is there aywhere else that this form can be found?

Failing that, we are to visit a friend in Gers in September, I guess I can probably get him to access it for me.

Thank you again, it's a bit of a killer being at the bottom of the learning curve.



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