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How long do you have before you must register your car in France

Sunday Driver

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(Originally posted February 2006)     

For some time on these forums, there have been various posts regarding the use of UK registered cars by those now resident in France and the period in which they need to be re-registered over here.  In the main, opinion has varied, from between six months to infinity.  

Here is an [url=http://www.securiteroutiere.equipement.gouv.fr/data/revue/revue141/docs/bon_a_savoir.pdf]information leaflet[/url] issued by the Ministry of Equipment, Tourism and Transport and published on the official Securite Routiere website.

The relevant section translated as follows:


If you have bought a new vehicle in a European Union country, you can drive for one month under cover of the provisional transit registration issued by the authorities of the country of purchase.

If it is a used vehicle, you can drive for one month under cover of the previous foreign registration.  This authorisation to drive under foreign plates is shown on the tax certificate which is obligatory for registration in France, which is issued by the tax office nearest to your residence.

Caution: authorisation to drive under foreign plates is valid only if those plates have not been invalidated by the issuing authority, that is to say, if the official seals have not been retained (for example, the seals on German plates) or if the period of validity has not expired.

The tax certificate (Certificate d’acquisition d’un vehicule terrestre a moteur en provenance de la communaute europeene par une personne non identifiee a la TVA) has the following noted on the reverse:

In conformity with the dispositions of Article 2-VI of the Order dated 05/11/1984, the present certificate is not valid as a certificate of registration.

However, by decision of the Minister for Equipment, Transport and Tourism, and whilst waiting to complete the registration process, the present certificate authorises you from the date of issue, to drive for one month under the valid foreign registration, except in the case where the original registration plates have been withdrawn.  This delay is extended to four months if your vehicle has to be submitted for a single vehicle approval inspection by the DRIRE.

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Sunday Driver has just confirmed something that my insurance agent was telling me recently. He was saying how exasperated he got when people tried to continue driving cars on UK plates sometimes up to 2 years after they'd moved here. He said that the regulations had changed and he now refuses to insure beyond the limit. I don't understand why people delay; in most cases it's a very straightforward process.


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