Driving in France with a foreign license


Driving in France with a license issued by a foreign country is permitted in the following cases:

  • Driver’s licenses issued by member states of the European Economic Area are valid in France indefinitely.
  • Regardless of the country in which their driver’s license was issued, holders of a “Student” residence permit will continue to be covered by their foreign license for the entire validity period of their “Student” residence permit.
  • Driver’s licenses issued by non-European countries are valid in France for up to one year:
    • As of the start date of your first French residence permit.
    • If you have a VLS-TS visa, as of the date it is approved by the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (OFII) with a sticker and stamp on your passport.

 

For a driver’s license to be recognized in France, the following conditions must be fulfilled:

  • The driver’s license must be currently valid.
  • It must be used in accordance with the medical instructions displayed on the license (e.g. mandatory use of spectacles).
  • The license holder must be above the legal driving age (at least 18 years of age for a “B” license).
  • The license must still be valid in the country of issuance (i.e. not suspended, not revoked, no usage restrictions).

 

In addition, for non-European nationals, the license will need to have been:

  • Issued in the holder’s usual country of residence prior to their arrival in France.
  • Drafted in French or accompanied by an official translation.
  • Obtained before the start date of their first French residence permit or before their visa was approved by the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (OFII).