Moving To France? You’D Better Get Ready To Apply For Your Carte Grise On Arrival


If you have been inquiring about buying or selling a car in France, you will no doubt have heard the word “Carte Grise” mentioned many times during the conversation. Without the all important carte grise or vehicle registration document  there’s no way you can drive, or sell   a vehicle on French soil and the reason why its considered the most important document required for the process.  At the same time, it’s in your interest to know that you should never buy a car unless the owner is able to submit his carte grise for your inspection because you’re going to need this to register the vehicle in your name.

France is a country that’s chock a block with bureaucracy and unless you have all the paper work in pristine order, you will not be able to get any work done.  If you’re planning to move to France or live there for more than 6 months, its best that you learn all the rules and regulations of driving in France because the French police is very particular about foreigners driving on their roads and polluting the environment. They can pull you up for the slightest reason and not having the carte grise with you will not be considered a minor reason whatsoever.

The French vehicle registration certificate among other information will contain the registration number of the vehicle, name and address of owner, vehicle details such as the year of manufacture, chassis number etc. and that it conforms to European standards.  Once in France, you will realize that you must have a car to see all those scenic places and idyllic villages in the countryside, but never ever get caught without the carte grise because you will not only be fined heavily but also remanded without any excuse being acceptable.

If you bring your used car from the country you have been living in, you will only realize once you get into France that it would have been better to part with it before setting foot in France and buy a new or used car from within the country. This is mainly because of the complex procedure and the various documents you will be expected to produce when applying for a new registration for the imported vehicle. Apart from your old certificate of registration, you will also have to produce a letter from the manufacturer confirming that your vehicle is good enough to be used on French roads.

Among other documents you need are  your passport, and utility bill to attest to your residency on French soil and a certificate from a testing station of which there are many in the country, to the affect that the vehicle concerned meets the technical specifications as per the country’s regulations.  Be warned that you will have just one month after your arrival in Franceto get your carte grise after which you will not be allowed to drive with your old license plates.  Once you have all the documents in hand, you can send it by post or hand them over to the local prefecture for processing. If everything is in order, you will receive your carte grise within 4 to 5 days so that you can go ahead with the preparation of your license plates giving you full authority to drive on French roads.

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