Driving licence in France

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Permis de conduire en France
French driving license 2013.png
Driving licence in France
TypeDriving licence
Issued by France

In France, the driving licence (French: Permis de conduire) is a governmental right given to those who request a licence for any of the categories they desire. It is required for every type of motorized vehicle. The minimum age to obtain a driving licence is: sixteen years for a motorcycle, eighteen years for a car, and twenty-one years for buses and cargo vehicles.

Since 2013, the French driving licence format was changed from that of a pink booklet to a credit card-sized card. Some slights modifications appear on driving licenses issued by some overseas collectivities such as French Polynesia (987), Saint-Martin (978) and Wallis and Futuna (986); where licenses are identical to the normal mainland format with the addition of the name of the Collectivity next to the “RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE” title and even, for the unique case of French Polynesia, the display of the regional flag on the bottom right part of the cards.[1][2] Since 2015 licences issued in Saint-Barthélémy (977) are similar to the normal mainland format but with the name "SAINT BARTHÉLEMY" instead of “RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE”, without the yellow stars around the F, and the Saint Barthélémy coat of arms as part of the background.[3]

Obtaining a driver's licence[edit]

The French driving licence can be obtained after finishing a driving school and passing a two-stage test: the theory test (examen du code de la route) and road test (examen pratique du permis). The "code de la route" consists of 40 questions of which you need to get at least 35 right to pass. After passing the exam, you can start taking driving lessons with your driving school. Before passing the road test, a minimum of 20 hours of driving lessons is mandatory.

Graduated driver licensing[edit]

Disk on the rear of the car for vehicle with a learner.

In France, there exists a Graduated driver licensing for people between the ages of 15 and 17 and a half, for B category Driving licence. Some restrictions exist; one of the main conditions is that a fully licensed driver must accompany the learner.

This Graduated driver licensing is valid only within France, so it's not possible to cross the border with the Graduated driver licensing.

At the age of 18, the learner's permit can apply to a normal driving license, that it can pass more easily due to its previous experience; additionally, its probation license is reduced from three to two years.

For people over 18, a system similar to the Graduated driver licensing exists, but rules are slightly different, for instance it does not provide the reduction from three to two years for the probation licence.[4]

Magnetic A disk.

Furthermore, any person who initially gets a driving license, for the first one, has to mind following restrictions for two or three years[5] known as permis probatoire. The permis probatoire starting with specific issue:

  • Speed is reduced for new drivers: 110 km/h instead of 130 on motorways, 100 km/h instead of 110, and 80 instead of 90 on rural roads.[6]
  • The symbol A should appear on the rear of the car
  • The permis probatoire has only six points, the driver will have access to 12 points when they pass a three-year term[7]
When général case apprentissage anticipé case
Driving licence passed 6 6
After one year +2 → 8 (if no point loss) +3 → 9 (if no point loss)
After two years +2 → 10 (if no point loss) +3 → 12 (if no point loss)
After three years +2 → 12 (if no point loss)

Some training to road traffic safety might help to recover points.

Gallery of historic images[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.tahiti-infos.com/Le-permis-de-conduire-polynesien-passe-au-format-carte-de-credit_a142924.amp.html
  2. ^ https://www.sxminfo.fr/97576/30/03/2015/saint-martin-tout-savoir-sur-le-nouveau-permis-de-conduire/amp/
  3. ^ "Document: FRA-FO-06002". www.consilium.europa.eu. Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  4. ^ https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F21012
  5. ^ https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2390
  6. ^ Article R413-5, French Traffic code
  7. ^ https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2390

External links[edit]