Carte Grise-Getting the golden ticket… some hints and tips

Renovation, Restoration, Replication…….

May I introduce today’s guest blogger, Trevor, who has battled with this little bit of bureaucratic mystery for some time.

“There are many things to be done to register a car in France, but there is one piece of advice that stands head and shoulders above all the rest.


To register a car in France you will need the following

Old Carte Gris or UK Registration document, Purchase document, Proof of Insurance, Proof of address in France (utility bill), Proof of identity (passport).

Any documents in English will need to be translated before you can consider going any further.

Up to date MOT if the car is English registered or bought in England, or Controle Technique (french MOT) this must be have been dated as issued less than 6 months ago, as after that you cannot use it for Carte Grise registration). If you require a new CT, you will need to make an appointment at a Testing Station, and it will cost about 60€

We know someone who managed to register their English car without replacing the headlights, they are still using the stick-on reflectors, but I cannot see this will be a satisfactory solution long term

(PS if anyone out there has a pair of LHD headlights for a very old Kia Sportage, we would be thrilled as to buy new would cost more than Gill’s Kia is worth)

Certificate of Conformity. You can get this from the vehicle manufacturer by quoting chassis number etc. Can take 2 or 3 weeks to come through. Not required if the car is French registered already.

You will also need a thing called a Quitus Fiscal, for vehicles that are not already registered in France. This is proof that there are no outstanding debts or bills other owing on the vehicle. You can get this from the Hotel des Impots in your local town. Take all of the above documents with you to the Hotel and they should issue the QF.

When you have all the above and have obeyed the copy everything rule, take the lot to your local Prefecture, in your local administrative city, and be prepared to wait.

You will need to complete the new registration request document. When you enter this establishment you will find one, maybe two, people behind the reception desk and their job is to weed out the rubbish applications and check the correct ones.They act the same towards everybody, it’s not just because you are English(!!). Assuming you have filled in the application correctly and have the relevant other documents, copied of course, the desk person will then give you a number and you then go and wait for the Carte Grise section of the department to call your number up and they will then enter the details in the computer system which links to Paris.

Again assuming everything is correct they will then point you to the Caisse section where you pay your money. This must be by  cheque or post office money order, no cash or bank/credit cards, and they will then issue you with a temporary registration document which is valid for a month.

The Carte Grise will come to your FRENCH address by recorded delivery and must be signed for, so ensure that you will be around to do that in person! we recommend you allow at least a week for delivery, excluding weekends and bank holidays.

If you cannot be around, you can nominate someone to collect it for you from the local post office, but ONLY if you have received a card in your letterbox that states delivery has been attempted but has failed. Sign this card in the right place to nominate someone else to pick it up for you.

Don’t rely on sorting any aspect of the above via email, it doesn’t work that way in France yet;

It was at this point when I did my Reg that the computer link went down ( 10 mins to 4 on a Friday afternoon, and they shut at 4. System came back with 2 mins to spare)

The Carte Gris should be sent out within 3-5 days. However in my case the document didn’t come out and it took us 6 months to find out why. Instead of Rue de la PlaGe, they had entered Rue de la PlaCe, which is not our address ( I guess they thought that no one could possibly live on “beach street” in an inland  country village!) So we had to go through the same routine all over again.

The cost of the registration depends on the power of the vehicle, for a 1.9 diesel engine car it was 345€.

This is my experience this year 2014, in our department of Aude, so please regard as guidance only


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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