Moving house always requires planning and preparation; here are some tips and points about what must be done when moving in France. If renting property, take note of the rental notice period in the agreement made with the landlord - the notice period is usually three months.
Électricité de France (EDF) provides domestic electricity to properties in France. When moving residence:
New tenants/owners have up to two weeks to contact EDF to establish a new account before the electricity is disconnected. A connection fee is charged when a new account is created (regardless of whether the electricity service is interrupted). Tenants/owners may request that an EDF technician read the meter on vacating a property or moving in to one; there is a charge for this.
EDF requires the following to process an account changeover:
For further information from EDF:
Gaz de France provides domestic gas to properties in France. In some areas, the customer service of GDF and EDF is managed through the same department. If this is the case, a GDF account can be terminated with the same telephone call made to end the EDF service to submit the final meter reading.
Otherwise, take a final gas meter reading prior to vacating the property; contact GDF to submit the reading; a final bill is sent. GDF requires the following information:
At no charge, an appointment can be made for a technician to visit the property and shut off the gas supply.
Notification of a move can be made online through the GDF website using the Demande Express service.
France Télécom services are supplied by Orange. Contact the local Orange office about 15 days before the move, giving them notice of termination of contract, unless the move is within the same exchange area, in which case the number may be transferred to the new address. Orange requires a notice of change of address.
Where a number changes, a recorded message can be placed on the old line informing callers of the new number.
Before the move, notify mobile phone and Internet service providers of the change of address.
At least five days before the move, complete a change-of-address form (faire-suivre) at the post office (La Poste); this allows mail to be forwarded to the new address.
Or, subscribe online to P@ck Ma Nouvelle Adresse (giving at least two work days notice). This service notifies individuals and businesses of a change of address via postcard, text message or e-mail.
Mail can be forwarded to a new address in France or internationally for six or 12 months. Mail can also be forwarded on a temporary basis. To request mail forwarding, provide:
There is a charge for the mail-forwarding service.
Holders of a Carte de Séjour/Titre de Séjour should apply for the change of address stamp to be added to their residence card. This is done in person at the Préfecture or Sous-Préfecture. Provide the following documents:
It is not necessary to notify passport issuing authorities of a change of address. Pencil in the change of address on the appropriate page in the passport.
A change of address can be handwritten on the back of a French driver's licence; it is not necessary to notify the Préfecture.
Notification of change of address for the Certificat d'immatriculation (certificate of registration; previously known as the carte grise) must be made to the Préfecture or Sous-Préfecture (or Préfecture de Police in Paris) within one month of moving. It may be done in person or via post.
Notify vehicle, property, health and life insurance companies of the change of address. Home insurance can be transferred to a new property, but if the new home is a dramatically different size, the insurance premium is likely to be re-assessed.
Notify banks in writing of the new address, include account holder's names, account numbers, old and new address. Most banks will need written proof of a change of address, such as a utility bill. Allow enough time to print new cheque books.
The French government has an online system for registering a change of address. All social security and tax details are updated. Have tax numbers and French social security numbers to hand when using this service:
Unless a change of address has been submitted to the government website, residents must notify the social security office (Caisse d'Assurance Maladie, CPAM) of a change of address so that files may be transferred to a new office if necessary.
When changing address to a different département, complete and return the déclaration de changement de situation form available from CPAM.
Further information is available from the French social security website, Ameli (l'Assurance Maladie), in French.
Crèche: Contact the Mairie of the new area as soon as possible in order to enrol children. Give notice at the current crèche; be aware there is usually a one-month notice period at crèches.
Primary school: Contact the Mairie in the new area to find out which schools are in the mayoral area and arrange for enrolment. Request a certificat de radiation from the current school in order to remove a child from the school register.
Collège/Lycée: Request a certificat de radiation. This can only be given on the last day the child is attending the school. The necessary documents are transferred to the new school.
Easily overlooked is the need to update address information with the animal registry. To file a change of address for tattooed or microchipped animals, contact:
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