Before agreeing to buy a used car:
When paying for and taking possession of the of the used car, ensure the seller provides all items listed on How to Sell a Used Car.
With the a "new-style" certificat d'immatriculation with a detachable coupon, issued since 2003 cars can be registered online or by post.
Registration can be done online, and new number plates requested, within 48 hours.
Registering by post:
Send copies of all the paperwork stipulated above to the Préfecture or Sous-Préfecture. The process takes about two weeks:
The price of registration is determined annually at a regional level (it varies across the country), and depends on a vehicle's horse power (cheval vapeur). Consult the Préfecture or Sous-Préfecture of the region for information.
A vehicle (car, motorbike or truck) over 30 years of age can be registered in France as a collector's vehicle véhicule de collection. The vehicle does not need to be approved and standardised by the DRIRE, and the safety and emissions tested in a Contrôle technique (CT) are adapted to the age of the vehicle (and thus more lenient). The vehicle roadworthiness test needs to be taken every five years. Until a change of regulation in October 2009, a vehicle registered as véhicule de collection was restricted to travelling only within the département of registration unless prior permission had been granted by the Préfecture. This no longer applies and collector's vehicles may travel freely across departmental borders.
The Fédération Française des Véhicules d'Epoque (French Federation of Classic Vehicles) is a national organisation which provides information and forms needed to register a classic in France. Help can be requested by sending copies of the required documents so that a file can be prepared for submission to the local Préfecture or Sous-Prefecture.
Note: When registering a foreign imported vehicle in France, a customs certificate 846-A will be required, along with court approved translations of all existing registration documentation. Again, the FFVE is able to assist.
Prior to 1 July 2004, it was not necessary to register a 50cc moped (cyclomoteur). However, as of the 1 July 2004, all new scooters (those which have never been on the road) must have a carte grise. It will be up to the vendor (who should have signed a convention with the State) to register a new scooter in the buyer's name. Provide the dealer with the required information and identity card/passport or, in the case of a business purchase, a Kbis or Lbis registration certificate.
To register an older bike and get a carte grise, either write to the address below or go to a recognised vendor who has signed the convention with the State and complete the necessary forms.
Provide the paperwork mentioned below:
If a new moped is brought to France from abroad it must registered immediately at the following address:
Provide the following paperwork:
If a second-hand moped is brought to France, follow the same procedures as above, including any registration documents that may be associated with the scooter.
Note: Where the owner of the moped is a minor, the parents or legal guardian must give written permission, a mandat, to the minor carrying out the certificat d'immatriculation application.
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