Import & vehicle registration manual France

What do you need to import your car into France and get a "carte grise" (French license plate) for a car at your second home? The advantage: you do not have to pay Dutch road tax. (I also no French, because they have instead the toll revenues)

Below the steps to buy a car in Germany and import it into France. It will work approximately the same for procurement in other countries. Tell us if it works for you or if you have other experiences! Send an e-mail to


Import 4x4 in Frankrijk

Purchase in Germany:

1) Make sure you have a sales contract, preferably with the dealer's stamps (name and signature). With specification of VAT. Purchasing a private individual does not require VAT and stamps, but rather the seller's name and name and signature.

(2) International Registration Certificate, plus the original two parts of the Registration Certificate, because this is proof of surrender of the original owner.

3) Ask the dealer for an EU Certificate of Conformity. The dealer receives this from the importer. In the case of a trader or private individual, you have to ask the importer about this yourself. In my case I had to fax my data, and a copy of the registration certificate (Fahrzeugbrief) to Mitsubishi, and then I got it in the house within a week.

Import and Vehicle Registration France (Immatriculation)

4) For a car older than 4 years old, you must have an APK inspection (Contrôle Technique) done. This can be done at countless inspection stations for approx. €50 and lasts half an hour. Don't let yourself be sent to the D. R. I. R. E. (French RDW), this inspection is not necessary if you have a Certificate of Conformity. The car does not need to be approved. In case of rejection, you have 2 months to carry out the repairs and to go for a re-inspection. You can apply for the registration number immediately. Take your papers and the Certifcate of Conformity with you, which data will be taken over on the proof of inspection. The station also asks for the puissance fiscal. You can find this by requesting an online insurance offer for your car.

5) Get a Certificat Fiscal or Quitus Fiscal certificate at the Hôtel des Impôts. This is a statement that no more import duties and VAT are due. The address of the Impôts is on your taxe foncière and your taxe d?' habitation. Include the registration certificate (all parts) and the purchase contract. I also showed a copy of a recent taxe d?' habitation, but I don't know if that was necessary.

6) Now you can go to the prefecture. My experience was that it is better not to go to a sous prefecture, but now it will work everywhere. You need the following:

    • Registration certificate (all parts)
    • Travel certificate or passport. Driving license is sufficient, but they want to know where you were born, so passport is more convenient.
    • A proof that you have a house in France. This can be done by an account of a (former) French state-owned company, such as EDF, France Telecom, or by your taxe foncière or habitation. The account may not be older than 3 months, the taxe should be the last one. It may also be a rental receipt.
    • Cheque or pin only for payment


    • Evidence of Contrôle Technique
    • Form for registration registration application ( here download)


    • Proof of waiver from the previous owner (the stamped invoice) or better still this form.
    • Certificat Fiscal - For EU vehicles, this requires a quitus fiscal tax.


  • Certificate of Conformity / Justificatif conformity or Certificate of Type-approval data

After payment depending on the puissance tax you get the carte grise. Now you can go to a garage or car parts shop and buy and assemble the license plates.

The required documents can also be found on the site of the French government. Download the "Notice" here.

Please note: If you place a car on a French licence plate, you should not drive it to the Netherlands as long as you are a Dutch resident. The second time you are caught, you will be fined a considerable fine and will be charged BVB. You can apply for a tax exemption if you use the car for your own business in France.

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