> Bike Stay > Touring Advice > France > Regulations & Advice

This page features information in regards to legal issues and general motorcycling in France.

Please also view our general advice for Motorcycling in Europe, which details information on passports, documents, lights, ferry crossings etc.


Information is correct at the time of publishing (2013), please confirm as required with authorities.


Motorcycle Friendly Accommodation in France

Age limit

Motorcycles up to 80cc - 16 years.
Motorcycles Over 80cc - 18 years.

No one is allowed to drive on a provisional licence.

British Consulate

British Consulate in Paris:
18 bis rue de l'Anjou, 75008 PARIS
Tel (0033) 1 44 51 31 02 / Fax (0033) 1 44 51 31 27

Crash Helmets

Compulsory for both driver and passenger.
It is also compulsory to have four reflective strips on your crash helmet. These must be placed at the front, back and both sides.

The surface of each sticker must be 18 cm2 and, within each sticker, you must be able to draw a 40 mm diameter circle, or a 12.50 cm2 rectangle with a minimum of 20 mm length.

New helmets usually come with these stickers included in the box.

Reflective strips and Touring Packs can be purchased from 


Currency is the Euro.


To prevent any difficulty whilst travelling, you should take the following documents with you (Applicable to UK Residents and most European Countries.)

  1. A valid full driving licence, with paper counterpart if you have a photocard licence.
  2. An International Driving Permit (when necessary).
  3. The original vehicle registration document.
  4. Your motor insurance certificate.
  5. Your passport.

Carrying the correct documents will help to identify you and your vehicle and your rights should you be stopped by the police.

Drink & Drugs

Alcohol - 0.05 limit. Penalties include fine, loss of licence and/or imprisonment. Penalties for drugs same. Random breath tests are common.

A new law was to be introduced that you must carry a breath test with you, whilst this law was suspended early in 2013, it is not clear if a fine will be introduced. The AA (as of April 2013), still recommend carrying two unused breath analyser tests.


General Traffic rules are almost the same as in Britain, except you drive on the right.
Stop signs mean STOP.

Driving Licence

Old style paper UK driving licences are only valid when accompanied by a photo proof of identity, Your passport will cover this.


Do carry your European International Health Card, Please click here for further information.


On the spot fines are high, get an official receipt. Vehicles parked against regulations may be impounded.

First Aid Kit

Is not compulsory in France. However, we do recommend that a small emergency kit is carried whilst touring.


No leaded petrol (only replacement lead petrol) available.

GB Stickers

An international distinguishing sign plate or sticker should be displayed as near as is reasonable to the national registration plate at the rear of the vehicle.

Health Advice & Insurance

Do have your own health insurance, it is advised to have emergency air ambulance cover in case you are involved in an accident.

If you are travelling from within the EU, do take an EIHC. (Information above).

Please also see the advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office, Or the National Travel Health Network (see links at the bottom of this page).

Highway Code

English Translation of the French Highway Code may be found at ;


In built up areas, use of the horn is prohibited except in cases of danger.

International Driving Permit

Is not required if you have a UK Licence. May be required for other countries.


Language spoken is French. There are regional languages spoken in some areas.


Dipped lights are compulsory day and night for motorcycles.

It is illegal to ride with faulty lights, so spare bulbs are advisable. Beams must be adjusted. Yellow tints are not compulsory for foreign vehicles.

You must carry a complete set of replacement bulbs for your lights.

Motorcycle Insurance

3rd party compulsory.


Only one pillion passenger may be carried on motorcycles. Children under 5 years of age must be fastened in a special seat. All pillion passengers must be covered by insurance.

Public Holidays

There are 11 public holidays in France each year. These are the 1st January, the 1st and 8th May, Easter Monday, Ascension day, Whit Monday, the 14th July, the 15th August, the 1st and 11th November and the 25th December. On these days Government Depts, banks, shops etc are usually closed.

Radar detectors

If you are using a sat nav with Radar Detectors as a point of interest, this option must be turned off. Radar Detectors are forbidden in France.

Reflective Strips

The law which was introduced in January 2013, in regards to motorcyclists wearing reflective strips was scrapped soon after it's introduction. However, the law regarding reflective strips on your crash helmet is being more heavily policed.


If you wear glasses for riding, you will need to carry a spare pair with you.

Speed Limits

Unless otherwise signposted. In built up areas 31mph (50km/h), other areas 55mph (90k/h). Urban motorways and dual carriageways 80mph (130km/h). Minimum speed limit on motorways is 49mph (80km/h)

EU driving licence holders exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h will have their licences confiscated on the spot if caught.

Speed limits are mostly marked in kilometers. 1 mile = 1.609344 kilometers


Some roads are toll roads. These are mostly the main highways (Autoroutes) and are payable at checkpoints en route. The amount payable depends on the distance you have travelled. They also can work out your average speed, so speeding along these roads is not advised.

Tourist Information

The French Tourist Information Site may be found (in English) at ;


No vaccinations are required for entering France.


Vignettes (a form of road tax) are not used in France. However tolls are payable on some roads.


No visa is required for UK or for any citizen of the European Union. However a photo identity card is required.

Warning Triangles

Compulsory for cars, but not required on motorcycles.


Information is correct at the time of publishing (2013), please confirm as required with authorities.


Useful Websites for travelling to France
Foreign & Commonwealth Office - France (for UK Citizens)
The AA (Automobile Association) UK


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