Eight online services which make dealing with French bureaucracy easier

The Local France
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Eight online services which make dealing with French bureaucracy easier
This illustration photo shows a computer keyboard in Los Angeles, July 16, 2021. (Photo by Chris Delmas / AFP)

From booking medical appointments to paying your taxes, dealing with the historically difficult French bureaucratic machine has arguably never been easier than it is today - when you can do much of it online.


Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of the services you can access online.

Apply for a French driving licence

The rules on driving licences vary depending on where your original licence is from. Britons in France have a special post-Brexit process to deal with – more on that here – and if you're American it's even more complicated … you can find the full details here.

Importantly, the process is now handled entirely online by the Agence nationale des titres sécurisés (ANTS) service. It also deals with the vehicle registration process - including the all-important carte grise.


Get a carte vitale

The green carte vitale is your key to French health care. Have one and you’re in the system - you literally are a 14-digit number.

It also contains all the information you need to reimburse healthcare costs and cover you in the event of hospitalisation. You can apply or renew your card via the Assurance Maladie website - you will be asked to enter your postcode to access the appropriate departmental office.

READ ALSO: How to create an Ameli account

Book a medical appointment

You can book appointments with your GP, ophthalmologists and other medical professionals, via the Doctolib website. You can even book an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccination using the site, or through the equally useful Vitemadose website - which connects to the Doctolib site.


Pass sanitaire / EU Covid Certificate

If you have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in France you should have received a document bearing a QR code. 

Once you have the certificate, you can then either print it out or scan it into the French TousAntiCovid app and this creates the pass sanitaire (health pass) which - following President Macron’s July 12th announcement - you will need for a whole range of cultural, sporting and personal activities.

If you don’t have one of these certificates, perhaps because you were one of the earlier tranche of people to be vaccinated, here is what to do.

Pay your taxes

You can make annual tax declarations by setting up a personal account on the the website.


The Caisse d'allocations familiales (CAF) is the body charged with administering a range of benefits, including family allowance, and housing benefits. The CAF online portal allows families living in France to access the benefits they are entitled to.

Get a visa

If you need a visa to enter or stay here for an extended period, France’s Visa Wizard is your friend. Not only will it help you find out if you need one, it will guide you through the entire application process.

Carte de séjour 

A hot topic, particularly for British people in France, who should by now have applied for their Brexit Withdrawal Agreement cartes de séjour (residence permit). These documents are proof of your right to live and work in France. 

If, however, you are a Briton living in France and have not yet applied for your carte, the website for applications is still open - despite the fact the deadline has passed.

For people of other nationalities, foreign students at French universities and Britons coming to France after January 1, 2021, the processes are different again. 

For students, you will find information here.

For foreign nationals living and working in France, the information is here.

You can even access more than 900 public and other services online, using a single user ID and passcode combination - as long as you have a French social security number - via the FranceConnect service.

READ ALSO: What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Of course, some may say this switch online is not altogether a good thing, that we have lost a little of the personal touch along the way. But those who have fought the old bureaucracy and lost may find it easier to handle when the computer says no, rather than the administrator...


Comments (1)

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Anonymous 2021/07/20 14:25
Ameli requires you to have a social security number in order to create an account, so won't work for most new arrivals to France to get their Carte Vitale. Doctolib is a great site and I used this to book vaccinations but not all doctors use it. Ours does not.

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