Driving For Members

Who can use France's new digital driving licence?

The Local France
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Who can use France's new digital driving licence?
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin presents the ministry's digital transformation projects as part of "France Identité", including the new digitised driving licence, at the ANTS headquarters in Paris (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)

The French government has rolled out a digital option for driving licences - but not everyone will be able to use them.


It is now possible for some motorists in France to obtain a 'digital driving licence'. The e-version is optional and it can be used in addition to, not in replacement of, existing physical driving licences.

However, it's unlikely that most foreigners living in France will be able to access digital licences, even if they have swapped their driving licence for a French one.

Those with access to the 'France Identité' app (most iOS and Android users) can now obtain an online (dématerialisé) version of their licence, which will be acceptable proof of driving rights during road stops.

However, in order to access France Identité, you must have a new version of the French ID card (Carte nationale d'identité known as CNI), be over the age of 18, and have at least an Android 8 phone (with NFC technology) or at least an iOS 16 iPhone.

French ID cards are only issued to French citizens, the programme does not work with other types of card such as the Carte de séjour. As such, non-citizens would not be able to access the programme. 

Although it has a similar name, France Identité is not the same as the Identité Numérique app, run by La Poste, which provides an easy way to verify your ID when using online services.

Identité Numérique: How it works and who needs it

What about those with French citizenship?

If you are a French national and you have the latest version of the CNI (in bank card style), then you can access the France Identité app, and also the digital driving licence. 


You will still be able to keep and use your current ID card and driving licence - the digital version will simply be in addition to the originals.

READ MORE: Reader question: Can you be fined for having a foreign-registered car in France?

First, download the 'France Identité' application to your smartphone. Next, you will need to scan your French ID card.

Once your identity is verified, you will be able to create a personal PIN to access the application. 

With your digital ID card, you can obtain a 'justicatif d'identité' (proof of identity). You might show this to prove your age, or when picking up a package at the post office.

As for your driving licence, you can go onto your online account for 'Mes points permis' and access your 'relevé d’information restreint' (RIR). This will have a licence number - you can scan the QR code on this document with the Carte Identité application and then it will import the necessary information.

This is only available for those with French driving licences. It is not on offer for foreign licences.

Once France Identité has verified everything, you can begin using the digital licence, as law enforcement will be able to check it using an NFC chip reader.

READ MORE: By country: How hard is it to swap your driving licence for a French one?

What about the 'Carte Grise'?

While it is not available yet, the France Identité app envisions adding the green car insurance card in the future. 


This will allow the users to have a digital copy of their registration document and insurance certificate. The testing phase for this will start at the end of 2024. 

Why make everything digital?

The primary goal is to streamline processes and make proving one's identity more secure (ie removing the need to email someone a copy of your ID).

Pierre Chasseray, the head of the 40 million motorists association told Le Parisien that "there will initially be some apprehension, but going digital will make life easier for drivers by removing the fear of forgetting their papers. It will also save the State printing expenses."

It's worth noting that the digital driving licence is in addition to the physical form and is not compulsory. Those who don't have a smartphone or who think the whole thing just sounds like a faff can continue using the physical version of both their ID and licence. 


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