How to buy a crit air sticker in France?
Crit’air is an air quality certificate that classifies vehicles according to their emissions. This « France emissions sticker » is mandatory to drive in low-emission zones (“LEZ”, or ZFE in French). Can I buy a Crit’air sticker in France is a question frequently asked among foreigners. Not only you can, but you must in you’ll drive in a LEZ. Keep reading to understand the basics of the system, and learn how to buy a Crit air sticker. And if your car is too old to drive in Paris clean air zone, our tips on how to avoid Paris low emission zone will be useful!
About Crit’air, France emissions sticker
An emission sticker in France looks like a coloured round sticker. Its color corresponds to a class of vehicles, defined according to the emissions of pollutants (euro category of the engine):
- Green: electric cars + hydrogen
- 1: EURO 5 or 6, petrol cars – liquid gas cars, hybrid
- 2: EURO 5 or 5 diesel, EURO 4 petrol
- 3: EURO 4 diesel or EURO 2/3 petrol
- 4: EURO 3 Diesel cars
- 5: EURO 2 Diesel cars
- No sticker: unclassified vehicles
The certificate is compulsory in some areas (Paris, Toulouse…). Local councils can grant privileges to certain vehicles, for example free parking for electric vehicles with a green Crit air sticker.
Where can I buy a Crit’air sticker in France ?
The easiest way is to order your Crit’air sticker online. Here is the link of the official website, in English (other available languages are German, Spanish, and Italian). Please note that middlemen try to collect orders (and fees) without adding value compared to the official request form. It’s therefore better to stick with the official website.
How much does a car emission sticker cost in France?
For a shipment to France, the price is set at €3.11, to which the postage costs are added, for a total of €3.67. For foreign cars (mailing abroad), the price is set at €4.51. This is therefore rather cheap, it simply covers every France vehicle emission sticker manufacturing costs and shipping.
Your sticker will be sent by post to the address you will provide during the order. We invite you to check that this information is up to date before buying your sticker.
How to buy a Crit air sticker, what do I need?
You simply need your car registration certificate to fill the request form. You’ll have to fill the requested information, such as:
- Registration number
- Date of first registration
- Issuing country
- VIN number
- C02 emissions
For your convenience, the field ID of the car registration corresponding to the requested information is displayed. You’ll have to confirm your address, pay online with a credit or debit card, then finalize your French emission sticker request.
My Crit’air sticker has not arrived: what should I do?
If you didn’t receive your sticker after 2 weeks, you can track your application here: https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/suivi
Please note that within 24 hours of your request submission, you will receive an electronic invoice, with a sample of your Crit’air sticker. You can use it temporarily as a proof that you applied.
What if I modify my vehicle so that it pollutes less?
There are emission control systems that can be installed on any used vehicle to reduce pollution, e.g. nitrogen oxide (Nox) emissions. This can lead to the issuance of a “better” Crit’air sticker, and therefore in certain cases avoid traffic restrictions.
Here are various anti-pollution retrofitting devices that allow you to benefit from this provision, as well as the procedure to follow to have your France Crit’air low emission sticker amended.
Favor vehicles undertaking anti-pollution measures
Currently, the Crit’air classification system only takes into account the engine standard (Euro 3, Euro 4, etc.) and the type of fuel (petrol, diesel, gas, electric, etc.) to determine the Crit air classification. However, it is possible to install devices that reduce the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere. To encourage this initiative, the state is granting a one-category upgrade after installing one of the following systems:
- Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) System
- Particles filter
This provision is valid for all motor vehicles, from cars to trucks, including utility vehicles. Those provisions are granted in article 3 of the decree of June 21, 2016, which states:
« Vehicles equipped with a device for treating polluting emissions installed after the vehicle was put into service for the first time may be classified in a higher class under the conditions provided for by the order of May 15, 2013.«
What’s the point of installing a retrofit system?
By going from a Crit’air sticker 4 to 3, you can, for example, avoid the traffic restrictions implemented in Paris or elsewhere. However, you will need to make a special request in order to receive the corresponding Crit’air emission sticker. Indeed, the automated procedure takes into account field V.1 of the vehicle registration document, or the date of registration when this field of the registration certificate is not completed.
How to apply for an upgraded Crit’air sticker
To buy a Crit air clean air sticker after such modification, the request must be submitted manually made by email, more details here: https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/bonification. You will have to fill in a declaration form. This is possible in the following 4 scenarios:
- Installation in France before July 1, 2013
- Installation in France after July 1, 2013, included
- Installation abroad according to the national system in force in the country of installation, before June 17, 2014
- Installation abroad according to UN Regulation No. 132, applicable from June 17, 2014
If you have installed several devices, you must submit an application per device.
How to avoid Paris low emission zone?
Your car is not allowed to drive in the LEZ of the City of Light? There are several ways to avoid Paris clean air zone :
- Parisian LEZ rules are not enforced 24/24, 7 days a week. You are still allowed to drive through during the weekend, or between 8pm and 8am during the week. You can therefore use the « périphérique » during those times. Plan your trip accordingly
- If you cannot drive during those hours, you’ll have to opt for a detour. Use an itinerary planner such as Google Maps to find the best route that bypasses Paris ZFE
- If you have to stay in Paris, you can park your car outside the LEZ, or inside while driving after 8pm or during the week-end to get in and get out. Use public transportation or rent a clean car to move around
To check the area covered by Paris low emission zone map, type « Greater Paris Low Emission Zone » in Google Maps or check out the official website. As a reminder, the A86 is not inside Paris low emission zone.
Paris low emission zone payment: how does it work?
Paris does not charge per se to allow cars to drive in its clean air zone. Vehicles simply need to sport a Crit’air sticker, sold for a few euros. Then either you can drive in the LEZ, or you cannot. The approach is very different from what is done in London or Belgium, where older car can still drive, but only after paying a charge. This should answer the question: « Paris low emission zone: how to pay« .
FAQ Crit air sticker in France
Here is a solution proposed by a reader, Hari: « Do make sure to keep upload size of PDF or image to 500kb or less even, though the website says max 2MB. Processing with anything more than 1MB is what making the issue. Once I have compressed mine to 260kb, it works perfectly and I could proceed further to the payment window and was successful with my order. Do give it a try and see if that works! »
You can use this form, in English, to simulate what sticker your vehicle is entitled to: https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/simulation
In that case your car is unclassified.
Any vehicle propelled by an engine (cars, trucks, buses, coaches, bikes…)
You’ll have to pay a EUR 68 fine.
To drive or park in a low-emission zone, or to drive during temporary traffic restrictions implemented when pollution levels are high.
Once obtained, the sticker will remain valid until the end of life of the vehicle.
About 2 weeks, sometimes more. You can track your request at any time on the official website.
It depends on where you plan to drive. If you don’t plan to visit urban centers, you don’t need one. A car emission sticker for France is required in a few cities where a LEZ has been implemented. In Paris, Lyon, Marseilles, of course. But also smaller cities such as Rouen, Nice, Grenoble, Reims or Strasbourg.