Vehicle ownership transfer online: how to proceed in France?
In France, license plates are assigned to a vehicle, and not to a person. When a vehicle ownership changes, it must be registered within 30 days following the transfer. This is applicable in case of a sale of a used vehicle, a donation or an inheritance. Eplaque is authorized to process online vehicle ownership transfer requests in France. Get support in English from the car registration specialist since 2009. Fast processing, and support in Shakespeare’s language guaranteed! And we can also make your license plates!
For vehicles still registered in the old registration system (FNI, which is evrything but the SIV « AA-001-AA » French plate format), the change of ownership of a vehicle requires the assignment of a new registration number. However, the process is absolutely identical.
Vehicle ownership transfer online in France: how to change ownership of a car in France?
Eplaque is one of the authorized service providers approved by the Ministry of the Interior to carry out, on behalf of new owners, the procedure for changing the name of the registration certificate holder. With this simplified online procedure, we support you step by step by advising you every document you must submit so that your file is complete at the first shot. When all the papers are in our possession, we take care of submitting your French vehicle ownership transfer request. You don’t need to deal with the ANTS (French only). Once processed, the carte grise will be printed by the Imprimerie Nationale and sent by registered mail to the address of the holder. This takes a few days.
Change vehicle ownership online with the ANTS
You can change the owner of the car certificate yourself through the paperless procedures of the ANTS. Please note that in order to put the registration document in your name with them, you must have the transfer code (code de cession) in your possession. This implies that the previous owner communicated it to you, and that he communicated via this entity the ownership transfer (déclaration de cession). In all cases, you can entrust us with your vehicle ownership transfer in France. We will verify that you are the legitimate purchaser by asking you to provide us with specific documents, such as a copy of the transfer certificate, as well as a proof of identity.
Documents for a transfer of motor vehicle ownership in France
Here are the papers required for a change of vehicle ownership on the “gray card” (carte grise) following the purchase of a used vehicle, or a donation:
- A completed Cerfa 13750*07
- Filled Cerfa 15776*02 form (document signed by the seller and you, « déclaration de cession »)
- The original carte grise crossed out, dated and signed by the previous owner
- Driving license (French or foreign) as a proof of identity (because you must anyway provide a copy of your driving license)
- Proof of address in France
- Proof of insurance
- For vehicles subjected to French MOT, proof of less than 6 months (or 2 months if of a follow-up visit has been requested due to faults)
- If you bought the car to a dealer, garage, etc. : “déclaration d’achat” (purchase declaration)
Please note that if your driving license is not in French, you must provide a copy of the international driving permit (required to drive in France anyway) or a certified translation.
Confidential code, transfer code and car ownership transfer
If you have sold your car and you wish to declare the ownership transfer, which is mandatory to allow the purchaser of your vehicle to submit his own ownership transfer request, you will have to provide your confidential code. This code was in the envelope that contained your registration certificate. If you lost it, you can request a new confidential code through the ANTS.
To avoid these difficulties, you can also register the déclaration de cession via an authorized service provider such as Plaque. Once the transfer is registered with the ANTS, the system will provide you with a transfer code (code de cession) that you will have to provide the buyer with. This code will be essential for him to reflect the new owner of the registration certificate. However, there is a way to make the change of owner procedure without a transfer code. Namely, making the change of holder through an agent such as Eplaque.
Buying a car in France: what to know as a foreigner, pitfalls
The above concerns the purchase of a vehicle which already has French plates. For foreign cars, please check our page about registering an imported car (with EU car license plates or not).
When someone is selling you a car in France, make sure of the following:
- Get from the seller an MOT (contrôle technique) of less than 6 months. This is mandatory by law, in order to minimize the risk of buying a car with serious problems. To submit a vehicle ownership transfer online in France, you must satisfy this condition. If not, you’ll have to pass a new MOT yourself
- Check that the seller’s name on the transfer certificate (certificat de cession) matches with the name on the car registration certificate (unless you buy the car to a garage, see below). The problem is the following: some people don’t register the transfer when they buy a used car, they keep driving with the car registration certificate handed over to them by the seller, without paying due taxes (and avoiding tickets, that are sent to the previous owner). Then they might sell the car « as is » to an uninformed buyer. Once the mismatch is identified, it is impossible to proceed with the transfer because it is all illegal. The seller has to provide to the buyer a new car registration certificate at his name or take back his car. This situation leads to many problems that must be avoided at all costs
- Request the “administrative situation certificate” (less than 2 weeks). This document states any encumbrance, financial or legal, related to the vehicle. For example, whether there is an ongoing loan, unpaid tickets, if the vehicle is stolen, salvage status, etc. This certificate must be clear, otherwise you won’t be able to proceed with the ownership transfer request
- If you buy a car to a French dealer, it is normal that the “carte grise” holder is another person or legal entity. When a garage buys a used car, it doesn’t have to issue a new car registration certificate. Instead, he must declare the purchase through a special procedure. If you buy a car to a professional, you must get this document (declaration d’achat) in order to register the vehicle in France
Vehicle ownership transfer in France FAQ
France Connect is some kind of unified login. It is a bit similar to using your Facebook account to login to many other websites and services. The difference being that France Connect is an official service. Once you own an account with the few digital identity providers (like the tax office, etc.), you can use it through France Connect network of participants, such as the ANTS. As a foreigner, La Poste is your best bet to open a France Connect account. Such is required to perform most of the car registration requests with the ANTS. Included any online vehicle ownership transfer in France.
Yes, you can change ownership of a vehicle online ! Actually, online car ownership transfer is the most common way. With Eplaque, you can even do it in English.
The seller has to fill a « cession certificate » (Cerfa 15776) with the buyer. The seller must then declare the car owner change (« enregistrement de cession », we can hande such request). The buyer has to request the vehicle ownership transfer online, for example with us. A new car registration certificate will then be sent to the address of the owner.
All taxes due are paid during the change of ownership. There is no yearly car tax in France.
How to change ownership of a car after death ? You’ll need special documents from the notary, or authorization from every heir in order to transfer the ownership of a deceased car owner.
It’s a public service that handles French car registration certificates, driving licenses and ID. About its car division, it’s more or less the equivalent of the British DVLA.
As a general rule, no. However, if there are good reasons for this document to be missing, it’s possible. For example when the vehicle is very old. Still, you’ll have to provide evidence that you are the rightful owner to be granted a carte grise.
No, transferring a number plate to another vehicle is not possible in France.