Since November 2017 it is no longer possible to register the sale of secondhand car at the Préfecture , the office that used to handle registrations. Everything must now be done online.
Registration of the vehicle is now done on the website of the Agence nationale des Titres Sécurisées – ANTS. This agency is responsible for issuing and updating French car registration documents; each vehicle requires a Certificat d’Immatriculation. Following the purchase of a secondhand vehicle, you have one month to register it in your name. It is also possible for another person to complete the process on your behalf – some auto repair centres such as Feu vert, or even garages can also do this for you for a fee.
The following documents are required to carry out the procedure (you’ll need photos or scanned copies).
- Proof of residence: a recent utility bill (electricity, gas) or rental receipt, house deeds or home insurance documents – less than six months old
- A copy of the Certificat d’immatriculation/Carte Grise marked with “Vendu le (date, month, year and time)” if you bought the car or “Cédé le (the date, month, year and time)“ if it was given to you, with the date of the sale and signature of the previous owner and dealers stamp if appropriate
- A contrôle technique (CT) certificate, if the car is more than four years old
- If you are carrying out the procedure on behalf of someone else, you will also need a copy of their passport or identity card, and written permission (un mandat)
- The previous owner will need to give you a code to use (code de cession), which was given to them on the ANTS website when they began the procedure to register the sale
A copy of your driving license and proof of insurance may also be required.
Payment of registration fees can only be done by debit or credit card.
During the online procedure you will also need to provide the following information about the holder of the Certificat d’Immatriculation:
- Their phone number and email address
- Their full name
- The country and town of their birth
- Their date of birth
- Their gender
How to register a French car online
The first step is to go to the official ANTS website and select the option ‘J’achète ou je reçois un véhicule d’occasion’. To carry out the procedure, you can only login with a France Connect account, which is a new initiative used to simplify your connection to online services. To log on to France Connect you can either use your login details for the tax website, the Améli website, the La Poste website, or using your French mobile phone number. Note that if you are not tax resident, don’t have a Carte Vitale (health insurance card), or a French mobile number, try to approach a garage as they have the ability to register the car for you, without you holding a France connect account.
Once all relevant fields have been filled in and documents uploaded, you will get
- A file number
- An acknowledgment of registration of your application
- A Provisional Certificate of Registration (certificat provisoire d’immatriculation – CPI), which you will need to print. The CPI allows you to drive the car for 1 month, until you receive the final Certificat d’Immatriculation / Carte Grise. This is sent by recorded delivery, and you should receive it within 7 working days.
You can also track the progress via the ANTS website.
It is not easy with the language barrier, but it can be done, as some of our customers have managed on their own.
We are always available for a free quotation for your car and some advice