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Different transportation means and driving licenses in Paris

Dernière mise à jour : 26 oct. 2021

One of the most important skills that you have to learn when you move to a new country, for family life and free time and mostly for work, is now moving quickly and safely through the new town you live in.

In this short article, I want to try to advise you to move easily to Paris. First of all, we have to distinguish between two big categories: public transports and private transports.

Public transport in Paris, a puzzle

The first category counts metro lines, buses, urban trains called “transiliens”(that run through the urban stations of the city), inter-urban trains called RER(réseau express régional that are helpful also to reach airports).

Private transport in Paris

The private transport ways consist of taxis, driver’s cars (UBER, Kapten etc.), hiring vehicles (bicycles, scooters, cars..) just"walk".

Our best advice :

Some of the best advice for people who wants to “acclimatize” with Paris means of transport could be those:

1) Download ASAP An app that shows the best way (by public means or private transport) to reach your destination (I suggest the most reliable Citymapper)

2) Pay attention, in particular, these days, at the strikes! Your trip could become a nightmare and you have to prepare in a short time a plan B to reach your destination! Citymapper takes a strike into account.

How to get your driving license?

Now let’s talk about your private transport and the private mean of transport par excellence that is…. Your car!!

But be careful, this transport can be a nightmare in Paris: to park and drive.

Most Parisians don't have a car and use public transport or bicycles. They just rent a car for holidays, as public transport can bring you everywhere in and around Paris (through trains and RER).

If you come from a country outside Europe and you want to buy/import in Paris your car, the first thing you have to think about is to take a French driving license!

I am going to give you some suggestions (whether you need to get a driving license in France or you already have a foreign one) here below.

- If your driver’s license is issued by an EU/EEA country, you must have obtained your foreign license while you were legally living in the country it was issued in. Exchanging your license into a French one is optional unless you have deducted points for a driving offense, it then becomes mandatory.

- If you have, instead, a full non-European license, you have obtained your foreign license prior to receiving your permanent residency or your visa from the OFII (l’Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration)

- If your license cannot be exchanged you need to successfully pass a theory and practical driving test to obtain a probationary driver's license.

First of all, you have to be over 18, the French minimum age for driving a car, and you must comply with medical restrictions (for ex.. prescription glasses) French driving license has to be renewed every 15 years. You will have to take driving and theory tests to get a French driver’s license. The written test can be taken on your own by studying the French “Code de la Route”.

If you pass brilliantly the written test, you’re allowed to the driving test!

Here I’ll give you a few suggestions for driving in France : - You drive on the right (very important for the English expats!) - It's forbidden listening headphones while driving. - Speed limits are marked on signs in different areas. There are strict penalties for speeding (!) - Drink-driving is taken seriously. The rule is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, - A points system is used for penalties. Drivers start with 12 points.

See you on the street!

I hope to have been helpful for those who have to learn how to move easily and faster in Paris.

If you want more information, come and assist to the workshop

"How to commute and stay zen ?" animated by ACR Mobility at Absolutely Talented on the 16th September 2021, at Station F!

Article written by Pietro Serini

To promote expat spouses to recruiters,

we need numbers!

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