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Driver's licence

If  the scientist has a license issued by a country within the European Economic Zone (EEE)

No procedures are necessary. The scientist can drive legally. However, for long stays, it is preferable to register one’s license with the Alpes Maritimes Préfecture in order to obtain a duplicate in case of a problem (loss, theft...).

Also, in case of a violation of the French driving code, a license exchange for a French driver’s license will be requested in order to apply sanctions. This is done at the Préfecture (follow the procedure outlined here).


If the scientist has a license issued by a country outside of the European Economic Zone (EEE)

Except those with a student Visa, any scientist staying for research for more than 3 months must exchange his/her license for a French license. This must be done during the first year in France at the Préfecture. If this is not done during the first year, the scientist will not be able to drive in France with his/her license and will have to obtain the French driver’s license.

To request a license exchange the required documents need to be sent to:

Préfecture des Alpes-Maritimes
Bureau des affaires réglementaires de proximité - Échanges de permis étranger
147 boulevard du Mercantour
06286 NICE CEDEX 3

Telephone : 04 93 72 20 00


Do not forget to insure your vehicle!
In case of an accident, it is important that your vehicle be insured for coverage of damages caused by your vehicle and/or that of others.
To better understand automobile insurance in France