From November anyone wanting a carte grise car registration document, or to tell the authorities of a change of owner or a change of address will have to do all the formalities, for free, online at a new website.
The changes are part of administrative switch known as Plan préfecture nouvelle génération that modernises the work of prefectures by putting much of it online – while also closing much of the direct public access.
In all, there are more than 30million vehicles changes every year and most people either go directly to the prefecture and wait in queues, send in the forms by post or pay for a service to do the work.
With the switch to online changes there should be no need to pay outside parties if the vehicle is already registered immatriculé in France with a carte grise. Changes to the carte grise for a change of address or a sale will from November all be dealt with online via the same site.
According to motoring magazine AutoPlus, many prefectures have already closed the sections dealing with carte grise changes and will deal only with booked appointments. The Interior Ministry has said it will set up Points numériques with computers, printers and scanners for those who do not have online access.
Some websites will offer to do the work for you for an average of €30 – but they will be doing exactly the same work as you. Some firms may also have an office, garage or car showroom where you can hand over information and get it checked – but, in all cases, make sure you only pay if the application is successful.
Beware sites that are not registered with the Agence Nationale des Titres Sécurisés as there are scam sites around - just as there are for the Crit'air stickers, where the official site is called Certificat-air.gouv.fr - for the carte grise the ANTS has a clickable map to find a garage near you that can do the registration for you.
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France