French departments test new document paperwork scheme

Applying for French documents is about to get easier in a new trial in four French departments

A trial to reduce the amount of paperwork required to obtain a driving licence, vehicle registration, identity card, or passport is underway across four departments in France.

Under the new rules, an individual living in France and requesting any of these documents will be able to fill in an online form, and then show proof of their French address by confirming that they have a current contract with one of four government-approved energy companies.

These are Direct Énergie, EDF, Engie and Gaz Tarif Réglementé. Once the energy company receives the electronic request, it will be required by department authorities to share the personal details of the individual in question, and so prove their home address in France.

Under the scheme, this is the only document of proof needed to process the original request. Confidentiality and data protection will be guaranteed, the government has said.

The scheme is currently being tested in Aube, Nord, Val-d’Oise and Yvelines.

The trial comes after the government voted in a new law intended to simplify certain areas of French bureaucracy (la Loi État au Service d’une Société de Confiance (Essoc)) in August 2018.

The results of the scheme will be sent to Parliament and will be the subject of further evaluation, with the possibility of being rolled out nationwide should the trial prove successful.

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