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New laws and changes in France: October 2020

Rail refunds, sports certificates, bike repairs and more - here’s what's changing in France this month.

1: Cancer patients

The “right to be forgotten” which allows former cancer patients applying for loans not to have to give details of their illness has been extended. People who had a cancer diagnosis before the age of 21 no longer have to give medical information five years after the end of their treatment to a bank or insurer when they apply for a loan and associated “borrower’s insurance”. This is mainly required when buying a house. Previously, this applied only to those who were diagnosed before the age of 18. It was 10 years for others.

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2: Sport certificates

People wanting to practise a sport in a club can now use an online tool to check if a medical certificate is needed. It asks questions to generate information on your situation. If a certificate is needed, it will detail how long it lasts. See:

Go walking in the water, it's a genuine sport in France

3: Repair your bike

If you want to get an old bike back in working order, you have until the end of the year to apply for €50 towards repairs under the Coup de Pouce Vélo scheme. Visit and click on Je suis un particulier, then Je souhaite réparer mon vélo.  Choose a repairer from the map and contact them, giving full name, date of birth and phone number. A code will be texted to you. Visit the repairer with your mobile and ID such as your passport. Up to €50 off the bill will be automatically applied. The site also offers a free session of up to two hours of advice about subjects such as bike maintenance, choosing a lock, and tips for biking in town. Click the option Je souhaite me remettre en selle.

French bike repair scheme extended to end of year

4: Car-share lanes

Experiments are under way nationwide into signage to mark road lanes reserved for public transport, as well as for car-sharing and cars defined as “clean” (notably electric cars). Look out for signs showing a blue square with a white diamond on it and for white diamonds on the road.

5: Rail refunds

Free rail ticket reimbursement or exchange to help people in the Covid-19 crisis has been extended to November 1. It relates to tickets for TGV, Inoui, Ouigo and Inter­cités journeys. Local TER tickets are included if the journey is connecting with a TGV or Intercités long-distance trip. The request can be made online at or at a counter up to an hour and a half before departure for Ouigo or until the departure time for the rest.

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6: New diagnostic

If you are selling building land, a diagnostic certificate now has to be supplied if it is in a zone with clay soil. A geotechnical study needs to be included, showing risks linked to expansion or contraction of the ground in different weather conditions.

Dates for your diary

Vacances de la Toussaint 

The Toussaint school holidays run this year from October 17 to November 2. They are named after All Saints Day, November 1.

Top motorcycle events

The French Motorcycle Grand Prix is in Le Mans on October 9-11 and the Super­bike World Champion­ship will be at the Nevers Magny-Cours track on October 2-4. The former is for purpose-built racing bikes whereas the Superbike is for tuned-up ordinary bikes.

These are the new laws and changes announced on October 1

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