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Five practical stories about France you may have missed last week

From tips for safe summer driving to a new tool to prevent identity theft, we round up some of our most helpful articles from the last seven days


1. Tips for safe summer driving 

A number of tips to keep safe on the road – and prevent any mid-journey issues – were released by the government, to try and minimise disorder on the roads. 

Alongside effective packing and checking of cars before leaving, the tips looked at what you should bring with you in the car for a smooth journey, especially if you have children with you. 

Our article also highlights a couple of apps and websites to help along your journey, including one showing France’s Villages Étapes. These are small towns close to motorways that encourage drivers to take a break there instead of at service areas. 

Read more: Six tips for a safe and enjoyable French road trip this summer

2. How to get the most out of your tabac

Tabacs are not just the place to buy cigarettes and other tobacco-based products.

A staple in most French towns, you can also pay your bills, top up your mobile phone or buy public transport tickets. 

One particularly useful aspect for non-French citizens is the option to purchase timbres fiscaux, or tax stamps, which are often needed to validate official documents like a carte de séjour application. 

The spaces can also be used for leisure activities like betting and having a drink.

Read more: 14 things you can do at a tabac in France apart from buy cigarettes

3. Work out where paper receipts will still be given

Since August 1, paper receipts are no longer being automatically issued in French shops, except for a small number of exceptions. 

In a bid to reduce waste, the option to receive a receipt has been replaced with digital versions (via text, email, or store applications) – although you can still always ask at the till to receive one. 

There are some circumstances, however, where the tickets will still be automatically printed, such as for expensive electronic goods or when the tickets are to be exchanged for an item (like at a fast food restaurant checkout). 

Read more: In which cases will shoppers still be given paper receipts in France?

4. Add a watermark to documents to prevent fraud 

A new government service allows users to add watermarks to photos of their official documents to prevent identity theft. 

The watermark can be used on documents such as driving licences, residency cards, etc. 

The watermark highlights the reason for the digital version of the document (e.g. what process you are applying for) so that it cannot be used again at a later date. 

Read more: This online tool helps you guard against identity theft in France

5. Trial will see certain areas pay all benefits regardless of applications

A three-year trial of ‘no non-claimant zones’ will see a number of communes in France pay all benefits to those eligible, whether they claim them or not. 

The aim is to reduce the number of unclaimed benefits – totalling billions of euros per year – and improve the income levels of those eligible. 

In some cases, residents eligible for benefits will be contacted via a pre-filled form, that they simply need to confirm, before receiving the payments.

If successful, the trial could be rolled out nationwide. 

Read more: Help to claim all benefit entitlements from some French authorities

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