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I don't want my classic car to have modern plates

Following the changes in Paris pollution regulations, I want to register my Citroën Traction Avant as a voiture de collection and receive a carte grise de collection so it is exempt. However, I have heard  you have to change to new-style numberplates which will look wrong on my historic car. Is there a way round this?  G.I.

It is true that a carte grise de collection will exempt your car from the new pollution regulations, which ban cars registered before 1997 from Paris from 8.00 to 20.00 on weekdays.

Classic car body the Fédération Française des Véhicules d’Epoque (FFVE) came to an agreement with the mairie over this rule.

A carte grise de collection can be obtained for cars aged 30 years or more. You must apply in person to your prefecture, with the same form and documents as for an ordinary carte grise or a replacement duplicate (see answer below, left), however on the application form you select ‘véhicule de collection’.

You also require the old carte grise and a contrôle technique (MOT test) certificate which is no more than two years old.

If you do not have the carte grise it may be replaced by a document proving your ownership of the car plus an attestation of the car’s technical characteristics, from the manufacturer or the FFVE.

Your new carte grise will say véhicule de collection under section Z.

If the car has an old-style number – ie. format 123-AB-75 as opposed to the new version (AB-123-CD) it is correct that you will be issued with a new number for the car. However, unlike new cars which must have a numberplate with black lettering on white and with the European flag and regional and departmental symbols at the sides, classic cars may have one with white letters on a black background, which were typically used in earlier years.

Garages should be able to order one for you – they do not keep them in stock – or you can order online with a search for ‘plaques véhicules de collection’. It is permissible to have either a long plate or a shorter one with the number across two lines.

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