The Crit’Air sticker is compulsory for all motor vehicles driven inside the Paris périphérique – even those from outside France and even if no pollution warning is in force.
They also apply in Lyon, Grenoble, Lille, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Chambery, and Marseille - where restrictions using them were introduced for the first time during the June 2019 heatwave.
They can be used in conjunction with other pollution-reduction methods, including speed restrictions
What is Crit’Air?
It is a sticker that motorists - even tourists from other countries - need in order to be able to drive in some cities. It should be displayed on a car's windscreen.
During periods of high pollution, such as the June 2019 heatwave, local authorities can impose a range of driving restrictions, including lowering the speed limit.
The number on the sticker relates to the age and engine type (petrol or diesel) of the vehicle. Older, more polluting vehicles, will have a higher number. Electric or hybrid ones will have a lower number.
The stickers can be ordered online at the Crit'Air website - www.certificat-air.gouv.fr - which is available in English, German, Spanish and Italian as well as French. This is the official Crit'Air site. Other sites do exist, but will charge more for the same, simple, service.
Each sticker, which is valid for the lifetime of the vehicle, costs - as of June 2019 - €3.11 plus postage.
For postage outside France to EU countries and Switzerland, the total cost is € 4.21.
For postage outside the European Union, the total cost is € 4.41.
This video, with English subtitles, explains more:
The driver of a vehicle that does not have a Crit'Air sticker can be fined €68 (for cars) or 135 (for buses and trucks). Fines can increase to €180 (cars) and €375 (trucks) if unpaid after 45 days.
How does it work?
The restrictions and how they work can be complicated - and vary from city to city.
Paris, for example, was due to tighten restrictions from July 2019. Cars or other vehicles that display a Crit’air 5 sticker – meaning vehicles registered between January 1997 and 31 December 2000 for diesel engines, and before 1997 for petrol engines – were banned from July 1.
Meanwhile, those with Crit'Air 4 stickers will face greater restrictions. Passenger cars with this sticker will no longer be allowed to drive within Paris between 8am and 8pm. Some websites have said this restriction will be in force Monday to Friday, but the daily ban is enforceable seven days a week, according to paris.fr, the website of the city's Mairie.
All diesel vehicles, regardless of age, will be banned from entering Paris from 2024, and petrol ones from 2030. All vehicles driving in Paris – and several other cities – must show a Crit’air anti-pollution sticker.
A petrol-engined car, with a Euro 3 rating will receive a yellow Crit’Air 3 sticker. Cars with a 3 sticker were among those banned from entering central Paris on Wednesday, June 26.
Who needs a sticker?
Cities and departments that employ some form of traffic restrictions based on Crit'Air stickers - as of June 2019 - are:
Paris: Zone de Protection de l’Air (ZPA) - zone de circulation restreinte (ZCR)
Lille: ZPA - ZCR
Strasbourg: ZPA - ZCR
Dijon (+ Côte-d'or): ZPA
Guéret (+ Creuse) : Zone de Protection de l’Air Deparmental (ZPAd)
Clermont-Ferrand (+ Puy-de-Dome) : ZPAd
Grenoble (+ Isère): ZPA - ZCR
Annecy (+ Haute-Savoie): ZPA
Chambery (+ Savoie): ZPA
Valence (+ Drôme): ZPAd
Vallée de l’Arve: ZPA
Bordeaux (+ Gironde): ZPAd
Auch (+ Gers): ZPAd
Pau (+ Pyrénées-Atlantiques): ZPAd
Montpellier (+ Hérault): ZPAd
Marseille (+ Bouches-du-Rhone): ZPAd
Chartres (+ Eure-et-Loir): ZPAd
Orléans (+ Loiret): ZPAd
Angers (+ Maine-et-Loire): ZPAd
La Roche-sur-Yon (+ Vendée): ZPAd
Poitiers (+ Vienne): ZPAd
Niort (+ Deux_Sèvres): ZPAd
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