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Mairie changed the name of my street in France: What must I do?

As street names occasionally change - we look at whom you need to inform (or not) if this happens

In France, street names occasionally change. We look at how that may affect you and what to do Pic: zabimou / Shutterstock

Reader question: The name of my street has changed – do I need to inform administrative bodies? L.S.

Street names change from time to time on a decision of the mairie, for example to pay tribute to a well-known person who has died, or to help avoid postal errors if the previous name was too similar to the name of another local street.

Some mairies consult locals on this, others present it as a fait accompli

Usually, they will write to locals to inform them. Building syndics will also inform residents of flats.

The result of this is similar to moving house, and means that you will need to notify a number of administrative bodies about the change of address.

In particular, you are meant to notify the change to the service for vehicle registration, to obtain new cartes grises registration documents for any cars or motorbikes within a month.

This is done at immatriculation.ants.gouv.fr (‘Modifier l’adresse sur votre certificat d’immatriculation’). You will receive a free sticker in the post to put over the address, unless you have already made three requests to change information, in which case a new certificate will be sent.

You can also notify the registration service, as well as the tax office and several other bodies including Pôle Emploi, EDF, Cpam (health), Cnav (French pensions), Saspa (Aspa, the French pension top-up benefit), in one go using the changement d’adresse en ligne service here.

Certain car professionals are also accredited by the Interior Ministry to help with carte grise procedures if necessary.

You should also, within three months, notify the change to the immigration services if you hold a residency card.

In theory, this is done online on the website of the Interior Ministry here.

However, Britons in France report that the card numbers on new Withdrawal Agreement cards are not yet recognised on this site.

We therefore advise contacting your prefecture in writing, preferably by registered letter (lettre recommandée avec avis de réception), or by email (see here for a useful list of prefecture contacts for residency cards).

The prefecture might require you to fill out a specific paper application form.

Note that it is optional to update the address on a French driving licence, passport or ID card.

Other bodies you will need to tell include utility companies, banks and insurers.

La Poste should be informed by the town council and will typically make sure that deliveries continue to the old address for at least two years.

If you need help with administrative matters in France, there are local free help points called Maisons France Service, which you can locate at cohesion-territoires.gouv.fr/france-services.

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