Will contrôles techniques on motorbikes be obligatory from October 1?

France has changed its mind multiple times on whether two-wheelers and licence-free cars need a check. We give a summary

A photo of a mechanic checking up a motorbike
Two-wheelers will require a contrôle technique in France after all
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Two-wheeled vehicles in France are theoretically required to undergo contrôle technique (CT) roadworthiness checks from October 1, but in practice professionals have not been prepared for the change.

In 2014, an EU directive ruled that member states would have to bring this obligation in by January 1, 2022. In 2021, the French government introduced a law which would have made the check mandatory from January 1, 2023, but then dropped it a day later.

However, three associations campaigning against air pollution – Respire, Ras le Scoot and Paris sans voitures – went to the Conseil d’État, France’s highest administrative court asking for CTs on two-wheeled vehicles to be implemented “as soon as possible”, highlighting the positive impact that this could have on noise and exhaust emissions.

In May this year, the Conseil d’État then asked the government to follow the EU directive by October 1.

In July, the government issued a new decree in the Journal Officiel, cancelling the obligation for France to follow a European Union directive requiring MOTs for two-wheelers.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Conseil d’État swooped in one day after the decree appeared in the Journal Officiel in July, and declared the decree illegal and contrary to the EU directive.

Therefore, legally, France is still required to introduce CT requirements for motorbikes and other affected vehicles from October 1, but in reality garages have not been informed as to the action they should take.

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Which vehicles does the CT apply to?

The CT applies to:

  • Two-wheelers (mopeds, scooters, motorbikes) of all capacities from 50 cm3

  • Licence-free four wheeler cars

  • Motor quadricycles

  • Three-wheel scooters

  • Any other vehicles of less than 50 cm3.

Read more: Do France’s new contrôle technique rules apply to licence-free cars?

From which date is the CT required?

The CT is required from:

  • October 1, 2022, for vehicles registered before January 1, 2016

  • January 1, 2024, for vehicles registered between January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2020

  • Even later date (not yet specified) for vehicles registered on or after January 1, 2021

Do I risk a fine if I don’t have an up-to-date CT?

Not for the moment, because the requirements have only just been updated. The professional mechanics who would be carrying out the CT have not yet received the EU directives to comply, so individuals cannot go for their CT yet. The Ministry of Transport has confirmed this.

Owners of vehicles that require the CT should stay updated with their local garage or mechanic to check when the new CT is available.

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