Must I update French residency card due to street name changes?

Vehicle registration documents are affected and some people will also have to change their number plates

A street sign in a rural French village
Houses in communes with less than 2,000 people must now have numbers and streets must all have names
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Thousands of people living in France whose addresses have changed under new requirements relating to small communes need to update several services about their new address.

A law known as 3DS, adopted in 2022, has made it obligatory for all communes, including those with fewer than 2,000 residents, to name roads and number houses.

This includes private roads not closed off by gates, and cul-de-sacs and it includes homes located in lieux-dits (outlying hamlets that are part of a larger commune). 

It is estimated that there have been as many as 200,000 streets with no name under previously more relaxed rules, and up to 1.8 million people were potentially affected by the change.

Some small communes have reportedly been rushing to find names at the last minute to comply with a requirement to update a government website with all the data by June 1.

Read more: Many small communes in France yet to finalise address changes

If this applies to your address, you should inform key bodies you deal with, including ordering a new carte grise for vehicles - however this does not extend to residency cards, including Brexit Withdrawal Agreement cards or other foreign people’s titres de séjour. 

Justine Wallington, the co-chair of the Rift (Remain in France Together) group, which supports Britons in France who moved before Brexit, previously told The Connexion: “For address changes on a WA card, people should only notify this [Under ‘Je déclare un changement de situation’ at the residency cards website] if they have actually moved house. Some people have been overzealous on this.”

She said many mairies have been changing house numbers and names of streets, but the French Interior Ministry had confirmed to Rift that “you don't need to change your Warp [Withdrawal Agreement residency permit] if you haven't actually moved”.

Read more: Permanent residency cards in France - 2024 renewal rules 

The UK government’s Living in France guide states: “If your situation changes (address, marital status, etc) or you lose your card, you must report these changes and request a new Warp , free of charge, on the French government portal. If your commune has been renamed or restructured you do not need to report this change or request a new Warp.”

However, it is necessary, for example, to update your vehicle carte grise registration documents. In most cases, unless you have already had several previous changes of address, you will be sent a small sticker in the post to place on the document.

Note, however, that if you still have the old-style French number plates, which used to indicate the department number at the end, you will need an actual new carte grise (there is a €2.76 fee) plus you will be allocated a new-style number for the car and so will need to get the plates changed by a garage.

There is a useful, free, online service which you can use to update several key bodies at once, including energy companies, social security bodies, the tax office and the vehicle registration service. You should indicate that the change is due to a ‘modification administrative’.