France/Monaco

Last update 1.9.2019 | First published 24.5.2004

Monaco shares traffic law and police reactions with France.
They both have an easier and more flexible system than many other countries. Do not expect a speeding ticket in Monaco though, a parking ticket is more likely …

The fines are relatively low in France/Monaco, 56% of the European mean if you pay on-the-spot or within 15 days.

France/Monaco important numbers :
Limit – km/h 30 50 80(1 110(1 130(2
Fine +20 km/h €135(3 €135(3 €135(3 €135(3 €135(3
Fine +40 km/h €135(3 €135(3 €135(3 €135(3 €135(3
LICENSE(4 61 81 111 141 161
JAIL(5 Repeated violations with more than +50 km/h
1) reduced by 10 km/h when rain
2) reduced to 110 km/h when rain
3) reduced to €90 if you pay within 15 days or on the spot
4) minimum 6 months
5) 3 months + fine €3 750
France/Monaco are the only countries besides Norway, Spain and Switzerland that may land you in jail for speeding, but only for repeated offences.
CROSS-COUNTRY FINES:
Member of the European cross-country fine cooperation. Any traffic fine may arrive at your home address.
Fines may automatically be shared between Austria, Chech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
TOLERANCE:
5 km/h under 100 km/h, 5% over 100 km/h

If you are a foreigner, the motorway police have the power to confiscate your car, make you pay there and then or to take your licence and give you an on the spot ban for driving in France. You will get your licence back but it can take weeks or even months. However, you may not get your car back, if the courts decide your speeding was reckless enough i.e. more than 50km over the limit, they will not return your car and may auction it off. If you don’t have cash, the police will take your passport and send you to a cash point to get cash.

France currently has around 5000 active speed cameras. In addition they are now installing 10,000 dummy cameras across the country.
It is forbidden to carry any instrument that hinders the policework (radar warners, laser jammers, ..) If you get caught with this, the instrument will be confiscated, you will get a fine of €1500 and 6 penalty points.
If you see this sign (and even if you don’t see it), pay attention. It means that there is a road crossing  ahead and the Priority to the right – Priorité à Droite applies. It means that a driver of any vehicle is required to give way to vehicles approaching from the right. In France where many intersections are not controlled with priority signs, this rule causes much confusion and often results in misunderstandings and accidents for foreigners who visit France:
If you drive on a road which is not explicitly marked with right of way, you must always stop for traffic which arrives from your right.  This rule is strictly enforced and applies even if you are driving on a major road and the traffic from your right is on a minor road.
Even in central Paris you will find that the rule is very much still practiced even in roundabouts.

This rule, although based on the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic in 1968, is unknown to many foreigners. It is not implemented in the UK and Spain where all intersections are marked with give way and stop signs.
Wikipedia has more on this.
You will get a significant discount of the fines below if you pay within 15 days or on the spot.
This means that the real fines are are lower than those shown below.
France/Monaco in detail :
Violation Fine Points
less than 20 km/h 135(2 1
less than 20 km/h 68(1 0
+ 21-30 km/h 135(2 2
LICENSE(3 + 31-40 km/h 135(2 3
LICENSE(3 + 41-50 km/h 135(2 4
LICENSE(3 + 50 km/h and more 1500 6
JAIL(4 + 50 km/h and more repeated 3750 6
1) €45 if paying within 15 days or on the spot, €180 if paying after 45 days
2) €90 if paying within 15 days or on the spot, €375 if paying after 45 days
3) minimum 6 months
4) 3 months + fine €3 750
Points / Points:

In France you start out with 12 points and lose your license for six months when you have reached zero. If this happens twice in 5 years, the license will be withdrawn for one year.
If you lose 6 or more points (but not all), you may attend a course on road safety to get 4 points back.
A one-point offense will return the point in 6 months. If you have lost more points you will get them back in 2 or 3 years (it depends on the seriousness of the offence)

In addition to the speeding offences above, these offences will reward you with points (there are many more):

  • Using a mobile phone while driving: 3 points
  • Not using seat belt/helmet: 3 points
  • Crossing a white line: 3 points
  • Not stopping before a red light or a stop sign: 4 points
  • Drinking and driving, from 0.5 g/l to 0.8 g/l in blood sample: 6 points

More on French points on the official web (in French).

Important links:

31 Comments

  1. JB
    07.07.2019 @ 20:07

    I was stopped in June 2018 and was doing exactly 50kph above the 130kph limit. Yes I know, stupid of me. I was with my children returning from a trip to Marseilles and like many previous posts, has my licence taken from me and my son asked to drive and follow the policemen to a nearby police station. Fined 750 Euros and had my licence taken from me. This was never returned and I obtained a replacement a few months later from DVLA. A year gone and I received a letter last week – a summons to appear at a French court! Has anybody experienced anything like this? I guess my options are to a) appear b) ignore the letter c) write to them and just tell them that I can’t appear and for the case to be dealt with in my absence (which the letter states is an option. Does anybody know what the potential consequences of just ignoring the letter are?

    Reply

  2. N
    08.04.2019 @ 15:38

    On this site there is mentioned your licence is suspended in France as from +30, but as far as I know it is only as from +40?
    Is this recently changed?

    Reply

  3. Philip Standing
    20.03.2019 @ 12:56

    This month (March 2019) I was surprised to get three speeding tickets from a trip in France in September 2018, ie nearly 6 months previously. The speeds over the limit were pretty marginal (7Kph for example). Is there not a time limit beyond which the French authorities cannot press a fine? Six months seems very long to me. I’m planning to visit again this year and do not want to get special attention from “les flics” for non payment.
    Phil standing.

    Reply

    • Rob Sewell
      27.03.2019 @ 20:23

      Philip, I’ve had exactly the same, 3 speeding notices from the middle off September 2018 , just received , I’m trying to find out the cut off time for a valid notification ie UK 14 days. Have you found any information on this?
      Cheers
      Rob

      Reply

    • Sarah
      03.04.2019 @ 19:46

      I also received a speeding fine in March 2019 from a trip in September 2018! Seems unfair to have to pay it since it took them so long to send the fine. Shame they don’t have the same 14 day rule as the UK.

      Reply

    • Aubrey Strawberry
      03.04.2019 @ 22:55

      Similar question, received one fine violation notice date 25/03/2019 for speeding on 01/10/2018, also have one violation notice date 27/2/2019 for speeding on 01/08/2018, would love to know if there was a time restriction

      Reply

    • Scott
      04.04.2019 @ 18:51

      I have just had 3 come through from oct last year. Looks like a expensive fishing trip. Im also wondering about the time its taken

      Reply

    • Alex
      06.04.2019 @ 08:54

      Did you receive a reply to your posting Phil?
      I had exactly the same timescale ie it took almost 6 months for the fine to arrive. But l cannot find any website stating the timescale the French law has to issue a speeding notice. In the UK it’s 14 days, is there a cut off time in France by which the fine becomes invalid?

      Reply

    • CARLA HODGSON
      11.04.2019 @ 16:57

      Same has just happened to us! In March 2019 we received a notice for speeding tickets which occurred 27/09/18, some 6 months ago! I am shocked that they can do this as surely there has to be a time limit to have them enforced but cannot find anything soon, unless I can find anything on the contrary I will pay the fine at the reduced amount – but how are they able to access our database to find us?? 45 euro is hardly a massive fine – but I too am questioning the legality of such a request in the first place! – Did you pay the fine or have you ignored? We are off again next week – hence why I feel we need to pay.

      Reply

  4. robert
    06.03.2019 @ 17:07

    Hi, I have just received a speeding fine from Aug 24th 2018!!
    Is there a time limit in France as to when they can prosecute?
    Does anybody know?

    Reply

  5. Giselle Camilleri
    13.06.2018 @ 14:01

    Hello.I m living and driving in France with a Maltese driving licence.I was just flashed ..overspeeding by 10km hr more…I would surely have to pay but what about point system.car is registered on my French partners name.

    Reply

  6. Fran
    07.05.2018 @ 15:36

    Hello, I have a question. If you lose your licence in France, do they take the document (licence) from you? How can you drive after that in other countries (if you travel from UK to Italy and they take your licence in France (so you cant drive in France but you can in other countries), how can you get the document back for driving in countries where you are allowed to drive?

    Reply

  7. Ad
    23.01.2018 @ 16:26

    The French are about to reduce the upper speed limit to just 80kph two-way roads outside towns and cities , unless indicated it is lower. Not a lot of people are ” happy” with this. The reasoning behind this is safety, there is a petition against this.
    You can search for this. If you want the information in French use something like “vitesse à 80 Km/h “

    Reply

    • John
      15.08.2018 @ 21:56

      Does this mean speed limit is only 70km/h in rain?

      Reply

  8. pres
    13.12.2017 @ 18:14

    Motorway police took my licence, they said because I was going 40km/h over the speed limit.
    I was going 41km/h over, so 131km/h on the motorway in my EVO near Metz, in a ridiculous 90 zone, huge 3 lane motorway, little traffic, I was just cruising, I saw cops on the bridge, they lasered me and stopped me.
    The motorway was not a dangerous place at that place, there were plenty of other areas much more dangerous, but no cops. They were only there because it was close to the police station with a coffee machine.
    I had to follow them to the police station which was only 400m away. They could get coffee easier that way. Paid 130 euros, they took my licence, said I couldn’t drive in France for 2 months. My friend came and got my car, 2km down the road I got back into my car and we had a nice week driving in France. I did this just to spite them, and what is the chance of getting stopped a second time? So they are wasting everybody’s time. Confiscating licences for no good reason, only enforced through intimidation. Later I even asked some other cops for directions. Did they know I had no licence? No. Useless.
    Later in the hills, one of my friends (Lotus Exige) was stopped after passing an off duty cop in the hills, shocked him, I think, the cop was really cheezed off. I drove up to help my friend (he couldn’t speak French), and the cop told me to drive in front of him to slow him down. I asked if I could have that in writing, but the copper didn’t understand…
    That night I got a new licence on the internet site of the DVLA, 4 days later it arrived in the post. I need an actual licence to drive in Belgium, UK, Germany etc…
    In the months following, I received 4 recorded delivery letters saying I had to pay. But foreign licences always have to pay on the spot, doesn’t their administration know that???
    Finally I sent them a photocopy of my receipt saying I had already paid, written with a big fat felt pen over the front. In french, in case the demonstrably useless admin department doesn’t understand. Since then I’ve heard nothing. Came through French border control in Calais, showed them my passport, they typed it all in their Lego computer. No problem.
    THEY spend thousands of euros for 130 of my money. 7 cops running around (in my case alone), lasering on a safe bit of motorway, 4 recorded delivery letters, people in the admin office processing my case, lots of coffee. Ridiculous. They must be going bankrupt.
    And now I hear that it should have been 90 euros because I paid early (on the spot).
    But the cop was friendly and apologised that I was only 1km/h over so he had to take my licence. All the cops were friendly, but the woman cop was really stroppy, like I had driven through the middle of a restaurant or something.
    And my French helped to calm them down, I think that helped a lot, fair enough, it is France.
    Does anyone have exact info on what sort of lasers they are using? I’m going to have to do something about lasers.

    Reply

    • John
      15.08.2018 @ 14:57

      Gendarmerie France on 110km/h road said 158km/h is limit for losing license. 50km/h is EUR 90 if paid in cash, this was during a drizzle of rain. This was in August 2018.

      Reply

      • John
        15.08.2018 @ 14:58

        Correction: 150km/h is EUR 90.

        Reply

  9. Rimgaudas
    19.10.2017 @ 15:13

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I received a ticket on 2017/10/17 during my trip in Monaco ( France). Could you please let me know an email for a responsible department ( AVIS De Contravention) ?

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply

  10. Jaap
    31.05.2017 @ 14:34

    France is a banana republic with regard to payment systems,
    The document you receive at home of the traffic speeding ticket does not have a IBAN no for payment of the fine and the telephone no on the document cannot be called from abroad.
    Jaap

    Reply

  11. Stupid Dutchies
    16.05.2017 @ 18:35

    Author,

    You should add that if the speed limit is 50 or below, fines are automaticaly highered to 90 – 135 – 375

    Reply

  12. Ben
    31.10.2016 @ 00:03

    what if you get two ticket to your mailbox in the netherlands,
    for a netherlands car speeding on the same day in france several months ago.

    the tickets are each 90euros but since time past now each is 135 euros.

    first speeding ticket is:
    67 kmh camera controlled
    50 kmh speed limit in area
    62 kmh observed limit for ticket

    second speeding ticket is:
    61 kmh camera controlled
    50 kmh speed limit in area
    56 kmh observed limit for ticket

    is there anything to do about this? what happens if these are not paid?
    do they have a time limit and they expire? is there a problem entering france? renting car there etc?
    is there a problem in borders in EU which are not france

    besides any answer to my questions any tips would be appreciated

    Thank you

    Reply

    • Stupid Dutchies
      16.05.2017 @ 18:29

      If you’re get pulled over and controlled, they can and will check (if you got a foreign license plate) for unpaid tickets, and then won’t let you go until you payed all of them.

      Reply

      • pres
        13.12.2017 @ 18:25

        No, they don’t. Their admin is chaos. It is a banana republic, as Jaap says.
        They even have me down on their records as a French National. Huh? Just because it says I was born in Montreal?? ( not in France, Canada, duh,).
        A UK friend was stopped for speeding (on the spot), in the confusion they let him go without paying, several months later he was stopped again, same car. They knew nothing.
        What a mess their records are. They must be suffering from data overload or something.

        Reply

  13. ANKUR GOEL
    11.09.2016 @ 22:35

    Hey Guys,

    Was driving from paris to saarbrucken, was driving 50+ the speed limit = around 180 to 190, gendemarie followed me and stopped me on the toll and told me to follow them to the next city on any parking area. Confiscated my license and fined me euro 750 which i had to pay instantly and wasn’t allowed to drive in france for two months.
    Do not drive fast on french roads. 🙁

    Reply

    • Potocki
      22.05.2017 @ 17:48

      Poor you! But at least you tried to drive the way it used to be, the way the motorways were built for!
      Respect.

      Reply

    • Juaman
      03.05.2019 @ 11:39

      how long did it take them to return your drivers license? did they inform the administration of your country, any repercussions?

      Reply

  14. Zantrop
    08.06.2016 @ 11:29

    Having driven many miles over the years across France, and been caught a few times, I’m learning a few things! Currently, the French have no means of adding points to your licence if you hold a UK licence, but they are keen on on-the-spot fines. So beware of blue cars at the side of the road or motorway, where they use hand-held detectors. Spotting one early and slowing down didn’t stop them getting me once either. If they are hand-held, they will either chase after you, or as was once the case, stop your car at the next toll on the motorway (the car and speed details phoned through from their colleague up the road). But the fines for 20-30kph over the limit are <€100. But if you don't have the cash, you'll have to go to a cash point (maybe escorted there) and get it. But with speed cameras, there is nothing they can do currently if you are in a UK registered vehicle, since they have no access to the DVLA database to get your details. But that may change.
    In general, the French are much more strict about speed than they used to be, but the risks to your licence or wallet have varied too. A few years ago, they announced that you would lose your licence at 25kph over the limit. That doesn't seem to be the case now, if it was ever enforced then.
    The claim that the French check your time between toll posts on the autoroutes and fine accordingly, is I believe, an old wives' tale.

    Reply

    • Stupid Dutchies
      16.05.2017 @ 18:33

      Because the blue car you will see won’t hold the radar gun, rather other policemen before that aren’t in motorcar and will have already spotted you speeding and told their collegue in the car that will chase you even if you speed down.

      Reply

  15. Thomas Blencowe
    22.02.2016 @ 21:27

    Hi there

    I recently rented a car in France on a Monaco driving license. I received two fines whilst driving a long journey over the motorway (hence the high speeds). One for 158 in a 130, and another for 161 in a 130. The license suspension bracket is 31-40 over the limit. Does the 161 qualify for suspension? They have sent the fines, so logic says they would not have done that if they were going to suspend the license? Please advise. I have paid both at the rate of €90 each.

    Many thanks

    Thomas Blencowe

    Reply

    • Jules Koch
      31.03.2016 @ 20:59

      Hi Thomas !

      31-40 km/h over the limit would not affect your license unless you decided to go to the court. So, for you it will be 3 pts and 90€ if you hold a french driving license, and 90€ for a foreigner. Only over 40 km/h, you would be suspended. Over 50, and it could result in even higher fines.
      Jules.

      Reply

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