France/Monaco

Published 2004.05.24 | Last update 2017.03.30

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 high in France/Monaco. The reason for this is that the French authorities rely on spot tests and so has chosen to increase the fines to let them really hurt for those few people that are caught …
Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to on-the-spot fines.

France/Monaco important numbers :
Limit – km/h 30 50 90(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 81 121 141 161
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.

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:

5 Comments

  1. Ben
    2016.10.31 @ 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

  2. ANKUR GOEL
    2016.09.11 @ 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

  3. Zantrop
    2016.06.08 @ 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

  4. Thomas Blencowe
    2016.02.22 @ 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
      2016.03.31 @ 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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