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Tips for Motorcycle Trips in France

France (F)

[HEADER - France.]

[ICON - The flag of France.]What do you have to take into consideration when traveling to France? Which documents do you have to take with you? Louis provides you with answers to the most important questions. No liability is accepted for errors – Louis does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of information.

Documents you must have with you

  • Driving licence and vehicle registration certificate
  • ID card or passport (since 26.6.12 it has also been obligatory for children travelling within the EU to have their own identity document.)

+ Recommended Products: Badge Holder, Document Bag »

First-aid kit / Hi-vis vest

Since 2016 all bikers are obliged to carry with them a high visibility jacket. It is mandatory to wear the jackets whenever getting of the bike at the side of the road (e.g. due to an emergency stop).
Bikers are not required to carry first-aid kits.

Mandatory helmet and gloves

It is mandatory to wear a helmet! Only helmets which conform to the ECE 22-04 or 22-05 standard are approved.

Note: Bikers and passengers are obliged to wear CE-approved gloves.

According to the current law in France, all riders of two-wheeled motor vehicles are required to wear a homologated helmet. The law states the following:

"… in France, a helmet is considered approved / homologated if the following conditions are met:
1. The helmet bears an ECE label that complies with either the French (NF) or the European (E) standard
2. Reflective stickers (4 in total) are applied to all sides of the helmet (these stickers are a statutory requirement solely in France)."

Without these reflective stickers, the helmet is not approved for use in France. Failure to apply the stickers may incur substantial fines, or possibly even the temporary immobilisation of your vehicle. For some years now, the French police have been instructed to pay particular attention to compliance with this law.

French regulations
A very unambiguous law defines the properties of the reflective element of an approved motorcycle helmet.

4-point summary:

1. The helmet must have 4 retro-reflective stickers, 1 on each side: at the front (chin bar or forehead), at the back, on the right and on the left.


2. The surface area of each element must measure at least 18 cm².
    Example 1: a square with each side measuring 4.3 cm (4.3 x 4.3 = 18.5 cm²)
    Example 2: Louis sticker measuring 18.4 cm²

3. Each 18 cm² element must be able to accommodate a circle with a diameter of 4 cm OR a rectangle measuring 12.50 cm² and with a minimum width of 2 cm, in each case with a completely reflective surface.
    Example 1: A rectangle 2 cm wide and 9 cm long

4. The stickers must not be torn or folded and they must not impair the mechanical behaviour of the helmet.

You will find suitable reflex helmet stickers here »

icon mit ausrufezeichenIf there are no reflective stickers on the helmet, it is not approved and substantial fines may be imposed or the vehicle may even be temporarily taken out of use.


Motorcycles must have their headlight on even during the daytime.

+ Recommended Products: Motorcycle Lightbulbs »

Speed limits

  • Within built-up areas: 50 km/h
  • Outside built-up areas: 80 km/h
  • Dual carriageways (expressways): 90 km/h
  • Motorway (freeway): 130 km/h. In wet weather: 50/80/80/110
  • Beginners (less than 2 years' experience): 50/80/100/110

Road tolls

Almost all motorways (freeways) in France, various tunnel sections and the Viaduc de Millau are toll roads.

See: www.autoroutes.fr

Emergency numbers

112 and 15

Legal alcohol limit

0.05% (50 mg/100 ml blood)

Further information

  • Since 01.07.2016 (for vehicles from abroad from 01.04.2017) the vignettes Crit’Air (environmental bagde) are mandatory in several French cities.

Motorcycle trips across the France borders

Here you will find country tips for motorcycle trips in France neighbouring countries.

[IMAGE - The neighboring countries of France.]

1. Belgium *

2. Luxembourg *

3. Germany

4. Switzerland

5. Italy

6. Spain

7. Andorra *

* To provide you with even better support when you plan your next tour, we will shortly be adding still more countries.