Pay your French speeding tickets online (and avoid scams)

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In recent years the number of automatic radar units monitored by the French police has increased considerably and the number of fines has risen accordingly. The government’s latest innovation is a website where speeders can pay tickets online: https://www.amendes.gouv.fr/portail/index.jsp?lang=en. You can browse the website in English. The highest payment authorized is 1,500 euros.

There has been long and heated debate about the radar units. Many elected officials would like to get rid of them, or at least significantly limit their use. Even though traffic radar guns are not very large, drivers learn quickly to identify them so it is possible to avoid getting a ticket if the speeding is moderate. Some officials have even suggested installing signs several hundred yards before each radar unit informing drivers of its location, which I think would clearly defeat the very purpose of installing them. The units are very unpopular, for obvious reasons, but average speed on French roads has gone down and so has the number of fatal accidents.

Speeding tickets in France

By the way, savvy players in the private sector know enough to make sure they own the most common variations of their website’s domain name so that others cannot steal their traffic, clientele and so on. In this case, a private company created a site called amendes-france.org and took in a fair amount of money before the site was closed. Consequently, some people had to pay their speeding tickets twice!

So be careful and use the direct adress (see above, or on the ticket you received by mail) instead of using a search engine. Official french websites always end up in gouv.fr (for gouvernement). And remember that you should pay your ticket no later than 45 days after it has been sent.

After that time you’ll have to pay a “pénalité”, an additional charge for being late ! It’s always a good idea to pay your speeding ticket as soon as you receive it.  If you pay 1 to 15 days after it has been sent (or less than four days after it was handed to you), you might only have to pay a “amende forfaitaire minorée”, so a little less than the regular ticket.

And remember : be careful on the road !

94 comments

  1. Akanksha

    HI,
    I have traveled to France 1 year back, I got a speeding ticket through my post office some days back . After reading the letter I am eligible for increased fine of 180 euros but whenever I am trying to pay the fine by entering the e-payment number, it is saying I am eligible for increased fine & a new letter will be posted to me. But it’s already 1 year late when I got the first letter & I am not sure I would get the second. I tried to pay through phone but they are speaking only in French, didn’t understand a word there. Can you please guide what to do next ?

    Reply
  2. Jessica

    Hello,

    I believe I incurred 2 speeding tickets in France, based on bills sent to me by my rental car company. it has already been 30 days since the alleged speeding incidents and I have not yet received the tickets. I would like to pay them as soon as possible, if there really are fines to be paid, but I’m concerned that by the ticket arrives, I will have already been charged a “late payment” rate through no fault of my own. Is there a way to find out how much these fines are, and get the ticket numbers, so I can pay the tickets faster?

    Reply
  3. Jenia

    Hi, I’m an Israeli citizen and I received a speed fine via post of 111kmh in a road of 110kmh!

    That’s irritating and ridiculous, do you think I’ve a chance to appeal? Or would have been better to ignore the fine because I’m not going to pay for +1kmh…

    Thanks

    Reply
  4. FOX CHEN

    Hi Jean, it’s me again.

    After waiting for more than a month I finally and “luckily” get my speeding ticket!

    Despite the address is not quite clear but looks like the post office did a great job to send the letter containing the ticket to me.

    After I received the ticket I immediately paid the fine on-line according to the instruction letter (it took me some time to translate French into English) using my credit card. And I believed I paid the fine in the right way. I also got the e-receipt that proves my fine payment.

    So is this the end of the story? I paid the fine so I am still a nice and grateful tourist to France? (:

    Reply
    • Lilia

      Hello,
      I’ll be so grateful if you guys have some time to reply me. Recently I’ve received an envelope with a notification about fine for 45 euro. So I visited their web site http://www.amendes.gouv.fr but something goes wrong with my E-payment no. They expect me to type the code like xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx and the key xx But in my letter I have just xxxx xxxx xxxx xx and the key, so looks like it’s missing 6 more symbols?

      Reply
  5. FOX CHEN

    Hello, Jean, I have some questions. I will be really appreciated if you can have some time to answer them.

    I rent a car a few days ago from SIXT and recently they told me I got a speeding ticket, the reason is: EXCES DE VITESSE INFERIEUR A 20 KM/H PAR CONDUCTEUR DE VEHICULE A MOTEUR – VITESSE MAXIMALE AUTORISEE SUPERIEURE A 50 KM/H. And SIXT said I will get the ticket by the France authority directly. My questions are :

    1) My French is bad, is the reason means I am over the speed limit for less than 20 km/h? In fact I am driving really carefully, I really don’t expect I can still get a speeding ticket.

    2) I think SIXT both have the address presented in my driving license and the address I provide to SIXT when I rent the car. Which address the France policy will use to send the ticket? The address in my driving license or the address I provided when I rent the car?

    3) The address in my driving license is in fact not available ( my license is issued many years ago and is still valid but I already moved and I haven’t change the address in my license). And also the address I provide to SIXT could be not clear enough. So it is possible I will never get the ticket. I would like to pay the ticket, any problem can be solved by money is not a problem. But what I know from the previous comments seems like there is no way to pay the ticket if I can’t receive the ticket.
    QUESTION: If I really have no way to pay the ticket, will I have any troubles when I re-enter France?

    4) Would I have any problem when I enter other Schengen countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, etc. if I have no way to pay the ticket?

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • taquet

      Sir,

      Thank you for your message.

      YOU
      1) My French is bad, is the reason means I am over the speed limit for less than 20 km/h? In fact I am driving really carefully, I really don’t expect I can still get a speeding ticket
      ME
      This means that you drove faster than the limit by a margin exceeding 5Km, which is not much. So the 2 are not incompatible.

      YOU
      2) I think SIXT both have the address presented in my driving license and the address I provide to SIXT when I rent the car. Which address the France policy will use to send the ticket? The address in my driving license or the address I provided when I rent the car?
      ME
      I am sure that they will use the address you gave as we know that the address on the license can be old.

      YOU
      3) The address in my driving license is in fact not available ( my license is issued many years ago and is still valid but I already moved and I haven’t change the address in my license). And also the address I provide to SIXT could be not clear enough. So it is possible I will never get the ticket. I would like to pay the ticket, any problem can be solved by money is not a problem. But what I know from the previous comments seems like there is no way to pay the ticket if I can’t receive the ticket.
      QUESTION: If I really have no way to pay the ticket, will I have any troubles when I re-enter France?
      ME
      You will have no problem entering France or any EU country for this matter. This is a small offence and there is nothing other than attempt to collect the money. As a non resident who do not have anything, no assets no bank account, there is nothing they can do against you.
      Even if you come back to France as a tourist several times, there is no way they can find you. It would be different if you immigrate to France!

      YOU
      4) Would I have any problem when I enter other Schengen countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, etc. if I have no way to pay the ticket?
      ME
      There is no centralised authority at the EU level as such and the current effort deals with reaching EU citizens from one country to the next.

      This said I do not see the need to do anything. Either they send you the document and you choose to pay or not or you never receive it and it becomes virtually impossible to have it paid without the ID Nº.

      Best regards,

      Jean Taquet

      Reply
  6. Samir

    Hi gentlemen,

    I was searching for a service where I can find my fines online. Normally, I am leaving in the Netherlands and I have traveled to Paris in this May. I am sure that I was exceeding speed limit quite often. Does anyone know how I can learn about my traffic fines ? Any number to call or online service?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • jean taquet

      Allow me to ask a few questions before looking at a couple of scenarios with you as to what could happen to you and how you can fix it.

      1 – most common for a foreigner, you rented a car
      – the rental agency gets the tickets linked to the license plate.
      – the rental agency knows who was driving the car on that day
      – you receive at the address you gave including in a foreign country the related fines.

      There I do not see how you can do anything about this right now

      2 – you are driving in France with a foreign license plate car
      – France does not know you
      – it takes a long time for the French police to send the tickets to your country of residence and therefore you should long gone before the French police does anything
      – the EU regulation and therefore exchange of information and violations are increasing and rapidly. Therefore unlike in the recent past, I believe that you will receive something, maybe in 2017!

      3 – you are driving in France with a French license plate car
      – the French police finds you very quickly
      – the ticket is sent in the mail automatically to you
      – copy is sent to the centralised office in Rennes for collection.

      So I hear and understand what you would like to happen but based on my knowledge of the system, I do not see how you can access i.e., speaking to an individual before receiving the ticket. The entire system was created this way so that it is totally automatic and no one with some influence can stop issuing the tickets.
      Paying them might be a different story.

      Reply
  7. nicholas vanderborgh

    I too picked up a ticket. The fine was 45 Euro. And the form appeared to have a credit card option. However the website does not accept my credit card number. (Could be some dollar/euro thing). I went to the bank and thought about a wire transfer. But I found that the cost for each international wire transfer was $ 50. (That is for 45 Euro o4 45 Million Euro, fifty bucks.) So can you help me find a way to use a credit card from the US?

    Reply
  8. elizabeth Sinnott

    Hi, we were stopped almost 7 months ago at night by two French cops hiding behind a bush with a radar gun, hand held. They told us we were going 127 km/hin a 90 km/h zone, that was simply not possible (we have cruise control). But before he stopped us we were overtaken by a car that was going quite fast. We were sent the fine by mail. We contested this fine by stating that we were simply not going 127 km/h, were clearly overtaken by another car and that it was 10:00 pm and the police could not possibly see who they were pointing the gun at from 900+ meters away (their range). We heard nothing for 7 months from the police. Today we were called to the gendarmerie. Our license was checked and we were told we were breaking the law because we had not had our licenses (German) written over to a French license and were living in France for over one year. Our account of the “speeding” incident was documented again. The gendarme who stopped us that night came past and told us we had no chance of not paying this fine. Then they started looking up all other fines we´ve ever received in the past 6 years in France. They found a speeding ticket that was caused by somebody else using our car but was promptly paid. My question is: 1) We contested this fine over 6 months ago and I thought there was a 3 month limit for the police to reply to our contestation. Is there a time limit? 2) Are they allowed to use former speeding offenses (that were promptly paid) to influence THIS speeding accusation? Thanks, Liz

    Reply
  9. Jill

    Hello
    I just opened an envelope containing a speeding ticket from France. Infraction was on June 6 of this year, six and a half months ago. It was sent to an old work address. I had no idea about the ticket.

    I work in France twice a year for 3 months at a time. Scheduled to go back in spring of 2016.

    The fine is now for 180 euros. I went online on the amendes site so it is known that I’ve received the information.

    I may also apply for an immigration visa – may marry a French national. 180 euros I can’t afford.

    Can the fine be reduced somehow? I speak French and can call the info line.

    I’m grateful to have found your article.

    What are the consequences of not paying?

    Reply
    • taquet

      Dear Ms. Mitchell,

      Thank you for your message

      I would to answer one issue at a time.

      YOU
      I just opened an envelope containing a speeding ticket from France. Infraction was on June 6 of this year, six and a half months ago. It was sent to an old work address. I had no idea about the ticket.

      I work in France twice a year for 3 months at a time. Scheduled to go back in spring of 2016.

      The fine is now for 180 euros. I went online on the amendes site so it is known that I’ve received the information.
      ME
      You have informed the French administration that you have received the ticket and I assume that you gave them some personal information. So now it is going to be quite difficult to get off the hook. You can come back in 2016 and you will not have any trouble getting in France.

      YOU
      I may also apply for an immigration visa – may marry a French national. 180 euros I can’t afford.
      ME
      If you are going to live in France and work there, this ticket will be paid in due time and by then the amount will be even more. Indeed it is the tax office that collects the tickets so as soon as you are settled in France for example working as an employee or self-employed, you will be on the French administration radar. Then the tax office can block your bank account, get the money from the employer before you receive your salary and so on. My comment is that if you are in France you will pay for sure and it will be much more.
      If you stay in the USA and never live in France, never have a bank account and so on, then I would think that the French administration will wait a long time before passing the request onto the IRS, if they ever do it. Then you must deal with the IRS and its ability to force you to pay in the USA.

      YOU
      Can the fine be reduced somehow? I speak French and can call the info line.
      ME
      Clearly you have found a way to contact them, then you should also have the numbers to call. Now reducing the amount OK but on which ground? Indeed it is only possible if the French administration has done something wrong and you can claim some liability. The fact that they sent the ticket first at the wrong address is not an error on their part, it must have been a good address and you moved and you should have a forwarding address service. So I really do not see what you can claim/state that would force the French administration to decrease the amount. Scheduling a payment over a few months is possible.

      YOU
      I’m grateful to have found your article.
      What are the consequences of not paying?
      ME
      I already explained what were the consequences.
      I would like to state that I also help a lot with immigration issues including spouse of a French citizen, nothing is automatic with the consulate and then the prefecture. There are a lot of horror stories because the immigration procedure was not done right from the start.

      Reply
  10. Matt

    I just called today to pay a ticket from back in April. It arrived late, after the fine had already risen, and now it won’t let me pay online because it says the French gov’t is sending me a new one. However that was months ago and nothing has arrived. The lady on the phone laughed at me and said it was no problem, that France understood that I probably never received it, and that I didn’t have to pay it, ever. She bragged how France sends its fine “economically” and they get lost all the time.

    Can this be true?

    Reply
  11. thog

    Hi, I got flashed at 57kph in a village, my Spanish van is registered to an address I can no longer get to, indeed that address never received any mail (not uncommon in rural Spain). My question is- how can I check for and/or pay any fine without a letter? Regards, thog.

    Reply
    • jean taquet

      It is impossible to pay without the letter, especially with a foreign license plate. So the French administration will get the letter back. It will try to find your trace and possibly get a different way to address this mail so you can get it. This said, if you only have one mailing address that does not allow you to receive mail, you will not pay this fine.
      The problem could be if you get caught by the French police, then you might have to pay a hefty amount. This is quite unlikely.

      Reply
  12. Bodo

    I should have mentioned that I am from Canada. Can they try to collect from me in Canada?
    Thanks,

    Reply
    • jean taquet

      collecting is a different story. There is a tax treaty between the 2 countries. Most of the governmental money is collected by the tax office, even the medical bills, the public library dues, …. Therefore it is technically possible that this could happen. Now you were driving 1Km above what triggers the machine, so the fine must be very small and for sure not enough to merit asking the Canadian tax authorities to collect.

      Reply
  13. Bodo

    Dear Jean,
    I visited France in 2015 and got a speeding ticket for doing 96 kph in a 90 kph zone.
    What will it happen at the border control when I will go back to France in two years or more?
    Thanks,

    Reply
    • jean taquet

      The answer is NO problem at the border control because in many ways this is NOT considered to be a “criminal offence” and therefore it is not mentioned as a “criminal record”. So when your passport is swept when you come in France, nothing happens.

      Reply
    • pat

      I have the exactly same situation. they are insane I think, I am just curious how desperate of money they are. They always try to fine you like half year later. if you miss the notice you are gonna pay a lot delay payment fee

      Reply
  14. Romie

    I was driving in France 45 days back renting a car from AVIS. Today I saw that AVIS has charged me 70 Euro after 45 days. After making a call to them I got to know that it’s a administration fee for giving my address information to police for traffic violation ticket. Now the problem is that in Avis Database my address is not complete(without unit no.) which i didn’t realize at the time of renting. so it’s impossible that the ticket would be delivered to me. Is there any portal where I can update my address or call them so that I can get the ticket and see what’s it for and eventually pay it? I might need to travel to France again in near future so I want to be clean of any charges.
    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • taquet

      so that I can get the ticket and see what’s it for and eventually pay it? I might need to travel to France again in near future so I want to be clean of any charges.
      ME
      There are 2 completely different issues:
      1 – Avis is a private company and if there is a dispute between the 2 of you, then it is a private matter. Never the police will ever know about this. So this debt will never prevent from doing doing anything in France other than maybe rent from Avis as well as less likely renting a car in France from the major companies.
      So this is not a concern to me

      2 – the speeding ticket has been issued to you except that as you said it will never reach you in your country because the address is incorrect. If you go back to France, there are different scenarios here:
      a) when you enter France on your passport, I assume that you are not asking for an immigration visa when you come, i very much doubt that the policeman will do an in depth research in your name. Since you are not registered as a criminal (someone who committed a crime!) chances are nothing will happen then,
      b) you get a 2nd speeding ticket and this time the agency has the right complete address, then the system will put the 2 together and you will receive them both in the mail,
      c) you are stopped by the police for something a lot worse than speeding, then you might be asked to pay “right away” the fine for the old ticket and the new one

      As you can see, these are 2 very different issues and I would worry more about not renting a car in France because Avis has blacklisted you among these rental companies than about the fine not being paid.
      Last thing, the 70€ looks more like the speeding ticket price than the cost for Avis to give the information.

      Reply
  15. Joe

    Hi, how can I pay the parking ticket I got when travelling Avignon, France early this month? I didnot reliaze it until my son told me a paper was at my car windon (we rented a car from SixT). When we tried to grable it, unfortunately the strong wind blowed it to nowhere. What shall we do? thanks for the help. Joe

    Reply
    • Jean Taquet

      Sorry for the delay. The car is registered with SixT so the ticket will be sent to them. By now, they must received it. You might still be able to pay before it goes to collection.

      Yours,

      Jean Taquet

      Reply
  16. anna

    ok i got 4 speeding camera tickets, my rental agency let me know about… but how do i find out my ticket number so i can pay them online? i need to find out the actual number so i can pay them, if i was in France would i be able to go into the police department to find out? how can i find out from the U.S.? i want to pay before the price goes up and up,
    thanks,
    Anna

    Reply
    • Jean Taquet

      Your rental agency knows about the tickets and therefore you should be able to get this information from them. A scanned copy of the tickets should have the needed information to do it on line indeed.
      Yours,

      Jean Taquet

      Reply
      • anna

        thanks Jean! i’ll try calling them again, when i called them before, i was kind of joking, and asked, if i come to France again, if they will throw me in prison at customs, she totally laughed and assured me “no”! that being said, i had my French brother in law call the agency where you can actually pay the tickets online, he spoke with them, and they said there’s no way to look up the ticket by name, and that ill have to wait till the ticket arrives in the U.S. unfortunately late, and the fee’s will have sky rocketed… 🙁

        Reply
  17. laurie

    hi, The rental car company charged me an administration fee – which I blocked because I had no idea what it was. After a prolonged wait for a return e mail for an inquiry about it I learned the charges were for traffic offences. The rental car company has been no help whatsoever in trying to meet my obligations. I have received no notification of such offences form the French authoriites- I have been home now for a month and a half. There is no opportunity to question the existence of traffic tickets on the website offered here. What do I do now?

    Reply
    • frank

      Hi Laurie,

      Unfortunately….you can do nothing except wait for the sluggish French bureaucracy to process your ticket. As I stated before…we didn’t receive our notification until four months had passed and then, like others the window had already closed on the website so we couldn’t pay! We wrote a very detailed letter (in French) explaining our situation and stating our desire to pay but it has been over a year since the alleged infraction and we have yet to hear anything from them.

      It would be great if someone in the French System could respond to this thread but I fear we will never really know what has happened internally with our specific case

      Reply
  18. taquet

    Indeed these virtual credit cards do not exist in the USA. So using a normal credit card is the best way to handle this payment.

    Reply
  19. Willow

    Hello – I received two speeding tickets using a rental car in France and I have a question that did not seem to be addressed in previous queries. When I read the information about paying for tickets on the official website, it says: “if you pay by e-credit card (virtual credit card) enter the card number given by your bank. This number will be valid for one payment only”.

    I don’t understand this statement. What does it mean by “virtual credit card”? Is that something different than my usual credit card. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Clark

      You’re not concerned by this statement. It’s a payment method available in France. You can pay using your regular credit card.

      Reply
  20. Dave

    Bonjour, Jean. I am a two-ticket offender (speeding tourist, >20 kph above the limit, Hertz rental car, April 2013, Normandy). When the citations arrived a month later in my N.H. mailbox, I assessed the risk/reward of not paying. I eventually concluded that:

    1) I would not again drive in France until well after the renewal of my identity documents, which might somewhat diminish my risk;
    2) The French government couldn’t be serious about collecting fines from abroad if they didn’t care to fashion a citation form with the same basic multi-lingual directions one finds at The Louvre, and
    3) The long arm of (monolingual) automated French law enforcement had exposed itself to any number of my own plausible denials were its human agents ever to finally ensnare me.

    So, I let the citations become buried in my stack of obligations until I finally decided to discard them.

    Well, Spring 2015 beckons, and the Cote d’Azur suddenly looks like a beautiful place to spend a week with a rental car.

    I have the same basic question as the cruise passenger/day visitor, although I wish to tempt fate more directly: What can I expect when I appear at the Immigration entry point for France? How about at the Hertz rental desk, where I will furnish copies of the same U.S. passport and driver’s license I used in 2013? (BTW, Hertz did charge me a nominal fee for referring each of the 2013 citations, so their conscience is clear.) Is there any chance of detention until payment, denial of rental vehicle until payment, denial of exit until payment, or just more advisement of compounding fines and penalties?

    Reply
    • taquet

      Allow me to comment and answer your questions one at a time

      YOU
      1) I would not again drive in France until well after the renewal of my identity documents, which might somewhat diminish my risk;
      ME
      This has no consequence to the situation. Either you owe the money and this office will try to collect or they cannot identify you neither now nor in the future. Since you rented the car in France with your driver’s license, the French police knows who you are.

      YOU
      The French government couldn’t be serious about collecting fines from abroad if they didn’t care to fashion a citation form with the same basic multi-lingual directions one finds at The Louvre, and
      ME
      A small piece of information here. The fines for anything linked to cars & traffics are owed and collected by the tax office. Therefore, very quickly, it makes no difference what it was at the origin, the tax treaty between the 2 countries allows the IRS to collect in the USA, French taxes and this includes tickets for speeding.

      YOU
      The long arm of (monolingual) automated French law enforcement had exposed itself to any number of my own plausible denials were its human agents ever to finally ensnare me.
      ME
      There is a huge problem with this. The burden of proof is on you. This means that the law states that you did it because you had the usage of the car at that time unless you can prove that it was someone else. For example your spouse was also a driver on the contract and therefore you 2 can identify who was driving then. Anything else will put you in an impossible situation since if you lost the usage of the car, it is called “stealing” and you should immediately report this to the police, which you did not do.
      So NO the system is locked in such a way you cannot propose any denial that is not a breach of the contract!! self-incrimination is not the right way to contest a speeding ticket!

      YOU
      Well, Spring 2015 beckons, and the Cote d’Azur suddenly looks like a beautiful place to spend a week with a rental car.
      ME
      My guess is that if you rent from the same company, they will refuse because you still owe the money and they can check that easily.
      If you rent from the competition, I believe that there is no central data base for this and the normal way to collect the money is blocking a bank account in France or the salary with the employer, none of which applies to you.

      YOU
      What can I expect when I appear at the Immigration entry point for France?
      ME
      Absolutely nothing since this level of criminal deeds does not make it in the immigration data base. So even if the officer really looks at your American passport (which is already a rare thing) and check your name if you have a record (which is just unheard of) nothing will show up and you will enter France without any problem.

      YOU
      How about at the Hertz rental desk, where I will furnish copies of the same U.S. passport and driver’s license I used in 2013? (BTW, Hertz did charge me a nominal fee for referring each of the 2013 citations, so their conscience is clear.)
      ME
      As stated above, Hertz would be a very bad choice. Any other company should be fine. Nothing prevents you from trying as long as you are OK with being told NO.

      YOU
      Is there any chance of detention until payment, denial of rental vehicle until payment, denial of exit until payment, or just more advisement of compounding fines and penalties?
      ME
      NO none of this will happen to you.
      On the other hand, the most probable thing that can happen is if the French tax office thinks it is worth it, is that the IRS summons you to pay with a lot of fines, penalties and interests added to the original amount. You have no control over this, and you will have NO opportunity to deny the charges and so on. I have never heard the IRS be opened to this type of objections.

      Reply
      • douglas

        taquet,
        Thanks for helpful answers. This will apply to many I believe…

        Reply
  21. Jay

    I’m a US citizen and received a camera speeding ticket while driving my rental car in France. I’m planning a cruise that stops in France for one day and want to know if I don’t pay the fine and disembark will I be:

    1. Arrested when they check my passport
    2. Made to pay the fine immediately
    3. Left alone and nothing happens

    Reply
    • jean taquet

      Dear Jay,

      Thank you for your message.
      The answer depends on the level of the speeding you have done. Indeed most of them are only considered to be small misdemeanor and therefore do not appear on what we call the “casier judiciaire” the criminal record. So as long as what you did is not mentioned there you run zero risk when you stop in France while being on the cruise ship.

      So to answer precisely your questions:
      1. Arrested when they check my passport – no because the police would not know that there is a fine pending against you
      2. Made to pay the fine immediately – only if the collection agency (and therefore not the police) can catch you for such a short period of time and even then they do not have the right to coarse you.
      3. Left alone and nothing happens – is by far the most probable situation.

      This is the regulation and the chances that you are facing jail term are zero considering what you described since it can only be a second offence!
      The first consequence is a fine, increasing with the amount by which the speed limit was exceeded.

      – 50 km/h = 1,500 €.

      – second offense at > 50 km/h = 3,750 €.

      The second consequence is the number of points lost on the license.

      – < 20 km/h = 1 point.

      – < 30 km/h = 2 points.

      – < 40 km/h = 3 points.

      – 50 km/h = 6 points.

      More severe penalties are also possible. For example:

      – For speeding more than 30 km/h above the limit, the license can be suspended for three years and the vehicle confiscated.

      – For a second offense speeding more than 50 km/h above the limit, the driver faces a three-month jail sentence.

      Best regards,

      Reply
  22. Frank

    I was traveling in France in April and just received a ticket for running a red light four months later. There were fines for paying within 30 45 and 90 days all of which have already expired!
    I have no problem paying the fine but when I went online to pay I was also told the time limit had expired and that another letter would follow. I want to do the right thing here but paying an high late fee seems completely unfair when I received the notice 24 hours ago! Any suggestions on how to proceed? Could I just supply them my credit card number and authorize them to charge me the original fine?

    Reply
    • Clark

      I understand you feel this is unfair Frank. I believe the French fines system won’t give you any other choice but pay and then contest.

      Reply
    • taquet

      If you do so then it is possible that the extra fine be redeemed or that the collection efforts will continue for the balance. If you pay in full then you must argue with a registered letter the reason why you contest the extra charges with a very uncertain result. There is no good choice here and make the decision you feel more comfortable with depending how often you are in France and how much collection agencies in France can do against you.

      Reply
    • Robin Chaney

      I was in France in August 2014 driving a Hertz rental car. In October was charged by Hertz for administrative fees for a traffic violation while in France (almost 30 Euro). I just received (March 2015) the ticket (in French). Hertz had apparently provided my address in a format that the US did not recognize (Name, Street Address, City – No State, No Zip Code) so I understand why it took so long to get to me. However, when I went online to pay, I of course am beyond the 45 days and must now await the new ticket with the added fine – being sent to the wrong address. I searched everyone I could find to locate someone I could email or write to explain and go ahead and pay to no avail. I would prefer this not continue to add up as conversion rates from Euros to dollars are not great or to be turned over to collection with fines, penalties added. I really want to pay. I just have no idea how to do this. Help anyone?

      Reply
    • Julian

      Frank,

      I had the same problem as you. Got a speeding ticket in France and the letter arrived to my U.S. address after the fine was expired. Would you mind telling me what ended up happening with your fine? Did you manage get from the french government authorization to pay the fine at the reduced price? or did you simply didn’t pay the fine?
      Like you, i want to pay the fine but seems very unfair to pay 180 euros when their Avis de Contravention arrived so late.

      thanks!

      Reply
      • Frank

        Hi Julian, just looked over this thread again….so here I am three years later and we never did get another notification back from the French Authorities after writing our complaint. Who knows whatever happened but we are going by “no news is good news”. I guess we will see if there are any ramifications in a few years when we go back to France.

        Bon Jour!

        Reply
  23. Armins

    I just got two tickets, both referring to http://www.antai.fr, where they want me to pay the fines electronically. How can I know, that this is not a fraud? Letters seem very official, just were delivered with regular mail, not in registered letter.

    Reply
  24. Sarah

    I have a question that’s a bit related. I can’t find any information online for it though. A few months ago I received two speeding tickets from France. The problem is that I’ve never left the country! I had my purse stolen here in the US a year ago (and reported it) and it of course had my ID in it which is where this person must’ve gotten my address from.

    The problems I have are this: I do not speak French, nor do I know anyone that does, I don’t know where this issue can be resolved and then three: I recently bought tickets to go to Europe in a few months and my first stop just happens to be Paris.

    Can anyone point to where I can even start looking for help?

    Reply
    • Mark

      This is what happened to me. I lost my license at the beach and three months later I got a speeding ticket for riding a motorcycle in Paris. I’ve never been to Europe or been on a motorcycle. I went to the website suggested on the ticket letter and completed a form to contest the charge with the reasons I have stated above. This was a bit difficult because I don’t speak french very well and had to rely on translation sites on the internet. The form only allowed a certain number of characters so I sent an additional letters explaining my reasons for contention and sent it by regular mail. I completed both the form and my letter in English. About two months later I received a letter stating (I think) that my concern was being forwarded to another agency that would make the final decision regarding my request to have the ticket dropped. It has been nearly two months and I have not heard from them yet. Like you, I have planned my first trip to Europe in a few months and definitely do not want to be arrested for an outstanding warrant at the airport in Paris! This seems a bit odd to me that this would happen to two people. It makes me wonder if rental car companies in France accept cash payments and do not require credit cards or if they don’t really check if the picture on the id looks anything like the person renting the vehicle. Almost seems like a scam.

      Reply
  25. Jane

    Got a ticket for doing 91 km/h in a 90 zone. Isn’t there any margin at all? Can this be contested? Seems pretty ridiculous as I thought I was doing exactly 90 (according to the setting on my cruise control…)

    Reply
    • taquet

      Your question looks simple but in reality it opens a more complex issue. The machine operated by the machine stated that you were speeding. By how much is another topic and only defines how bad the consequence will be in terms of the amount of the fine and the number of points being lost on your license. You have the absolute right to think that for 1Km/h the consequence for you is totally out of proportion with the scope of the violation. This said, the only issue the machine measures at first is if there is a violation or not. If YES, then the machine takes a picture and records the violation.
      After that policemen address the issue documented this way, by sending the citation in the mail, and by giving a criminal qualification to what you did.
      I would like to know what you are contesting? Can you prove that the machine the police forces used then, was defective? If YES, then you have a case. Are you saying that your cruise control is defective? Then maybe the car manufacturer is liable then. The critical aspect of this issue is that at this low level of criminal charges, the police does not need to prove a criminal intent or the knowledge that the person had of the violation. So all there is a need for is the proof of the existence of a violation.
      So all you can do to get off the hook is to prove that, but I really cannot see how you are going to go about it without a lawyer and a court case.
      I am truly not dismissing the aggravation, even the anger you feel about this. You believe that this is totally unfair and completely inappropriate.
      Your specific question is:
      Is there a margin? I believe that the police sets these machines with a margin of error such that normally up to maybe 5/6Km/h does not trigger the machine. Maybe current orders from the ministry changed that. I cannot answer this, as I do not know.
      Again I am sorry for what happened to you.

      Reply
  26. Pat Jacobs

    I received a speeding ticket, and now it is over 180 days late. I tried to pay on line at the site listed above but it said i would be receiving a notice of an increased fine, amount unknown. There was no way to proceed to payment. I got the same message over a month ago. What are my payment options?

    Reply
    • taquet

      You can send the payment directly to Rennes using a French euro check, making sure it is attached to the ticket (the paper document). Otherwise YES, you will have to wait until the system reopens with a higher amount to pay by credit card. If you do not have an account in euros, the bank fees are so high that you could be better off waiting.

      Reply
    • Kathy

      Pat,

      Same thing is happening to a friend, and I am trying to help find a solution.
      Did you resolve the matter by waiting for the next notice, and did it ever come?

      Reply
    • JLN

      Hi Pat – I have just encountered the same speeding ticket/notice delay experience. I was doing some research online about the situation and came across your post. Were you ever able to get this resolved? If so, any suggestions on how to proceed? Right now I’m stuck at a point where I can’t pay the fine (at the original or increased amount) and I’m waiting for some sort of additional correspondence in the mail.

      Any information would be helpful – thanks!

      Reply
      • taquet

        Thank you for your message and as such I cannot help you with your precise question.
        I cannot see how you can speed up the process, either you have the amount and a copy of the ticket and you send the payment asap by sending the payment in the mail to this address.

        Agence Nationale de Traitement Automatisé des Infractions (ANTAI) + détails
        Infractions radars automatiques
        TSA 74000
        35000 RENNES

        If you ant information as to what is happening with your ticket you can call and get the information.
        Pour les infractions concernant les radars automatiques
        0811 10 20 30 (en moyenne, cet appel vous sera facturé 6 centimes d’euro la minute, plus le coût de la communication si vous appelez depuis un mobile)
        Du lundi au vendredi de 8h30 à 18h30 et le samedi de 8h30 à 12h30.
        Pour les infractions concernant le procès-verbal électronique (Pve)
        0811 871 871 (en moyenne, cet appel vous sera facturé 6 centimes d’euro la minute, plus le coût de la communication si vous appelez depuis un mobile)
        Du lundi au vendredi de 8h30 à 18h30 et le samedi de 8h30 à 12h30.

        Reply
  27. Tom G

    Hello,
    Once in a while I travel to Europe – including France – and occasionally I notice flashing camera lights, although in heavy traffic it’s not even clear as to which car has been targeted. Myself, I always drive at or below the POSTED speed, but here is the question:
    how can one find out if they have ever been issued a fine for driving in France
    which they never actually received and, therefore, are unaware of?
    Is there any publicly accessible French (or, better yet, all-European) database that one can check out and pay any imposed fines in a timely manner?
    Please advise at some convenience, thank you!

    Reply
    • Clark

      I believe the French authorities finds your contact information via the car’s registration (carte grise). If you were renting a car, I guess you had to complete a form with your address and co, so they can also track you that way. I am not aware of such European database, but am pretty certain Tom that if they want to find you, they will!

      Reply
      • Tom G

        Clark,
        your point is well taken but my question is right opposite. In the past, on more than one occasion my important mail would be lost, so the last thing I want to hear when arriving in Europe again is that there appear to be some fines that I was never even aware of. BTW, some Eastern European countries do have their public websites where such info is available, so one would hope that it exists in the Old World, too.

        Reply
        • Clark

          Tom : this is really unfortunate but I can’t think of a way to avoid such experience. If you do find a way, please come back and share it! I am sure it concerns many other persons…

          Reply
      • Mark

        I received notice of a speeding ticket from Porte d-Aubervilliers that looks very official. It is a three page letter, in French, and details the incident and provides a website by which I can pay or contest the charge. Here’s the problem: I have never been to France and I do not know how to ride a motorcycle.

        I had my driver’s license stolen while on vacation in Florida in August of this year and am wondering if someone is using my license in France to rent motorcycles or do whatever they want. How should I proceed?…and I REALLY appreciate your help.

        Reply
        • Clark

          It seems you’re victim of an identity thief at an international level! I believe the French authorities can let you open a claim but you need to pay first. Have you thought about contacting the French consulate in your area so they can help you go through the process?

          Reply
          • Mark

            I thought I would follow up with my case. I never paid the citation as a matter of principle since I had never been to France and do not have a passport. It took a lot of work and several letters back and forth to get the case resolved. I spoke with the French Consulate in Atlanta and also with the US State Department. Here’s what I did: I sent a copy of my work calendar, notorized, to show I was not in France on the day of the infraction. I had to get a US passport so the State Department could issue me a letter stating I had never had one previously. I had to confirm to the French police that the story given by the owner of the motorcycle (that he had loaned me his motorcycle) was not true. Finally, I received my original driver’s license in the mail postmarked in France in an anonymous hand addressed envelope. I made a copy of it along side my new license and sent that to the police. After a year of going back and forth with the French authorities, I received notice that the charges against me were dropped and that charges had been brought against the person who implicated me.

  28. Daniel Caron

    Just paid my tickets through your link, thank you. My biggest complaint is that I paid immediately upon receiving the ticket, but still paid a substantial fine for being “late” because i live in the states and they were late informing me.That’s kind of a scam. They should change that. I got these tickets for going 5km over the speed limit. In the states thats like nothing! So you don’t even know you did it! waaaah….

    Reply
    • Clark

      I understand your frustration Daniel. If only they could send us speeding tickets by email. This would avoid late charges for many I bet!

      Reply
  29. chris

    I just received a ticket for making an illegal u turn (motorcycles can do anything in France, but you cant make a u turn on a quiet street). I tried to pay it online, but I only have an 8 digit “carte de paiement” number, which doesn’t contain enough digits. Does anybody have a solution? Please let me know. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Jean Taquet

      The credit cards have 12 digits which means that you cannot use this card to pay. So your card with 8 does not work indeed.
      So if you really do not have a normal credit card then the second best solution is a wire and if you look at the lower part of the ticket there is a huge number which is an IBAN number. Ask your bank if they can process a wire with just this information knowing that it is the French tax office account and a private account for a small business.
      The last and most expensive is to send a USD$ check since they offer you the possibility to send a check in the mail. The fees are enormous and it takes about 6 weeks to get the money so this is NOT the ideal solution.

      Reply
  30. Jon

    I just got back from 12 days in France. Great trip, had a rental car the whole time. One of the first night’s there i thought i saw a camera flash and suspected there were speeding cameras. The next day it was confirmed to me and explained that there is only a 5% margin of error in going over the limit. When i got home, i received 5 speeding tickets in the mail (nearly all were 121Km in a 110km zone). All of the speeding tickets occurred the first three days before I learned of the small margins. I received no tickets the latter part of my trip. Will there be any leniency under the circumstances if i explain my situation? I wish i was actually pulled over and cited. It would have saved me a lot of hassle…

    Reply
    • Jean Taquet

      Thank you for your message and I am truly sorry that you found yourself in this situation. I understand that you are not used to drive in France, and you were caught without knowing and this amounted to a high cost for you which could have been avoided with some common sense on the part of the French authorities.

      1 – leniency
      As you might or not know, when the policemen were issuing the tickets, they were way too lenient and the law was not properly enforced. So one of the ways of making sure that the law was properly enforced was to make it automatic. So 2 KM or 20KM above what they consider to be the limit for the speed, the machine works and the end result is a ticket you must pay mailed to your home. There is now close to 0% of manpower in this entire procedure.
      So NO, there is absolutely no changes of getting any leniency after the fact and the issuance of the ticket.

      2 – who received the original tickets
      Keep in mind that the police had no way of knowing who was driving the car. Only the rental agency could know and therefore state you were driving that car that day. This means that the rental company received the same number of warnings about speeding with one of their cars. Their choice, you pay or they pay, that makes the choice really easy. Stated differently the procedure has gone so far that it is totally impossible to have a human intervention destroying the tickets.

      3 – the appeal procedure
      If you look very carefully at all those tickets, the appeal procedure is mentioned with the court. So in theory you do have a chance to have your side of the story heard by a judge. First of all fi you lose the case, you will then pay a much larger amount for each of them. Second, what is your legal argument, are you contesting the speeding then you need to prove that the machine was faulty!, is your argument that you did not know how to drive in France, and you did not comply with the regulation because you did not understand it, you must know in order to be a safe driver.
      In short, you do not any legal argument to contest the tickets.

      Reply
      • Jon

        Not the answer i was looking for, although the one i expected. Thanks for the reply.

        Reply
      • Michael Keough

        Where do I find the first 4 digits of the 18 digits for e-payment. Only 14 digits are shown. There must be a 4 digit preface.

        Reply
        • Clark

          I am not very familiar with e-payment, Michael, but credit cards always have 4 x 4 numbers (16 figures total). Then you’re usually asked for the expiration date (format xx / xx) and 3 last digits on the back of the card.

          Reply
  31. Cidney Dutton

    I just received a speeding ticket. Do I really need to pay it? I don’t plan on driving ever again in France. I was only going 9km over the speed limit! What happens if I do not pay it?

    Reply
    • Jean Taquet

      If you received the speeding ticket, it means that the French administration knows who you are and where you live. So this is really not a good start. I understand that you will be leaving France permanently to move in another country. So clearly you will no longer be under French jurisdiction. So indeed this will protect for quite a while. Now the last piece is that if the fine is large enough it will make sense to use the international procedure. Indeed France has a tax treaty with numerous countries. So this new country you are moving to, has signed a tax treaty with France then, the local tax authority can be asked to represent the French tax authority and act as a collection agency. Then your situation will be really bad. The amount is now 4 maybe 10 times more, and you will be regretting not to have paid in France when it was possible. In my view, in short, you are gambling on the fact that the amount is too small to trigger the international procedure, maybe you end up being right and you win, or you are wrong, and then you will be hurt financially. I let you choose which way you want to go.

      Reply
      • Cidney

        Thanks for your reply. I am an American and I was just there on business and was driving a rental car. But I do go to France often for pleasure; however, I never ever drive there! But I think I am just going to pay it and have my company reimburse me, just in case.

        Reply
  32. Joe

    Hello, I received a speeding ticket that I apparently got while in France in November. Obviously way past the date due. Problem is they have an old address of mine. I tried to pay the ticket and it says another letter was sent with a new number and penalty. I understand that but it will go to same place and I probably won’t get it. I just want to pay the ticket. Is there an email address I can email and get the address changed and/or pay the ticket since I can’t do it online now?

    Reply
  33. Leslie

    Just received today on November 16th, a speeding ticket from France dated September 28 for speeding on May 15th (6 months later!!). Went to their website to pay the 90 euros. No problems. Went smooth and quick. My question is how do I know if there are any other tickets coming my way? Is there a statue of limitations on when they have to inform you of these tickets?

    Reply
    • Jean Taquet

      There are 2 very different questions there. About the second question “Is there a statue of limitations on when they have to inform you of these tickets?” there is a misuse of the expression “statue of limitations”. Indeed, it refers in your case, of a deed you have done and you did not get caught right away doing it. Then for small stuff, it is one year. For a felony it is 3 years. If the find out after that, then it is too late to prosecute. Now getting a ticket means by definition, that you got caught. So in most cases, it becomes a basic collection procedure, which can be successful or not depending on the amount of information the French administration has. If you are still living in France, there is virtually no chance to escape. If you live in a foreign country, then it depends on who knows in France your new address, and if there is a tax treaty between the 2 countries.
      Now the first question “how do I know if there are any other tickets coming my way?” The way you are thinking it absolutely NO, it takes only a few days between the radar caught you and the letter in the mail. I you live in a foreign country and they cannot find you then YES, it is possible. Now my question be “by seeking this info, very likely you will leave a trace and the French administration will use that information to collect the money, so why running this risk?”

      Reply
  34. Mark

    Thank you Pedro….I just want to do the “right thing” (get it paid) and move-on. I tried the telephone, but unfortunately my French is an embarrassement, didn’t get too far. Don’t want to have additional fees added on because I didn’t respond.

    Will keep at it….

    Reply
  35. Pedro Volpe

    I just paid the ticket. I had to tried getting in the web page for a few days. “French do everything in a different way”

    Reply
  36. Mark

    Great website….having the same problem as Steve….all the websites given are not responding. Looks like they don’t take a check in $$ only Euros..not sure how to do that??

    Reply
  37. Steve

    I am having trouble reaching the site. The server does not seem to be responding. Is it a tran-atlantic thing or is everyone having the same problem. Sorry to be gumming up your site with this concern but I really want to pay these two tickets.

    Reply
    • Jean Taquet

      A few French websites from the French administration handle very poorly the links. So the copy/paste of the URL address is then the simplest thing to do. Also some of them refuse direct to a page and force everybody to start with the welcome page, which makes it very difficult to find the said page, even with the complete URL address. There are some reasons to do this. his said, I am not sure that understanding the logic behind those choices is needed, just address the issue their way!

      Reply
  38. Pedro Volpe

    Bob

    Thanks for the info. I went into the web page but could not fine how to pay the ticket. Any advice?

    Reply
  39. Jean Taquet

    There is a legal and a cultural aspect to your comment. When the law establishes a norm it is by definition unjust since it does not take into account the specificity of the person. A 17 year old wiser about drinking than a 22 year old, a professional car racer is safer driving 180Km/H than a WE driver at 100Km/H. So everybody must accept the norm as is, and not look at the specifics it creates. Speed limit is exactly that. Now a very French cultural aspect that explains what you describe. French people have a tendency to always push to the limit and then complain. So adding 10Km/H on the static radars would not change anything. French drivers would complain to get a ticket driving 141Km/H because it is just 1Km/H over the limit and not 11Km/H over the legal limit.
    Now 2 personal comments, limiting speed limit saves life and the slower you drive the safer is your driving. Once this is said, thee is a need to find the right balance.
    French people are so used to the “gray French way of life” that they find intolerable that the machine “punishes” 100% of the time, this is so “unFrench”. So it is truly for them a cultural shock and years later French people cannot get over this fact. This is unreasonable; 100% of the people caught were speeding, the machine does care how much above it was. Then the legislation should discriminate the consequence, which is currently the case. I do not share your outrage. This said, I am tired of this perpetual pushing to test the limit. This explains that.

    Reply
  40. Larry

    I believe that one of the main reasons that the radar tickets are so unpopular in France is because they are ridiculously lacking in latitude. That is, in the US, the radar units/ police that use them usually will not cite someone unless they are going 6 or more mph more than the posted limit (about 9kph). I know this to be true since I used to be a cop. Here, the only give you 2 (or 3) kph latitude on the speed limit of 110 kph (1-2 mph).I speak from experience from getting 2 of these in the mail in a matter of two days!! I have been driving the same route for 18 mos without a citation doing the same speed. THEN, comes two citations in two days! All I can say is this is a way in increase the amount of Euros in the coffers! It has NOTHING to do with safety.

    Reply

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