Motorbikes & Scooters in France
All the information you need to ride a motorbike or scooter in France, with details of the different licences available and how to pass the tests..
Below is information on the different types of licences that you will need to ride a scooter or a motorbike in France. Note that you must be resident in France in order to pass a driving test, whether it is for cars or motorbikes.
For information about licences for cars, see the section on French Driving Licences.
In order to drive a scooter in France you will need a category AM licence, or already have an A or B licence. However, if you were born before 1988, you don’t need a licence or need to complete any formalities. The information about scooter licences below is for people born after 1988.
The AM licence is available to people over 14 years old. It can be obtained after participating in a seven-hour training course, after which you are given a certificate - the Brevet de sécurité routière (BSR). You need a certificate proving that you have passed the ASSR 2 or ASR. These are road safety tests that are generally passed at high school in France. If you don’t have either of these test certificates, then you can enrol to take them at the local GRETA or Town Hall. If you have lost these certificates, you can make a ‘declaration d’honneur’, a letter stating that you successfully passed these, with a date and address of where the tests were taken.
The AM licence can only be applied for on your behalf by the school with whom you carried out the practical training. Once you have completed the compulsory 7 hours of practical training, you will be given a certificate proving that you have carried out the necessary training, this is valid to drive for 4 months while the school applies for the AM licence. You will need to provide the following documents for the application:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of address
- 2 passport photos
- BSR certificate, and ASSR 2 or ASR certificate
- Foreigners need to prove that they have been resident in France for at least 6 months (for example with payslips or utility bills) or provide a carte de séjour.
A moped or scooter up to 50cc must be registered and must display a proof of insurance certificate.
There are 3 types of driving licences for motorbikes.
- A1 Licence 50cc to 125cc bikes obtainable from the age of 16
- A2 Licence
- A Licence: allows you to ride all categories of motorbikes; you can only apply after 2 years of having the A2 licence
All B licence holders (which is the licence for cars) must complete a seven-hour course before being allowed to drive a motorbike of 50cc to 125cc, or a three wheeled motor tricycle over 50cc. The driver must have held the B licence for two years before being allowed to participate in the training course. If the driver can prove that in the previous five years they have a history of driving light motorcycles or motor tricycles, these rules do not apply.
How to get a motorbike licence in France
The Motorbike Theory Test
You can either enrol for the French theory test via a driving school or do it yourself. The theory test is called the code (the study book, Code de la Route, is available only in French from bookshops or from your driving school). If you choose to enrol yourself, you will need to pay a 30 euro fee online via the ANTS website, and then make an appointment via one of the options listed here (select En candidat libre, and choose one of the options under Inscription)
Remember to take valid proof of identity to the test. You will need to respond correctly to 35 questions out of 40 to successfully pass the test and you should get the results the same day.
There are 2 parts to the practical test - off road and in traffic. In all, the tests last about 1 hour. You need to successfully pass the off road test before going onto the next stage. If you fail the test in traffic, you don’t need to retake the first part of the test the next time - it remains valid for a further 5 tries.
Getting the permit
To apply for the permit once you have successfully passed the tests, you need to go through the official website ANTS - Agence Nationale des Titres Sécurisés. Alternatively, your driving school can do this for you, probably an easier option. In both cases you will need the following documents
- Proof of identity and that of a parent if you are under 18
- Proof of address, for example a recent utility bill
- Two recent identity photos
- A medical certificate may be requested
- A copy of your driving exam certificate
- ASSR 2 or ASR certificate
- Foreigners will need to provide proof that they have been resident in France for at least 6 months, and a valid residence permit, for non-EU citizens
If you already have another category of licence, you will need to have the new category of licence added to it. This can only be done via the ANTS website.
The driving licence will be sent to your address within a few weeks.
Note that it is compulsory to wear a helmet and gloves when riding a motorbike, and you must carry a yellow safety jacket in the event of a breakdown.
Change of address
It is not necessary to change the address on your French driving licence when moving house in France, however, the moped or motorbike registration document must be updated with the new address. This has to be done online via the official Agence nationale des Titres Sécurisées – ANTS website. Note: French driving licences issued after September 2013 do not have the address of the driving licence holder on them.
References and Further Information
- Information on getting the AM licence for mopeds (in French)
- Information on French driving licences from Service Public (in French)