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Low Emission Zones in France. Air quality schemes Paris

Air quality certificates in Paris, Lyon, Grenoble. Apply online

Low Emission Zones in France. Paris Air quality certificate
Vehicle emission LEZ regulations, emission sticker and pollution badge requirements for Paris Lyon and Grenoble. How to get your Air Quality Certificate.

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Paris has introduced an air quality scheme to keep the most polluting vehicles out of the city. It is now necessary to apply for a windscreen sticker (vignette) to demonstrate that your vehicle meets the relevant standards. If this sticker is not displayed you will be liable for an on-the-spot fine of up to 135 euros. If you intend to drive within the Boulevard Peripherique you will need the vignette, although not on the Peripherique itself. A vignette is required for all vehicles including motorbikes. The Air Quality Certificate is also required for Lyon and Grenoble city centres when pollution levels are high. The "Crit Air" Air Quality Certificate is valid throughout France.

Follow this link to apply for your sticker on the English language page of the "Crit Air" official government website. You only need one vignette to cover anywhere in France where the clean air scheme operates. Beware that other websites are coming up in searches but are charging a lot more than the 4 euros 80 official fee (plus postage). Payment can be by card.

You need to scan your vehicle registration document and attach the resulting file to your application. You only need to scan the inside front page (parts 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) of the V5, not the entire document. If you live in Wales you only need to scan the English version (we're not sure if the Welsh one would be accepted although we hope it would!). The file should be no more than 400kb in size. We have used the site and received our sticker a few days after sending the application.

There are 6 classifications. The requirements are complex, depending on the age of the vehicle, its fuel and the emissions. It's not easy to find out what classification your vehicle is. If you are going to be driving in one of the Air Quality zones It is probably easier to actually apply for a certificate then you will find out how the vehicle is classified. The six categories have six colours that denote how heavily polluting the vehicle is according to its emissions standard ranging from green (1, electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles); for the cleanest, to black (6 mostly older, diesel cars) for the dirtiest.

Our personal opinion is that although we support any attempt to improve the environment, the schemes are currently badly thought out. It is not easy for drivers from other countries to find anything out about them, and we guess many drivers will find themselves in breach of the regulations through ignorance. The solution, it seems to us, is a Europe-wide scheme where stickers can be obtained in any country and would be valid throughout the EU.

All information on this page is provided as a service to our clients. It is intended as a guide to the more important rules for the different countries to which we offer driving holidays. It is not meant to be a comprehensive document. We try and keep the information on this page up-to-date, but we cannot be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies. If you find a mistake or would like to send us some additional information, please email us. Your co-operation is appreciated.