French driving licences go digital

digital driving licence

As of 14th February 2024, a digital form of all French driving licences can be applied for on the France Identity app and used in the place of the traditional card or paper format in a variety of day-to-day situations. 

The new system, which is free-of-charge and entirely optional, does not completely replace physical licences, but it does mean that motorists can use this convenient form of ID when stopped by law enforcement, for example.  

This alternative format should limit a person’s chances of losing their physical licence – or having it stolen – and allow standard formalities to be handled without the complete disclosure of a motorist’s personal data as well as combat online fraud.  

France’s Minister of the Interior and Overseas Territories, Gérald Darmanin, says of the new service, “Thanks to the France Identity application, you will be able to download your driving licence to your phone. This device will not replace the physical version, but will complement it in order to simplify your life.”  

To add a digital driving licence to a smartphone, the holder of the licence must first download and sign up to the France Identity application. Then they must download a copy of their Relevé d’Information Restreint (RIR) from the Mes Points Permis website and use the provided QR code to upload their driving licence to the France Identity app.  

To present the licence to an official, a motorist need only open the app – no internet access is required – and select ‘Present your driving licence’. A contactless connection is then established between the police device and a motorist’s smartphone.  

The French government is in the process of broadening the uses of the France Identity app. In the future, it will be possible to use the app to store other useful documentation, such as car registration and insurance papers.  

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Photo source: Alexandre Boucher, Unsplash