COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: France is a developed and stable democracy with a modern economy. Monaco is a developed constitutional monarchy on the shores
of the Mediterranean. Tourist facilities are widely available. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on France and Fact Sheet on Monaco for additional information.
SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit France or Monaco, please take the time to tell us about your trip. By enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), you can keep up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.
Local embassy information is available below and on the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates. Please check the individual webpage for the embassy or consulate you will be visiting to verify public hours and security regulations. Generally, you won’t be allowed to bring electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops with you inside our facilities.
There are two Consulates General, four U.S. Presence Posts, and one Consular Agency in France, in addition to the Embassy in Paris. Only the consular sections in Paris and Marseille are authorized to issue passports. The other offices provide limited services to U.S. citizens. Appointments are required for most services. Appointments can be scheduled online for Embassy Paris and Consulate General Marseille. Call or email posts in other locations to schedule an appointment. Please note that the emergency after-hours telephone number for all U.S. posts in France is: (33) 1 43 12 22 22. Ask to speak to the duty officer if you need emergency assistance after business hours.
U.S. Embassy Paris
2 Avenue Gabriel 75008
Telephone: 33 (1) 43 12 22 22
Fax: 33(1) 42 66 97 83
U.S. Consulate General Marseilles
Place Varian Fry
13286 Marseille Cedex 6
Telephone: 33 (0) 4 91 54 92 00
Fax: 04 91 55 09 47
U.S. Consulate General Strasbourg
15, Avenue d'Alsace
67082 Strasbourg Cedex
Telephone: 33 (3) 88 35 31 04
Fax: 33 (3) 88 24 06 95
U.S. Consular Agency Nice
7, Avenue Gustave V
Tel. 33 (4) 93 88 89 55
Fax 33 (4) 93 87 07 38
All of our telephone numbers below are written the way you would dial them from the United States. When calling from within France, drop the country code and add a zero. For example: 33 (1) 43 12 22 22 becomes (01) 43 12 22 22.
Back to Top
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: U.S. citizens may enter France and Monaco for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. France is a party to the Schengen Agreement, which allows for visa-free travel between member countries. Monaco has an open border with France and constitutes a de facto part of the Schengen area for short visits. For further details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet. U.S. citizens traveling with either an official or diplomatic passport do require a valid Schengen visa.
If you are traveling for reasons other than business or tourism – such as employment, study, or internship – you must obtain a French or Monegasque visa for that purpose before you leave the United States. You should be aware that it is nearly impossible to obtain or change visa status while in France.
Contact the French Embassy in Washington at 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007, tel. (202) 944 6000, or the French Consulate General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, or San Francisco for the most current visa information.
If you are transiting France or Monaco en route to other countries, make sure you know all of the entry and exit requirements for your trip and final destination. If you don’t have the right documentation, you might be denied boarding to your connecting flight. Some countries require a certain number of blank visa pages or more than six months remaining validity on your passport.
Special Note: Overseas departments and territories of France (i.e. those not located in Europe) are not part of the Schengen Agreement. Please see Country Specific Information on French Guiana, French Polynesia, and the French West Indies for entry and exit requirements for those areas.
MONACO: For further information on entry requirements to Monaco, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Principality of Monaco, 3400 International Drive, NW, Suite 2K-100, Washington D.C. 20008, Tel: (202) 234-1530, Email: Embassy Monaco, or the Consulate General of Monaco, 565 Fifth Avenue – 23rd floor, New York, NY 10017, Tel: (212) 286-0500, Email: Monaco Consulate. For the most current visa information, visit the Embassy of the Principality of Monaco website. For more information please visit the official site of the Monaco Government, or the Government Tourist Office.
There are strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export of items such as firearms, antiquities, medications, business equipment, sales samples, and other items. Contact the Consulate General of Monaco for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Our website can provide you with information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information Sheet.
HIV/AIDS RESTRICTIONS: There are no HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to France or Monaco, and no specific HIV/AIDS restrictions for foreign
residents. However, due to the extensive medical benefits provided by the French Government, permanent resident status may
be denied to foreigners with terminal illnesses when treatment is available in their home country.
Back to Top
THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: Political violence in Paris and throughout France is relatively uncommon, although there are occasional instances of extremely large demonstrations simultaneously occurring in many French cities. Large demonstrations in Paris are generally managed by a strong police presence, but even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. We recommend that U.S. citizens avoid demonstrations if possible, and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. The congestion caused by large demonstrations can cause serious inconveniences for a visitor on a tight schedule. Some sporting events, such as soccer matches, have occasionally degenerated into violence that continued into the streets.
Political unrest has developed in some Francophone countries with historic ties to France (e.g., Algeria, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, and Tunisia). Some French citizens and residents with ties to such countries have protested in front of those countries’ embassies or consulates in France in response to the unrest. Although these protests are infrequent and do not target U.S. citizens, visitors should avoid such demonstrations.
The Government of France maintains a threat rating system, known locally as “Vigipirate,” similar to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory System. Under this plan, the government routinely augments police with armed forces and increases visibility at airports, train and metro stations, and other high-profile locations such as schools, major tourist attractions, and government installations. Over the last few years, there have been arrests of suspected militant extremists allegedly involved in terrorist plots. French authorities have periodically spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions for terrorist attacks in Europe. The United States and France routinely share information in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen defenses against potential threats.
Although U.S. citizens have not been specifically targeted in terrorist attacks in France within the past few years, travelers should remain vigilant. Immediately report unattended packages observed in public places or any other suspicious activities to French law enforcement authorities, who are proactive and will respond immediately. If there is a security incident or suspicious package, do not linger in the area to observe.
Public safety and security in France are maintained by three different forces: Municipal Police; National Police; and the military Gendarmerie. These services are professional, competent, and proactive in fighting crime and violence and maintaining overall state security.
In an emergency, dialing 17 will connect the caller to the Police in both France and Monaco.You can also dial the Europe-wide emergency response number 112 to reach an operator for all kinds of emergency services (similar to the U.S. 911 system) in France. Non-French speakers may experience a delay while an English speaker is located.
For non-emergency assistance, visitors should go to the nearest police station (commissariat) in order to file an official report.
SPECIAL ISSUES FOR LGBT TRAVELERS: France and Monaco are generally safe destinations for LGBT individuals; however, local media and human rights organizations have noted an increase in the number of reported anti-LGBT hate crimes across France after the French Parliament began debating a law to legalize same-sex marriage in late 2012. Exercise caution and please review our LGBT Travel Information.
Stay up to date by:
CRIME: Prior to travel to France, the United States State Department recommends that all visitors check the Department’s website for updated security advisories.
General: France is a relatively safe country. Most crimes are non-violent, but pick-pocketing is a significant problem. The same is true for Monaco. See the section below entitled “Tips on How to Avoid Becoming a Victim.”
The majority of crimes directed against foreign visitors, including U.S. citizens, involve pick-pocketing, residential break-ins, bicycle theft, and other forms of theft with minimal violence. However, as in any big city, robberies involving physical assault do occur in Paris and other major urban areas. Visitors to congested areas and known tourist sites (e.g., museums, monuments, train stations, airports, and subways) should be particularly attentive to their surroundings. Crimes against visitors are generally crimes of opportunity, though these crimes are more likely to involve violence on the street late at night or when the victim detects the theft and resists the criminal. As in any major city, women should exercise extra caution when out alone at night and/or consider traveling out at night with companions. In general, Paris taxis are safe and professionally operated, but there has been an increase in reported harassment and assaults on women by taxi drivers.
Caution is required throughout France when driving through economically depressed areas where there is a high incidence of “smash and grab” robberies. Thieves will approach a vehicle that is stopped in traffic, smash a window, reach into the vehicle to grab a purse or other valuable item, and then flee. Keep doors locked and valuables out of sight.
There is generally an increase in the number of residential break-ins in August, when most French residents take vacation, and in December. The majority are attributed to residents not using security measures already in place, including double-locking doors and locking windows. Home invasions are often preceded by phone calls to see if the resident is at home. Often thieves who manage to gain access to the apartment building will knock on apartment doors to see if anyone answers, offering the excuse they are taking a survey or representing a utility company.
PARIS: Crime in Paris is similar to that in most large cities. Violent crime is relatively uncommon in the city center, but women should exercise extra caution when out alone at night, and should consider traveling out at night with trusted companions. There has been an increase in reported sexual harassment, and sometimes assault, by taxi drivers.
Pickpockets are by far the most significant problem. In addition to purses and wallets, smart phones and small electronic devices are particular targets. In Paris, pickpockets are commonly children under the age of 16 because they are difficult to prosecute. Pickpockets are very active on the rail link (RER B) from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city center. Travelers may want to consider using a shuttle service or one of the express buses to central Paris rather than the RER. In addition, passengers on metro Line 1, which traverses the city center from east to west and services many major tourist sites, are often targeted. A common method is for one thief to distract the tourist with questions or disturbances, while an accomplice picks pockets, a backpack, or a purse. Schemes in Paris include asking if you would sign a petition or take a survey, and presenting a ring and asking if you dropped it. Thieves often time their pickpocket attempts to coincide with the closing of the automatic doors on the metro, leaving the victim secured on the departing train. Many thefts also occur at the major department stores (e.g., Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, and Le Bon Marché), where tourists may leave wallets, passports, and credit cards on cashier counters during transactions. Popular tourist sites are also popular with thieves, who favor congested areas to mask their activities. The crowded elevators at the Eiffel Tower, escalators at museums such as the Louvre, and the area surrounding Sacré Coeur Basilica in Montmartre are all favored by pickpockets and snatch-and-grab thieves.
There have been some instances of tourists being robbed and assaulted near less utilized metro stations. The area around the Moulin Rouge, known as Pigalle, requires extra security precautions to avoid becoming a victim. Pigalle is an adult entertainment area known for prostitution, sex shows, and illegal drugs. Unsuspecting tourists have run up exorbitant bar bills and been forced to pay before being permitted to leave. Other areas in Paris where extra security precautions are warranted after dark are Les Halles and the Bois de Boulogne.
PROVENCE ALPES MARITIMES (PACA) / LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON (Marseille, Montpellier, Perpignan, Carcassonne Avignon, Aix en Provence, Arles, Cannes, Nice): The PACA/Languedoc-Roussillon region enjoys a fairly low rate of violent crime directed at tourists. The most common problems in the region are thefts from cars (both stopped in traffic and parked) and from luggage trolleys at the major transportation hubs, including the Nice airport and railway stations in Marseille, Avignon, and Aix en Provence. Purse snatchings in transportation hubs are also a common problem.
The U.S. Consulate General in Marseille has noted an increase in holiday rental-home burglaries and in necklace snatching. Keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up at all times. Valuables should be hidden out of site to prevent snatch-and-grab attempts. Maintain visual contact with your car when visiting tourist sites, when using rest facilities at gas stations, or stopping to enjoy panoramic views, even for a short period as thieves will break windows to access items left in cars. Victims have reported break-ins within minutes of leaving an unattended car. Keep your passport in a separate location from other valuables.
Organized crime has increased in the south of France—especially in Marseille and Corsica, where feuding groups have been responsible for several recent violent incidents—and although U.S. citizens are not targeted, you should maintain awareness and keep emergency contact information on hand should you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
STRASBOURG: Strasbourg's historic center enjoys a fairly low rate of violent crime. Pickpockets and snatch-and-grab thieves tend to concentrate their efforts in the Petite France historic district popular with visitors.
BORDEAUX AND THE AQUITAINE, LIMOUSIN, AND POITOU-CHARENTES REGIONS: Bordeaux and other cities in southwest France are considered fairly safe. In cities and during popular festivals that draw huge crowds, you should be wary of pickpockets and other tourist-aimed crimes, especially near public transportation. Stolen purses, ID cards, and passports left in cars – particularly around renowned landmarks are common.
NOTE: Swimmers should be careful of strong riptides and swells in the Bordeaux area.
LYON: Although levels of violent crime are low, Lyon has a fair amount of petty crime and vandalism. Late-night weekend rowdiness is common in the center of town and in areas with night clubs. The city’s public transportation system is safe. To combat reckless and drunk drivers and prevent them from fleeing accident scenes, Lyon initiated 30 kilometer-per-hour zones in commercial districts, and the local police have increased controls for drunken driving. Police have also installed speed and red-light radar systems. The number of stolen passports and personal items in the district remains relatively low, and attacks are rare. Home break-ins have increased recently; according to the local news, there are 30-35 per day. Police response to sporadic armed robberies and violence is generally immediate and decisive. A recent wave of armed robberies in luxury goods stores and cash exchange businesses ended with the arrest of an organized gang of delinquents. Bicycle thefts are also a serious risk, as Lyon becomes increasingly bicycle-friendly and more people cycle around town.
NORMANDY: Break-ins and thefts from cars in the parking lots at the Normandy beaches and American cemeteries are common. Do not leave valuables unattended in a car. Locking valuables in the trunk is not an adequate safeguard as thieves often pry open car trunks to steal bags and other valuables.
RENNES: In general, the city of Rennes is relatively safe and secure, and crime rates throughout the consular district tend to be lower than in larger cities elsewhere. There are occasional crimes in the center of Rennes related to drunkenness and rowdy behavior, with the largest and most boisterous crowds tending to gather on Thursday nights in the area around Rue Saint Michel (a.k.a. “Rue de la Soif” or “Thirst Street”) and the adjacent Place Sainte Anne. The local authorities make security a priority. Tourists occasionally encounter theft of valuables and passports. Valuables left unattended in rental cars overnight, or for extended amounts of time, are particularly susceptible to theft. In particular, tourist sites around Brittany warn travelers against leaving expensive items in plain view in parked cars due to frequent vehicle break-ins. Do not leave luggage unattended on trains.
TOULOUSE AND THE MIDI-PYRENEES: Toulouse and the Midi-Pyrenees region are considered generally safe. Car theft, vehicle break-ins, petty theft, and burglary are the most common crimes, and they are relatively more frequent in areas near the railway station. Car-jacking and home invasions may occur, particularly in wealthier areas surrounding Toulouse. Home invasions usually target valuables and cars, but may include violence. Itinerant street people, often in groups accompanied by dogs, are increasingly prevalent in downtown Toulouse, particularly in warmer weather. While alcohol and drug abuse can make them unpredictable, incidents of crime are relatively rare.
Tips on How to Avoid Becoming a Victim: Common-sense security precautions will help you enjoy a trouble-free stay. Most problems can be avoided by being aware of one's surroundings and avoiding high-risk areas.
When going out, carry only essential items: ONE credit/ATM card, ONE piece of identification, and no more than €40-50. Avoid carrying high-value jewelry and large amounts of cash. Valuables should be kept out of sight and in places difficult for thieves to reach, such as internal coat pockets or in pouches hung around the neck or inside clothes. Shoulder bags and wallets in back pockets are an invitation to a thief.
Keep photocopies of travel documents and credit cards separate from the originals, along with key telephone numbers to contact banks for credit card replacement. Raise your awareness level while in crowded elevators, escalators, and metro cars. When possible, take a seat or stand against a wall to deter pickpockets and try to maintain a 360-degree awareness of the surrounding area.
Carry only a purse that zips closed and ensure that it is carried under the arm and slightly in front of the body. Swing backpack-type purses around so that they are slightly in front of your body. Carry your wallet in a front pocket. While on foot, remain aware of your surroundings at all times and keep bags slung across your body and away from the street.
Many U.S. citizens have had purses or bags stolen from the back of a chair or from under the table while in cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs/bars, including higher end establishments. Again, keep your valuables with you and never leave them unattended or out of your sight. Do not leave valuables in hotel rooms. If you must leave valuables in the hotel, consider using the hotel safe.
Thieves often operate in groups and often come to each other's aid if confronted. If a thief is caught in the act, a simple pick-pocketing could turn into an assault (or worse) if you attempt to capture the thief. You can shout out for police assistance to attract attention, but do not pursue the thief.
Do not use ATMs in isolated, poorly lighted areas or where loiterers are present. Be especially alert to persons standing close enough to see the Personal Identification Number (PIN) being entered into the machine. Thieves often conduct successful scams by simply watching the PIN as it is entered and then stealing the card from the user in some other location. If your card gets stuck in an ATM, immediately report the incident to both the local bank and your bank at home.
Many theft and assault victims are targeted when making their way home from a late night out after drinking alcohol. If you go out late at night, do so with a group of friends. There is safety in numbers.
Use only authorized taxis. Authorized taxis in Paris have the following equipment:
There has been an increase in sexual harassment and assault of women by taxi drivers in recent years. Women may want to consider having another individual walk them to a taxi and, in plain view of the driver, note the license number of the vehicle, or call a friend while in the taxi and communicate the license number. Letting the driver know that others are aware of your trip and the license number of the taxi may reduce the chances of becoming a victim.
Avoid public parks after dark, as they are often frequented by drug dealers and prostitutes.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
Although the local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime, consular officers can help you understand the local criminal justice process and can direct you to local attorneys.
If you have been the victim of a pick-pocket and would like to report your items lost or stolen please see our Guide for Reporting Lost or Stolen Items. For more serious crimes, compensation is available under French law to victims of crime committed on French soil under certain circumstances. Read our information on victims of crime for more information, including possible victim-compensation programs in the United States.
The European equivalent to the U.S. 911 emergency line is 112. Non-French speakers may experience a delay while an English speaker is located. Alternatively, one can call French emergency numbers specific to the type of incident: 17 (police emergency); 18 (fire department/paramedics); and 15 (medical emergency/paramedic team/ambulance).
We also maintain information on our website on where to get help in instances of child abuse.
For private legal matters, commercial disputes, tourist, trade, or property complaints, refer to the Department of State’s
information on retaining a foreign attorney. Consular staff is prohibited from providing legal representation or guidance, but we can refer you to French law directories,
bar associations, or other organizations for assistance. You can also refer to our list of attorneys in France.
Back to Top
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in France, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Individuals who hold U.S. and French or Monegasque citizenship should be aware that local authorities may treat you as solely French or Monegasque. Criminal penalties vary from country to country, and there are some things that might be legal in France or Monaco, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy counterfeit or pirated goods in another country. Engaging in sexual conduct with minors or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is also a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you commit a crime in another country, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Persons violating French or Monegasque laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in France and Monaco are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. For legal assistance in France or Monaco, refer to this list of attorneys.
If you use any of France’s excellent public transportation services, take particular care to retain your used or “validated” ticket. Inspectors conduct intermittent, random checks, and passengers who fail to present the correct validated ticket for their journey are subject to stiff and immediate fines. Inspectors may show no interest in explanations and no sympathy for an honest mistake. Failure to cooperate with inspectors can result in arrest.
If arrested: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested
in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances,
request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained.
Back to Top
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: There are strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from France of items such as firearms, antiquities, medications, business equipment, sales samples, and other items. You should contact the Embassy of France or one of France's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please see our Customs Information.
Note on the French Foreign Legion: U.S. citizens interested in joining the French Foreign Legion should be aware that the cognitive and physical tests to join are extremely challenging. Legionnaire candidates should ensure that they have access to sufficient funds to return home should their candidature be refused.
ACCESSIBILITY: In France, accessibility and accommodation for individuals with disabilities are very different from what you find in the United States. French law requires that any new building with public or community space and any existing public building be accessible for persons with disabilities. However, many existing buildings, as well as transportation systems, do not yet meet these requirements.
Getting around in French cities may be difficult at times. Many sidewalks are narrow and uneven, and cobblestone streets make access difficult, but the major tourist areas have better facilities. Although the Paris Metro is a very efficient method for traveling throughout central Paris, most stations are not readily accessible for people with disabilities. Very few stations have elevators and most have stairways and long corridors for changing trains or exiting to the street. However, many Parisian buses and tramways are equipped with lowering platforms for travelers with limited-mobility, or who are sight- or hearing-disabled. Taxis are also a good mode of transportation.
An English-language Paris Visitors Bureau website and a French-language, government-sponsored website contain additional information and include links to a downloadable local transportation map specifically designed for travelers with special mobility needs. There are many other resources available on the internet
for disabled persons traveling to, or living in, France. For further information, e-mail any of our consular offices.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care is comparable to that found in the United States. In an emergency, dial 15 to connect to emergency medical services. You can also dial the Europe-wide emergency response number 112 to reach an operator for all kinds of emergency services (similar to the U.S. 911 system). Non-French speakers may experience a delay while an English speaker is located. For non-emergency medical assistance in France, you may refer to this list of medical professionals.
You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Back to Top
MEDICAL INSURANCE: You cannot assume that your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave. You should ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctor and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t cover you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
NOTE: The U.S. Social Security Medicare Program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United
Back to Top
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in France and Monaco, you may encounter road conditions that are very different from those in the United States.
Roads in France are generally comparable to those in the United States, but traffic engineering and driving habits pose special dangers. Lane markings and sign placements may not be clear. Drivers should be prepared to make last-minute maneuvers. French drivers typically drive more aggressively and faster than U.S. drivers, and tend to exceed posted speed limits. Right-of-way rules in France differ from those in the United States. Drivers entering intersections from the right have priority over those on the left (unless specifically indicated otherwise), even when entering relatively large boulevards from small side streets. While many newer traffic circles have yield signs, some intersections do not, and still require traffic in the circle to cede the right-of-way to incoming traffic from the right.
On major highways, there are service stations at least every 25 miles. Service stations are not as common on secondary roads in France as they are in the United States. Paris has an extensive and efficient public transportation system. The interconnecting system of buses, subways, and commuter rails serves more than four million people a day with a safety record comparable to, or better than, the systems of major U.S. cities. Similar transportation systems are found in all major French cities. Between cities, France has an equally extensive rail service, which is safe and reliable. High-speed rail links connect the major cities in France. Many cities are also served by frequent air service. Traveling by train is safer than driving.
Pedestrians make up 13 percent of the deaths in motor vehicle accidents in France (roughly the same as in the United States), but this percentage is increasing. Most of these accidents occur when a pedestrian steps out onto the street, often when a car or motorcycle is making a turn through a pedestrian crosswalk. Pedestrians should be cautious even when they have a green walking signal since this is no guarantee against aggressive drivers.
While Paris, Marseille, Lyon, and other French cities actively encourage bicycle rentals through widely available city-sponsored systems, you should be cautious about this means of transportation, especially in a busy and unfamiliar urban environment. Helmets are neither required nor readily available near rental stations. If you plan to ride a bicycle in France, you should bring your own helmet.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the French National Tourist Office’s website for specific information on French driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance. See
Embassy Paris’ Driving in France webpage for information on using U.S. driver’s licenses in France.
Back to Top
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of France's Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of France's air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA's safety assessment page.
* * *
Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Monaco for additional information.
This replaces the Country Specific Information for France dated July 27, 2012