Low emission zones in France
France has implemented environmental zones called « Zones à Circulation Restreinte (ZRC) » which describes areas with a restricted traffic ability and visible through specific panels.
25 cities (generally including suburbs) have announced to follow this initiative. The permission to drive in an environmental zone « ZRC » is achieved by purchasing an Air Quality Certificate called "Crit’Air". This certificate which promotes cleaner vehicles is a round sticker which certifies the vehicle's environmental class based on pollutant emissions. The local authority decides what kind of Crit’Air category is allowed to enter the environmental zone. Check if your city is concerned.
Be aware : The French environmental badge is also mandatory for vehicles registered abroad.
Depending on local decisions using a certificate can offer some advantages. For example parking advantages, or when there are high pollution levels and local authorities introduce differentiated traffic measures.
The badge is available for cars, motorcycles, buses and coaches... through a dedicated website. The amount is approx. 4,80 euro (including shipping fees). Get your certificate ! Did you order the badge last minute? The proof of payment will serve as proof. It will allow you to circulate even if you have not yet received the certificate.
Notice : Older vehicles covered by less stringent emission standards are not eligible for a certificate.