Carte Grise for 1968 Tractor and Insurance for Caravans, Ride-on Mowers etc

Hi - I have just bought a house in France and I am having problems completing the change of ownership documents for our 1968 Zetor Tractor which came with the house.

I have the certificat d’immatriculation from when it was purchased by the previous owner in 1975 and the completed certificat de cession. I originally tried to do the change of ownership paperwork through FranceConnect but gave up due to difficulties logging on (I am new to France and don’t have a social security number/tax number etc yet). I was unable to obtain a Certificat de Situation Administrative for the tractor as the Ministry of Justice website didn’t recognise the number plate of the tractor.

I then approached one of the accredited professional companies who will do this for a fee and sent off the paperwork requested. They have just informed me that they can not process it as the vehicle has a short serial number and their system doesn’t recognise it, so they are refunding me. Due to its age the tractor doesn’t actually have a vehicle identification number (VIN)/serial number so in this box I put down the ‘No. de Fabric’ which is a five digit number. The only other option I can see is the ‘No. du Moteur’ which is 4 digits followed by a slash and then another 5 digits. Does anyone have any ideas please of what I should do in this situation?

Also, am I right in thinking that if you have a tractor which is only used on your land and not taken onto the public road you don’t need vehicle insurance for it?


It is probably a vehicule de collection, statut particulier if so. You do have to insure it, but only under your responsabilité civile I think.

You certainly do have to insure it- just like folk with ride-on mowers. Anything motorised needs Insurance. Check with your local Agent and get whatever cover suits your situation.

Regarding Registration - it does sound as if you have acquired a Collection tractor… although I do not see why it cannot be registered with an updated immatriculation number.

If the Carte Grise is genuine, it must still be on their computers somewhere. Does the number plate match the detail on the Carte Grise??

Anyway, FFVE are the folk who deal with Collection vehicles. Check out their website. They are taking a while to sort through the pile of requests though, so be prepared to wait.

Thanks for the replies Veronique & Stella.

In answer to Stella’s question the tractor does not have a number plate attached to it. I do have a receipt from the police from when it registered by the last proprietor in 1975 which has the same immatriculation number as showing on the Carte Grise so don’t have any reason to believe the Carte Grise has the wrong number on it.

I did have a look at the FFVE and registering it as a collection vehicle but I am not sure that would address my problem as after getting a certificate from them I still need to apply for a carte grise with ANTS I understand? Also though it is my husbands pride and joy it is pretty clapped out and showing everyone of its years.

Can I just clarify the insurance situation please. I do have responsabilite civile under my house insurance which I thought would cover the situation as the tractor is only used on our land and not on public roads but are you saying that to meet legal requirements I need to have specific insurance for the tractor?
Many thanks.

Hello Poppy.

Re Insurance - you will need to inform your Insurance Company about the Tractor. They will probably/possibly take a copy of the Carte Grise even though it is not yet in your name… and they will arrange the insurance for you (possibly just by adding it to the Policy with no extra charge).

Re Immatriculation. I don’t know anything about tractors.
FFVE I believe provide the necessary documents so that the change can be done. Once you have these docs, come back on the Forum and someone will point you in the right direction depending where you live. There will possibly either be a “free connection point” or someone who charges only a small fee. (I’ve heard of one in Perigueux who charges 25€).

All things are surmountable, but most important is to be covered by Insurance with immediate effect.

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Thanks Stella - really appreciate the advice.

If you want to use it on the road you will need to register it. As Stella says the FFVE will be able to provide the necessary attestation. When you have that you need to find someone who can offer this service.
Preferably a garagiste, preferably english speaking, preferably one who has registered vehicles with an FFVE certificate.
I might know of someone…:wink:


Stella took the words out of my mouth :smiley:

“certainly do have to insure it- just like folk with ride-on mowers. Anything motorised needs Insurance. Check with your local Agent and get whatever cover suits your situation”

Not sure this is an accurate statement.
I have a ride on mower and an ancient tractor - 1962 and still an excellent runner with carte gris in my name.
Before retiring I cut grass for clients and transported my ride on via a trailer. My old tractor only works within my property.
I use Aviva assurance here in France and thier agent is extremely good and knowledgeable.
When using my ride on for clients I was told it had to be insured which I did. Now it is used for my garden only and I am told insurance is not a requirement however if it were stolen or damaged in any way obviously it would be my loss. I am also advised that household insurance ie contents etc would not cover it. My agent clearly states that in these circumstances insurance is not obligatory.
How many ride on mowers are there in France and how many are not insured and therefore breaking the law?
As for my old tractor which we affectionately call"Tulip" my agent advises that ONLY if I take it on public roads do l need to insure it.
I have every confidence that my insurance agent is giving me sound advise but if anyone can provide legal text that ride ons or anything else “motorised” and used within the confines of ones own property should be insured then I would be pleased to see it.

I am very surprised that your Insurer reckons Insurance (of whatever level of coverage) is unnecessary for the tractor and mower

Are you sure they are not actually listed within your Household Policy? (public liability or whatever)
virtually everything motorised/self propelling with 4 wheels etc needs some sort of insurance…

This is an example…

Obligation légale d’assurer une tondeuse autoportée

Depuis 2004, la 2ème chambre civile de la Cour de Cassation a unifié la jurisprudence et décidé que la tondeuse autoportée était un véhicule terrestre à moteur soumis à l’assurance automobile obligatoire.

I agree John. Something I’ve noted and believe has actually contributed to Brexit is the British (one might say anal) desire to adhere to the letter of law or even the perceived letter of the law which is not shared by most of Europe (well the nice places to live anyway). Flexibility and a degree of ambiguity is the lubricant that keeps the show on the road.


Ok, I see the extract but not sure if it goes far enough as does not qualify whether it refers to public or private use.
I still maintain that the vast majority of ride ons owned here are not insured and do not need to be.
I will speak with my agent in the morning for clarification.

Hi John… I know the subject was thrashed out maybe a couple of years ago. The Law dates from 2004.

Here is the specific bit - saying it doesn’t matter whether or not the mower goes on public or private land - it still needs the insurance.

L’assurance responsabilité civile automobile obligatoire

Peu importe que la tondeuse autoportée circule ou non sur une voie publique ou privée, elle est soumise à l’ obligation légale de souscrire une assurance dite « au tiers » au même titre qu’une voiture (articles L. 211-1 et suivants du Code des assurances).

I suppose you also need to carry a red triangle, Gilet and breathalyser as well :roll_eyes:
Oh, and don’t forget the yellow rotating light in case your myopic pussy wanders into its path :rofl:


Flexibility and ambiguity are great until you find yourself in trouble


Hi everyone, one of my business associate is working in the farming industry (well his familly is) so he knows the topic pretty well, he himself owns a 1962 tractor and therefore he knows how to register one but told me that changing the owner isn’t complex at all. What makes the matter complex in your case is that you cannot use France Connect, the only sound advise is to wait until you can use France Connect otherwise you’ll be chasing your tail.

On the topic of the insurance I confirm that it is mandatory to get it insured even if that’s only for the public liability.


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It’s definitely a skill Patricia and can even be useful when one finds oneself in trouble.

I guess that would be on the house/farm policy not a motor policy Fabien?

Unfortunately no John, except if this is a “micro tracteur” (less than a 1000kg) like a sit-on mower but “regular” tractors need to get their own insurance.

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