Classic cars and the Certificate of Conformity

Paul, You WERE lucky! You can indeed have a "modern" car CT'd if the K section of the UK log book has a number, but the French Government website still demands a physical certificate of conformity & they are the people who make the rules. Incidentally, if one wishes to import a car INTO the UK you also need a European C of C & the rest of the paperwork is even more complicated. In fact, the French system seems to be the simplest in Europe!

Here is the extract from the Government web site Service

Justificatifs techniques de conformité :

  • pour un véhicule conforme à un type communautaire :

    • soit le certificat d'immatriculation le spécifiant,

    • soit le certificat de conformité européen original (l'original restitué par les autorités du pays dans lequel était immatriculé le véhicule ou le duplicata du certificat délivré par le constructeur ou son représentant dans le pays ou la copie du certificat certifiée conforme par les autorités du pays),

    • soit une attestation d'identification à un type communautaire ;

  • pour un véhicule conforme à un type national : une attestation d'identification du véhicule délivrée par le constructeur ou son représentant en France ou par la Direction régionale de l'environnement, de l'aménagement et du logement (Dreal) compétente si le constructeur ne peut pas la fournir ;

  • pour les autres véhicules : un procès-verbal de réception à titre isolé établi par la Dreal compétente (que vous devez contacter pour connaître la liste des documents à fournir et pour prendre rendez-vous afin que votre véhicule soit examiné).


A friend recently imported a '74 Spider, ex California, with no problem. We have covered the need for the FFVE in 2010. As a vehicle which is 30 years old or more all you have to do is send a couple of photos & a completed application form with a small cheque & they will send you the necessary certificate to enable you to register your car. It is really very simple. No C of C necessary.

My 1959 Reo Army truck was never sold new anywhere & wth a 7.8 litre multi fuel engine with unsilenced turbo (crew must wear ear defenders) it would not conform to any EU codes - emissions depended on what fuel or mix of fuels used & the noise level, er, well. My FFVE certificate soon had it registered here, no problem!

Today my new project arrived, same rules apply, I hope!

It is a few years since I first showed my “B” to SF - Now sold and it went to the CZ Replublic where it is undergoing another total restoration and a change of colour - which I think is a bit sad.

Now have another ready to import but RHD drive this time.

I had a devil of a job trying to get my 1981 Honda CB 750 custom registered here in France because it was a jap import into England & only made for the US & Jap market. The Drire (I think it was ) made me get a cert. of European conformity so I wrote to Honda in Paris blah blah... After about a year of toing & froing I finally got it registered as a Honda RCO46 whatever that is. By then I had lost the will to live & was happy to accept anything. my question is :- If this reference is not correct can I ask for it to be changed back to a CB750 as it is now 30 + years old? The original request was made when the bike was about 23 years old.

I'll report back on my dealings with FFVE.

Hi Geoff; The car will be in Nice - close to its birthplace. Of course the next challenge will be finding a good mechanic even though I do most of work myself. Where are you?



when I imported my US spec FIAT 124 Spider into France, I had to get it looked at by the department de MINES.

This is because this model was never sold in France. The department de Mines passed it after some mods to the lights and this document replaced the need for a certificat de conformitie.

The MINES is called something else now but every deparment has one.

Let me know if you have any specific questions and I will dig out my old paperwork



Hi Geoff,

Thanks, but I posted that a few years ago now - the Fiat was registered, enjoyed and now - sadly - has been sold to make way for house renovations... :'-(

But it's worth noting again for vehicles over 30 years you don't *have* to get a CofC from the manufacturer - the FFVE will do it, and they're usually (if not always?) cheaper. At least that was certainly the case 4 years ago, it probably hasn't changed.

I just imported a 1966 FIAT 500 from Italy into France and getting the certiicat de conformitie is both essential and no problem. It cost about 150€ from FIAT France. You will definatly need it and if you cannot find the address, just let me know and I will dig out may papers and let ou know.
Which part of Fance are you in?

Greg: Timely - I'm going to Retromobile this week so will stop-by these folks - thanks. The main differences for US vs EU Alfa of this vintage was indeed the emissions - we had FI vs carbs {less poluting] and additional crash "protection" [token reinforcement on bumpers]. ANyway I will talk to the folks at FFVE.


Glad you have it sorted, good news. Like many things here, it is a bit of a lottery. CofC came into play in Mid 96. I have registered 4 now, all Volvo’s . 3 were too old for CofC so Volvo ‘sold’ me a Letter of Conformity, Volvo France that was. It worked though circa 113€ a pop! More recently I re-reged 2004 Volvo. CofC at 145€… But then my CT man said no need on this as Rubrique K is complete. Look on your log book, section K.
I queried this with Volvo who said there was no way that the prefecture will issue without a CofC. Anyhow, I went for it and I bow have th CG, plates on & Rubrique K is indeed recorded on it…
I wet back to Volvo and politely told them their advice was incorrect only to be told ‘You were very lucky M.Clark’ ! Lol.

Depends on the car. I was strongly advised against doing that with a Jaguar XJ-S as they had to alter them significantly for the US market, particularly around emissions regs and the like, so getting them back to EU spec is not trivial. In the end I bought a LHD Japanese one that was already here as apparently the exports for Asia weren't modified.

That said, 1974, might be early enough that none of that applies. If it's basically the exact same car as the one sold in Europe at the time, no mods for the US market, you shouldn't have a problem.

And these guys will almost certainly be cheaper than Alfa for the CofC:

Has anyone imported a non-EU registered classic car into France? I have a 1974 Alfa Romeo that I want to move from US to France. Been told by my French insurance company that Alfa France [aka Fiat] will issue a CofC - for a fee, but having read the above I wonder what value it will be. I don't believe there will be any mods required since car is LHD. ANy sage advice welcome.


Latest info from my military vehicle club, MVCG Dordogne, is that the need to CT classic cars will soon be abolished - provided the paper gets voted through!

Spring has sprung today in Brittany so someone must be tempted to buy my MG. I have two and unfortunately cannot drive them both.

You'd think, but apparently there's a thriving market for LHD cars in Japan, because it's 'exotic' and prestigious... ! Crazy. I wouldn't buy a sportscar with the wheel on the wrong side, it would drive me nuts, but they do.

I don't have it any more, but this one was definitely built for the Japanese market, because all the engine bay stickers were in Japanese, the fuel type notices inside the filler cap, the warnings around the battery tray in the boot, plus a full Japanese manual and Jaguar Japan service history. (Working out the years was fun!) So they do actually build LHD cars for Japan because the wealthy Japanese prefer them. But you're right in so far as they probably don't need to alter the spec any, so apart from the warning stickers and the book they must be identical, hence no trouble with a CoC. =)

Oops should learn to read, address my question to Graham then,i served my time at MG until tempted away on a parallel universe had a workshop full of bits and pieces but let them go for a pittance due to the cost of transporting them here,i now have a similar problem trying to register two motorcycles made well before CofC came into being

Hi Greg,

Your lhd XJS was probably a car built for the EU market to begin with - cars built for the Japanese market would be rhd, of course.

Yup, same difference I think, Geoff. But this all happened a while ago and in the end the FFVE were cheaper than Fiat France.

There's also another body who deal with this - I totally forget their name, but a friend of mine found their office in Nîmes ... I'm sure I can dig it out. They can do *most* modern cars (sub-20 years) and it's more like €30 instead of €150! Only downside is you have to show up so they can look the car over, but my friend did it twice, with an MGF and a Ford Mondeo, and both times it was no trouble and a fraction of the cost of paying MG/Ford for letters. If I can find the details I'll post. Come to think of it, I think they did our 1999 Mini 1300. I'm pretty sure it's government run...

(Coincidentally, Hugh, if you read this - I tried to get the XJS by them, but they wouldn't look at it for some reason, hence having to go to Jag France for that one.)

It's not my B, it's Graham's... I've never had a B, though I've looked at a few and been tempted! =D