Document de Circulation pour Etranger Mineur

Hi All,

Having finally received our 10 year Cartes de Sejour for my husband and I (both British) a few months ago, I have been trying to obtain a DCEM card for our daughter who is 3, to allow her to eventually travel to the UK and back without need for a visa to reenter France.

The Beauvais Prefecture site states that a “simplified” online procedure is in place and there is no need to make an appointment or go to the Prefecture (which is 35kms each way from us). Happy days ! (I thought).

So I duly filled out the form, attaching all the documents where requested and submitted it. It was eventually rejected by email saying I hadn’t submitted all the requested documents. So I looked further and found a longer list of required documents including recent photos of my daughter, her birth certificate, timbres fiscaux, justifications of domicile and plenty of other things that hadn’t been requested in the online form.

I went back on to try again, assuming I had missed a page that would allow me to attach all these other documents including the 50€ timbre fiscal I had bought online. However, having VERY carefully filled it out and arrived at the end, there is definitiely nowhere to attach anything other than my passport, her passport, justification that she’s in school and our mariage certificate with translation.

The Prefecture site will not allow you to make an appointment and it says not to turn up without one. I have tried phoning the number for general advice on administrative matters but they are ‘too busy to respond’ according to the recording. After going round in circles, I have filled out an email form which they will take up to 5 days to respond to… I’ve pretty much lost hope that we’ll be able to travel to the UK and back in the next 3 or 4 months (Covid situation permitting) without a visa (I havent even started looking at how to obtain that yet!!) and I can’t find a trace of anyone with a similar problem to what seems should be a simple affair.

So I’m hoping that someone out there on SFN has some experience and can point me in the right direction! Thanks in advance for any help or advice.


I thought this was only needed if the child was travelling overseas alone, which your 3 year old clearly will not be!


Exactly, only for unaccompanied children, if parents are travelling too there’s no need (been travelling for the last 14+ years with mine no problem) :wink:

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Thanks for confirming that Andrew, I was going to go and look it up!

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Not sure how Brexit could have changed anything (mine have dual nationality but only French ID and as yet non of us have travelled since Brexit) But surely if the parents have cartes de séjour then that covers the kids or do the kids need them too, Tory?

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This was the information given by the Beauvais Prefecture as being the requirement post Brexit ( given both verbally when we first applied for our Cartes de Sejour a couple of years back and again by mail after I rechecked with them more recently )… can someone point me towards where I may find some text on the requirements as I have looked all over (French and UK gouvernment websites) without finding any mention - which I did find odd

I was told very clearly by my Prefecture that my daughter, as a British citizen and passport holder, though born in France is NOT covered by our CDS

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Have just found this link:

Avec quels documents un mineur étranger peut-il sortir de France ? (,pour%20%C3%A9tranger%20mineur%20(DCEM).)

Which states that for a non-EU child travelling with their parents, in order to avoid needing a visa upon reentry to France :

“Attention: Pour rentrer en France sans avoir à demander de visa, le mineur doit être muni d’un [document de circulation pour étranger mineur (DCEM)]”

No they can’t apply for a CDS until nearing their 18th birthday UNLESS they are working / paid apprentice then they can apply at 16 so all being well (finding a patron) my middle son will have his next May.

This is correct.

Gosh just reading through the page regarding the card there is no mention of it being only if they are travelling alone, so perhaps this has changed since I looked into it:
Document de circulation pour étranger mineur (DCEM) |


That’s a good link, @toryroo . quite clear what one has to do… and the document lasts for 5 years…

here’s the English version… just in case folk need to double check…

Which is fine, but I have been going round in circles from this very link, since, as explained in the original post, we are supposed to be able to apply online, but can’t (for reasons I have given, their site does not allow you to attach all the required documents), neither can we make an appointment, nor contact them by phone…

I think we are just going to have to bite the bullet, take a print out of all the docs to the Prefecture without an appointment and throw ourselves on the mercy of the reception staff to let us in and accept the dossier


Sounds like a good plan, OR send registered post, then you have a ‘proof’. Do let us know how you get on.

Will do!

No doubt though that the process will take so long that it will be ages before we can go see the grandparents in the UK and I still can’t find the right place to get a visa for a holiday and return to France rather than a request to bring a child to rejoin family in France (in case we want to travel before obtaining the DCEM…)

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Is there a France Services near you? They might be able to solve this.

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I didn’t know about them, they look great and one only 15 minutes away from me!

Ooh, yes! One in my local town, incredible! Had no idea this existed

Frankly, I’d do just that… get the dossier together and head on down…

Do feedback if they are any good… I know one person who had her bag stolen and they sorted all the replacement card and documents in a single visit, but have not used them ourselves. Ours is in local medical centre and I have never seem anyone there!

Yep, resigned to the fact; all printed and ready to go Stella.

But with 2 businesses to run, summer holiday madness in full swing and a 3 year old in tow, its yet one more super frustrating example of a “simplified” French administrative service that doesn’t work at all.

I don’t know why I’m still pleasantly delighted to find an online ‘demarche’ or rediculously disappointed when it fails… should know better by now!!!

Have just called (open Monday to Friday and from 13h30 in the afternoons - its a miracle! :slight_smile: ), the lady was very helpful, will call back with an appointment, hopefully very soon and they will try to help us with the online application before having to make the trip to Beauvais if they don’t succeed. Fingers crossed!