How Easy Can That Be in France?

From the latest Lettre Service-Public

Apply for a vehicle registration document, apply for RSA, fill out your income tax return on the internet … Do you need help to apply online? Would digital support make your life easier? Less than 30 minutes from your home, France Services agents welcome you and support you for all your daily administrative procedures within a one-stop-shop for public services.
Where can you find France services near you?

You will find the contact details and timetables for the France services closest to you among the 1304 currently labeled on the campaign page or the interactive France services map. You can do a search by entering your address, the name of your town or its postal code.

Note: In 2022, more than 2,000 France services will be deployed throughout France.
What services are offered and for what procedures?

France services is a one-stop-shop which gives access in one place to the main public service organizations: public finance, the Family Allowance Fund (CAF), Sickness Insurance, Pension Insurance, the Ministry of 'Interior, Pôle Emploi, La Poste, Mutualité sociale agricole (MSA) and the Ministry of Justice.

Some examples of services offered:
Help with administrative procedures: help you get your registration card or apply for the activity bonus, for example.
Job search: assist you in producing CVs and cover letters, guide you in using the site.
Reimbursement of care: direct you to the use of the site and the mobile application.
Preparation for retirement: create your personal space, simulate your benefits, submit or withdraw your file on the internet.
Dealing with a dispute or a conflict: provide you with an initial reception and direct you to a local system in terms of access to the law or to a legal professional.

In addition to this base of services, users benefit from local partnerships forged between France Services and local support structures: local mission, CCAS or even access to digital initiation workshops for users.

To meet your individual situation, various services are provided in the scope of services offered by the public services that are partners in the program (tax situation, health, family, retirement, employment, identity documents, etc.):

general information on the procedures proposed by the operators (answers to questions, support for day-to-day administrative procedures such as the income statement, management of withholding tax, renewal of identity papers, driving license and gray card …);
digital support to promote learning and develop its uses (creation of an e-mail address, printing or scanning of documents necessary for the constitution of administrative files, creation of your identifiers to access the online public service. …);
assistance with online procedures (browsing operator sites, simulation of allowances, online request for documents, etc.);
consulting services for the resolution of complex cases by relying on correspondents within the network of partners.

Beyond the administrative formalities, you also have access to self-service computer stations.
Who is accompanying you?

On site, at least two trained agents welcome you to assist you in your daily administrative procedures.
Some recommendations before you travel

For most procedures, it is necessary to have an email address: remember to bring your username and your email password if you already have one. If you don’t have one, no problem, you will be accompanied to create a personal email address.

Depending on your procedures, it is useful to have some of your identifiers (CAF beneficiary numbers, social security number, Pôle Emploi identifier number) or certain documents: vital card, tax notice, latest pay slips, a CV on paper or USB key …

If you have a question about the proposed procedures or the papers necessary to carry them out, contact the France services closest to you directly by going to the interactive France services map.


A friend of ours lost her handbag with all her papers etc. They sorted it for her in one visit…


That sounds pretty amazing. I have to say when we arrived in France 6 months ago, I was concerned because of all the stories about the awful bureaucracy here, but we have been pleasantly surprised at the efficiency and helpful attitudes of all the admin types we have dealt with. We have managed to get a French bank account, CdS, numéro fiscale, CPAM, and certificat d’immatriculation provisoire for the vehicle and now all that remains is our first tax return. Maybe it’s time to see how France Services can help with that!


I would actually agree with that @anon3065310 and suspect that some of the people who complain about French beaurocracy haven’t tangled with some of the British stuff recently. The only difficulty I have experienced is that things can take quite a while but the administrators are generally incredibly patient and helpful…


Perhaps it’s because we have lived most of our lives in Africa where bureaucracy can take on a whole different meaning. Some of our experiences make the French system a real pleasure to deal with.

That makes a lot of sense. If you’ve lived all your life in the UK, never filled in a tax return because of PAYE and either not had any health issues or they’ve all been decided by the medics then France can come as a massive shock :smiley: After running a business in the UK for many years, the sheer relief of never having to deal with HMRC, ISO standards, health and safety legislation or employment law issues is absolutely wonderful :rofl:

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I do agree that the personnel that one encounters are very helpful [in intent] and pleasant to deal with. The only individual that was not so - by some margin, was my first MT. Thank goodness I have transferred to an excellent Dr who has a charming secretary with whom I swap nonsense in Spanish.

The actual systems with which they are engaged and have to work with are a different matter, in my experience.

I rocked up to an RV at St. Lo hospital, for cardio scans. Very friendly people told me that, as a new patient, it couldn’t be done there. I must go to Coutance.

A 30 min drive to Coutance and the pleasant and helpful people there were amazed that St Lo had sent me because they had no such cardio scanning facility at their hospital!

I’ve never had that sort of problem in all the time I’ve been here, Chris - I think they may have seen you coming :rofl:
Mind you - I’ve never tried the services in St Lo - both the public and private hospitals in Avranches have been very good :smiley:

The upside was that my new Dr, after getting this story, decided not to bother with scans. A swap of medication to the recipe whipped up by my UK GP, which did the trick last time I had Fat Leg, has saved me the RV and the subsequent bill.

I was a bit surprised that the administration of my jab yesterday is chargeable.

Ah, it sounds as though you are not running a business here, but I can totally understand how you feel about UK.
The threat of an IR 35 investigation was always hanging over heads, even though we were not paying ourselves huge dividends and a small salary.
It is quite ridiculous that the government thinks that it can attract the best brains on the small salaries they pay. People who work for themselves and are able to think independently are now being put off from working for themselves.

No indeed - a certain referendum put the final nail in the coffin of that! My partner has been running a business here but no more - difficult to get new clients in a pandemic :smiley:

That is interesting indeed - was it at the doctor’s? If so, it should be CPAM refundable

It was at the Dr’s.

I was given the ‘brown form’ - and left it on the seat in the waiting room after the 15 min ‘reaction time’ sit.

I have had no reaction at all. My Spanish friend recommended a lie down and paracetamol. I sent him this, after the obligatory appero of slurps of white while cooking. He was horrified. Nesh lot, the Spanish.

Steer clear of that grated parmesan in a pack. Tastes of nothing so much as candle wax.

That was your means to recover payment Chris…

Yess, I do know about these yer brown forms. The last batch - 3 x 25€ Dr RVs - produced the princely refund in sum of 19€.

Angel Railton has been very kind and explained, with examples, the way it all works. It’s all in the percentages, it seems. The only way to get it all back is to have a mute at 537%… :thinking:

It’s not QUITE that bad, Chris :rofl:

Chat to @fabien and make his wallet happy…

Oh Gawd! Must I? I just sold my flat in Valencia. I was hoping there’d be enough over from making Fabien’s wallet happy to buy somewhere to live.

Mind you, 9 out of 13 on my faves list disappeared in a week. Parisians invading 14/50.

There will be plenty left, Chris - don’t panic - not having a mutuelle is almost certainly costing you more than having one , although that will probably improve after the first swathe of appointments is over, but still…

Well done about the flat :clap:

and Fairtrade Chocolotae from Llidl mmmmmmmm