Video Doorbells in France

This may not be the right forum, seems like a general interest thing, but anyway...

I was wondering about any regs in France relating to video doorbells. I have a vague memory that you're not allowed to point the camera at the street, but maybe it doesn't apply where you push a button to activate the camera?

I found one after reading an article in a magazine about the Ring Video Doorbell, but then this blog post pretty much puts the khybosh on that. Alternatively, there's the french solution from NovoSIP which sounds intriguing - and which would kind of imply that they aren't illegal here.

Has anyone tried these systems and have any recommendations/warnings to share?


It's a good point, Brian. The obvious difference would be a flashing light on the gatepost, but that's about it. Nothing else will change.

As for people reporting us, I think we're probably safe enough. There are others who have done things in the last few years without obvious déclaration de travaux notices. The gate in question was installed by a builder while we were away in Germany, and they took care of such matters. Their method was to declare nothing, and then do it afterwards if anyone said anything. Nobody did, and they/we got away with it. Again nothing much changed, the position of the gate was the same as the previous normal opening gates.

Our neighbours at the time told us that we shouldn't have been allowed to do it, and that because of local elections various eyes were off the ball. But then these neighbours tended to have glasses that were three quarters empty.

I agree, but where there are people who see then 'report' things (the people mentioned have a councillor next door) anything is possible. It seems silly to me, but then why would the people who had it done have been done? On the other hand, it was the old maire who probably had his own regime, but then that is a hazard everywhere, as we all know.

Surely just motorising an existing (sliding) gate wouldn't need any kind of permission? The visual aspects wouldn't change, and, in any case, who's going to notice?

If you motorise the gate don't forget the planning permission. The second home owners a couple of hundred metres from us had their gate motorised (normal swinging kind) but the contractor did not tell them they needed permission, simply installed them. As far as I understand it, and I have recently built a wall along the roadside that goes up to just over 1m well away from the road, thus on the height alone needs permission but also the fact I installed a gate had to be permitted, either addition of or a change of gate requires permission. Most people do not bother but if you are in a highly visible place and have a council, especially the maire, who picks up on such things then the formal route is required. Because we have a couple of dogs I have put up a wifi camera that the man who sold it to us linked up with the wifi bell. If somebody rings the bell the camera goes on. In our case it is just to see and nothing to do with security since anybody who wanted has umpteen possibilities through the fields (the second home too...), so that deliveries or the baker's van can be seen and the likes of the stream of evangelists, scrap collectors, chimney sweeps, etc. each summer ignored or told to go away when they respond without us needing to go out and waste five minutes telling them we are not interested.

It's often nice not to be able to hear the doorbell, except for the times when we do need to hear it. That's part of the reason for looking into this. Still, I guess it's relatively low on the priority list for now.

Useful information though, thanks to those who responded.

At the same time, i.e. sale time, I'm looking at motorising the sliding gate that we have. But that's another story.

There are several parts of the world where this kind of behaviour might lead to the cameras being used for target practice!

The computer network I first worked on when I came to Geneva was claimed to be bullet-proof, and this turned out to have nothing to do with how well it worked. It was based on cable TV amplifiers, and these were commonly strung up on poles in the good ole US of A. In many parts, especially in the more southerly states, bullet-proof was what they had to be, 'coz they apparently made excellent targets. Round here, people seem instead to use road signs, but might try an alternative if a donation were made towards their favourite charity.

There is a house in our town owned by a Belgian, he has cameras all around his house pointing in all directions, at the street, neighbours houses and probably anywhere he thinks he will be invaded. Neighbours complain about them constantly the Gendarmes get him to point them away from neighbours property after a while he just points them back. So I hardly think anyone will be worried about a doorbell.

Thanks Peter, that's good to know. The NovoSIP box is certainly expensive, probably at least 400€ once you add the required bits and bobs. It is probably in the range of expensive toys, for example the ability to open your gate from anywhere at all assuming you have a smartphone.

I'll take a look at your link.


Most video doorbells have no recording capability, & so, IMHO, wouldn't come under vidéosurveillance legislation.

A 'normal' system shouldn't cost a fortune. I paid €109.90 (delivered) for mine operating on a 50 metre twin-core cable to my gates. Others start around €90 and there are also wireless versions available. You pays yer money & makes yer choice ....