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Updated : 14/02/2014

Rights, conditions and formalities – France

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Common rights across EU countries


* Information not yet provided by national authorities

ID and passports

Under French law, EU citizens and their family members are required to have a valid identity document or passport on them at all times to prove their identity.

If you are asked to prove your identity and are unable to produce ID - or if the documents you produce don't appear to establish your identity clearly (e.g. if there is no photo) - you may be asked to undergo an identity check.

This may require you to be detained for up to 4 hours (no longer) by an officer from the Criminal Police Department (police judiciaire) - either in the place where you were first approached or on police premises.

During this time, you are entitled to:

  • produce further documents
  • ask people to testify on your behalf
  • contact a lawyer (procureur) - or any other person of your choice.

If you are under 18, the police are obliged to:

  • contact your legal representative to assist you with the identity check (unless this is impossible)
  • inform the public prosecutor  (procureur de la République)

More on police checks (in French only)

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