The law distinguishes 3 main categories of offences according to their seriousness: contraventions, offences and crimes.
The contraventions are themselves divided into 5 classes, from the least serious (1st class) to the most serious (5th class). From first to fourth class, contraventions are punished by a fixed penalty, the amount of which increases according to the seriousness of the offence.
Some additional penalties may also be imposed in addition to the fines imposed: withdrawal of points, suspension of driving licence, etc. From the 5th class onwards, the sufficiently serious nature of the offence committed justifies the transfer of the police report to a magistrate's court, which decides on the action to be taken according to whether it is a repeat offence or not.
In addition, since the 21st Century Justice (Justice du XXIe siècle) Act of 18 November 2016, certain offences may be subject to a fixed penalty procedure based on the model of the one that exists in contravention cases. Three offences are involved:
- The offence of driving without a licence;
- The offence of driving with a licence that does not correspond to the category of vehicle used;
- The offence of driving with an uninsured vehicle.
You will find below some of the most common examples of offences, presented by class of offence:
|Categories of offences||Nature of offences|
|Contravention of 1st class||Failure to observe parking rules.|
|Contravention of 2nd class||Changing of direction without indicating;
Non-payment of a toll;
Lack of insurance certificate.
|Contravention of 3rd class||Exceeding the speed limit by less than 20 km/h (for a maximum permitted speed above 50 km/h);
non-compliant braking mechanism.
|Contravention of 4th class||Using a hand-held phone;
Driving in the emergency lane;
Driving without a seatbelt;
Failure to give way;
Failure to observe a red light or a stop sign;
Crossing or straddling a solid line;
Driving without a MOT;
Driving against the traffic flow;
Failure to observe the safety distance;
Exceeding the speed limit by less than 50 km/h;
Driving without lights;
Lack of registration certificate.
|Contravention of 5th classe||Exceeding the speed limit by more than 50 km/h.|
|Offence||Driving without a licence ;
Driving a vehicle with a licence not corresponding to the vehicle category ;
Driving a vehicle without insurance.
Scale for types of offences
|Contravention||Removal of point(s)|
|Exceeding the speed limit by less than 20 km/h||1 point|
|Exceeding the speed limit by 20 km/h or above and less than 30 km/h||2 points|
|Exceeding the speed limit by 30 km/h or above and less than 40 km/h||3 points|
|Exceeding the speed limit by 40 km/h or above and less than 50 km/h||4 points|
|Driving through a red light||4 points|
For the other offences, please consult the document :
Tracking your offence file
On the website, you can view your file and check the progress of your procedure.
This service gives you access to the main information contained in your offence notice:
- The details of the offence committed;
- The deduction of points incurred;
- The amount of the fine and its payment time limit.