Where is it?
What is it?
The B permit allows you to drive a car or van legally in France. The exam takes place in two parts: a theoretical exam (the "highway code") and a practical driving test .
If you have already obtained a driving license in your country of origin or in another country, it is possible to request its exchange for a French licence, without having to retake the exam. However, this does not apply to all foreign countries. Find all the conditions in this sheet on the exchange of driving licenses.
>> See the Réfugiés.info file: "Taking the driver's exam as a free candidate"
To obtain the B license and be able to drive alone, you must be 18 years of age or older. However, the request for the permit can be made from the age of 16 (or 15 in the event of early learning to drive).
The B license allows you to drive a vehicle whose weight does not exceed 3.5 tonnes and which has a maximum of 9 seats . This permit may also in certain cases authorize the driving of 2 or 3-wheel vehicles (motorcycle, scooter).
This sheet will explain how to register and prepare for the exam (code + driving) with a driving school .
How to do it?
To prepare and register for the exam, you must (in addition to the age requirements):
- hold the ASSR 2 or the ASR (see below) if this is the first permit you have taken and you were born after 1988;
- be a citizen of the European Economic Area with personal and/or professional ties for at least 6 months in France OR, if you are not European, you must have lived in France for at least 6 months and have a valid residence permit;
- have a "fit to drive" medical certificate if you have a disability or disabling illness.
2 main options exist, depending on your preferences and your age:
1) the classic option (driving school lessons only) from 16 years old
2) accompanied driving (driving school course then driving with a relative) to train, with three possibilities:
- early driving instruction (AAC) from the age of 15
- supervised driving from 16 to 18 years old (in the specific context of training for transport trades)
- supervised driving (18 years and over)
The choice of driving school is important to maximise your chances of passing the exam.
Here are some things to look for to help you make the right choice:
- the cost of the licence: there are often significant differences in costs between driving schools,
- recommendations of friends or relatives for a particular driving school,
- how close a school is to your home or work and the opening hours,
- the quality of the answers you receive to your questions to the school and your general feelings about the place and the people,
- the average waiting time to take the exam,
- the driving school exam pass rate
You must pass the Highway Code exam before you may take the practical driving license test.
The Highway Code exam consists of forty multiple-choice questions covering eleven major themes (examples: parking rules, signage, visibility, etc.). You must get at least 35 correct answers to pass the exam.
Your chosen driving school will offer you a training program (usually: on-site training and access to a website to train at home). The driving school will register you for the Highway Code exam at a center near you.
You can pass the Highway Code exam:
- from the age of 15 as part of early learning to drive,
- from 16 years old for the classic formula.
The fee to take the exam is 30 euros. If you fail, you will have to pay another 30 euros to retake the exam.
If you do not speak French well, you can participate in individual sessions for the passage of the Highway Code. You can use an interpreter in your mother tongue for translation on the day of the exam. You must pay for this service yourself. The interpreter must be officially certified (see this Refugees.info file).
To participate in a session with an interpreter, contact the Departmental Directorate in charge of territories (DDT or DDTM) of your department.
At first, your instructor will teach you driving little by little with regular sessions of one or two hours of driving. The duration of the training is a minimum of 20 hours, including 15 hours on roads open to traffic (or at least 10 hours if a driving simulator is used at the driving school).
If you need more driving hours, you will probably have to pay overtime.
Good to know: You can also decide to take a B license to drive cars with automatic gearboxe . The duration of the training is a minimum of 13 hours. With this license, you will not be allowed to drive cars with a “manual” gearbox.
Accompanied or supervised driving
If you have chosen to supplement your driving lessons at the driving school with accompanied driving (with a relative), this phase will begin with a minimum of 2 hours of driving with an instructor and your accompanist, in a driving school vehicle.
A guide will be given to the accompanying person.
Good to know: Your accompanying person will have to meet certain conditions such as having the license for more than 5 years and having the agreement of his/her insurance.
The accompanied driving phase lasts at least 1 year and you will have to drive at least 3,000 km in France (driving abroad is prohibited).
Good to know: If you are already over 18, you can train with “supervised” driving, after your initial training or after a first failure to the license test. The principle is the same as that of accompanied driving, but you will have no minimum distance or duration to respect.
When you feel ready and in agreement with your instructor, you can take your license!
- In connection with your driving school, you can register on the Rdv permis site if you live in one of the 76 departments where the platform is currently available. Click here to see the list of departments.
You will then be informed by email in real time of all the steps taken on your behalf.
- If you do not live in one of these departments and therefore cannot use the Rdv permis site, your driving school will take care of your registration and inform you of your date of exam.
The exam lasts approximately 30 minutes, with a driving phase of at least 25 minutes. You will also have to perform a few maneuvers (parking, reversing, etc.) and answer a few questions.
You will be assessed by an independent examiner who will be with you in the car and will score you out of 31 points. To pass the exam, you must obtain 20 points or more and not make any eliminating error (examples: crossing a continuous line, traffic on the left, not respecting a stop sign, etc.).
What happens next?
You can view the results online on the Road Safety website 48 hours after the exam.
- If the result is "insufficient" (below 20 points and/or with an eliminatory fault), you will have to retake the exam and choose a new date with your driving school.
- If the result is "favourable" (20 points minimum and no eliminatory fault), you have succeeded, congratulations! You can then download your driver's license examination certificate (CEPC).
Good to know: Accompanied by an identity document, this certificate allows you to drive for 4 months from the day of the exam.
Then contact your driving school to find out how to obtain your permanent driving licence!
Did you find this sheet useful?
Thank the contributors who wrote and translated it for you!
Send by SMS
12 contributors mobilized