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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Air Quality Certificate?

  • The certificate is a round sticker that must be displayed in a prominent position on your vehicle. It is a secure document.
    There are 6 different types of certificates.
    Each certificate corresponds to a vehicle class defined according to air pollutant emissions.
    Older vehicles covered by less stringent emissions standards are not eligible for a certificate.
    This website is the official site for issuing Air Quality Certificates.

  • For eligible vehicles, the Air Quality Certificate is mandatory for:
    - Driving and parking in restricted traffic zones (french low emission zones) designated by the authorities, such as inside the Paris ring road
    - Driving in case of access regulation if an emergency scheme have been implemented by prefects during pollution episodes. This may be the case in the Grenoble Metropolitan Area, in Lyon-Villeurbanne and in the Greater Paris Region inside the motorway A86

    It is for all road vehicles, including cars, heavy goods vehicles, buses, coaches, two-wheeled vehicles, commercial vehicles, etc., except agricultural and construction machinery.

    An Air Quality Certificate must be affixed even for vehicles and uses that are exempt from restricted traffic zone (french) low emission zone and access regulation implemented by emergency scheme.

  • A vehicle retains the same environmental classification throughout its lifetime.
    Once acquired, the certificate is valid as long as it remains legible.

    The ink and materials used for the certificate have been chosen to last as long as possible.
    During the technical inspection, the legibility of the certificate will be checked and a replacement may be requested, if necessary.

  • The Air Quality Certificate indicates the vehicle's level of pollution. The higher the certificate number, the more polluting the vehicle is.
    As such, in the most polluted areas or during pollution peaks, Air Quality Certificates encourage use of the least polluting vehicles and limit use of the most polluting vehicles. To learn more about the provisions in effect, contact the town hall or prefecture.

    In France, air pollution is a major health issue: nearly half of the French population breathes air in which atmospheric pollutant levels exceed current health standards.

    The health impacts of pollution are known: they can be immediate or long-term (respiratory problems, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, etc.). The French National Public Health Agency estimates that air pollution causes 48,000 early deaths every year (2016 figure), potentially reducing life expectancy by more than two years. In October 2013, the World Health Organisation (WHO) classified outdoor air pollution as officially carcinogenic for humans.

  • The certificate takes into account local air pollutant emissions and mainly the fine particles and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted from vehicle exhaust pipes. These pollutants have a direct impact on people's health, especially those living near very busy roads.
    The certificates are based on the "EURO" standards. These are European standards which set pollutant emission thresholds for new vehicles sold. These standards are tightened on a regular basis.
    The certificate does not take into account greenhouse gas emissions which are a global, not a local, issue and which do not directly affect our health. This issue is dealt with elsewhere.

  • Air quality certificates help to fight against local pollution caused by pollutants, including fine particles and nitrogen oxides, that are dangerous to human health.
    Bonus-malus systems or a CO2 surtax aim at fighting climate change by reducing greenhouse gases. These measures do not have a local, short-term impact but rather a long-term impact on a global scale.
    There is no correlation between fine particle and nitrogen oxide emissions and greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst greenhouse gas emissions are directly linked to fuel consumption, this is not the case for fine particle and nitrogen oxide emissions which are heavily related to the engine configuration and the performance of emission control systems (particle filter, catalytic conversion systems, etc.). It is, therefore, not unusual for a vehicle to be awarded different classifications for air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • The Crit'air vehicle classification is defined by the order of 21 June 2016 establishing the coding of vehicles classified by their air pollutant emission level pursuant to article R. 318-2 of the French highway code.
    View the vehicle classification tables
    Finding out my vehicle's classification

  • YES. The classification is identical nationwide.
    On this basis, depending on the local situation each local authority can decide to implement incentives or restrictions and define the vehicles concerned. Road signs will be set up so that the scheme is clear for all users.

  • This classification firstly identifies vehicles based on their category (two-wheeled, cars, commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles).
    Within each of these vehicle categories, each vehicle is assigned an environmental class, from the lowest emitters of air pollutants (electric or hydrogen class) to the highest emitters (category 5 and not classified). This environmental class is assigned depending on the type of energy and fuel (electric, diesel, petrol, etc.) and the vehicle's EURO standard (or by default the initial registration date). The EURO standard, introduced by the European Union, sets constrictive standards for manufacturers, which are required to bring the least polluting vehicles to the market.
    Electric vehicles do not emit any exhaust pollutants and have a positive classification.
    Vehicles with an internal combustion engine (petrol, diesel, etc.), which are a major contributor to air pollution by emitting particles and nitrogen oxides, are classified from 1 to 5 or are not classified. Thanks to tighter regulations, the latest vehicles feature more effective pollution control technologies (catalytic converters, particle filters, etc.) and therefore pollute less.
    Vehicles that run on several energy sources (hybrid for example) are classified based on the pollutant emissions of their main fuel.
    The Air Quality Certificate or Crit’air classifies motor vehicles according to their level of pollution.
    Lastly, the technical inspection ensures that the vehicle does not have any significant failures, particularly concerning its air pollutant emissions.

  • The following are subject to penalties:
    o Use of a fraudulent certificate
    o Use of an illegible certificate or a certificate that is not visibly affixed*
    o Not observing traffic restrictions in restricted traffic zones or during differentiated traffic periods (pollution episodes)
    o For eligible vehicles, parking in a permanent restricted traffic zone without an Air Quality Certificate

    The penalties and amounts are stated in articles R318-2 and R411-19-1 of the French highway code.
    Failure to observe traffic restrictions in a restricted traffic zone is subject to a class 3 fine for light vehicles (€68 single fine) and a class 4 fine for heavy goods vehicles (€135 single fine).
    Failure to observe the differentiated traffic rules implemented by prefects during pollution episodes is subject to a fine for failure to comply with a prefectorial order.
    Fines will not initially be issued for failing to have a certificate to give users time to obtain one.

  • The price of the certificate only covers the costs of the service issuing it, namely the service development, maintenance and operations, as well as the costs for developing, manufacturing, delivering and tracking the certificate applications.
    It is not a tax and the State budget does not receive any revenue from it.
    It costs €3.70 plus postage.
    The price for issuing the Air Quality Certificate is set by the order of 29 June 2016.
    Be careful : fraudulent websites (not affiliated with the Ministry for Ecology and Sustainable Development) offer the Crit'Air label at far higher prices.

  • This site is defined as the official site by the order of 29 June 2016 concerning the issuance and affixing of Air Quality Certificates, which identifies the site www.certificat-air.gouv.fr as the only way to remotely submit Air Quality Certificate applications.

  • The certificate contains various protection elements: microlettering, an individual 2D-DOC data matrix (QR-code), etc.
    The certificate is also weakened: once it is stuck on, it cannot be taken off without tearing.

  • The 2D-DOC data matrix is a security technology recognised by the Interior Ministry. It contains non-personal and non-confidential information specific to your vehicle, as well as an electronic signature confirming its authenticity.
    It can therefore be checked quickly and efficiently.
    The 2D-DOC data matrices can be read on smartphones using a free application.
    Link to the French National Secure Documents Agency mandated by the Interior Ministry explaining the 2D-DOC data matrix.

Do I need an Air Quality Certificate ?

  • For eligible vehicles, the Air Quality Certificate is mandatory for:
    - Driving in restricted trafic (franch low emission zones) designated by the authorities, such as inside the Paris ring road.
    - Driving in case of access regulation if an emergency scheme have been introduced during pollution episodes.
    The certificate also gives you certain benefits set up by local authorities.
    An Air Quality Certificate must be affixed even for vehicles and uses exempt from restricted traffic zone (french low emission zone) and access regulation implemented by emergency scheme.

  • It is for all road vehicles, including cars, heavy goods vehicles, buses, coaches, two-wheeled vehicles, commercial vehicles, etc.
    It does not apply to agricultural and construction machinery.

  • YES. An Air Quality Certificate must be affixed in applicable situations, even on vehicles that have a disabled person's parking card. However, people with a disability are not affected by traffic restrictions.

  • An Air Quality Certificate must be affixed in applicable scenarios, even for vehicles and uses that are exempt from low emission zone and access regulation.

  • It is covered by the least stringent anti-pollution standards, which result in more polluting technologies. It is therefore not eligible for a certificate or traffic benefits.

  • The regulation does not cover responsibility for purchasing, which is determined by the lessor-lessee relationship.
    If a penalty is issued, it is given to the driver of the vehicle.

I'd like to find out my vehicle's classification

  • Our reckoner allows you to identify the Air Quality Certificate your vehicle is entitled to.
    https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/simulation.
    Important: the label shown in the reckoner is only an example and has no contractual value.

  • The vehicle's Euro standard is indicated in the "V.9" field of your registration certificate.
    However, this field is included only on recent EU registration certificates.
    If so, your vehicle will be classified according to its initial registration date, which in the vast majority of cases produces the same classification.

    However, in rare cases the vehicle's EURO standard is higher than the standard in effect on its initial registration date (early adoption of the standard). This may allow the vehicle to obtain a higher Crit'air classification. If this situation applies to you, you must have your registration certificate updated before submitting an Air Quality Certificate application.

  • In the "reckoner" tool, a two-letter code appears in the energy "bubbles" when you hover your mouse over them for a few moments.
    Please use the code matching your energy source from the following list.

I would like to apply for my Air Quality Certificate

  • You can apply for your certificate (€3.70 + franking) here

  • Retrofitted vehicles (i.e. fitted with a device for treating pollutant emissions installed after the vehicle first went into service) can be classified in a higher class under the conditions provided for by the Decree of 15 May 2013. There will be a specific system for awarding Air Quality Certificates to these vehicles.

I'm having trouble submitting my Air Quality Certificate application

  • Your registration certificate must be up to date, complete and in order before placing an order.
    A scan of this document is required when placing your order. It must not exceed 400kB, however it is possible to add a second attachment.

  • Please check you have ticked the box "I'm not a robot" and followed the instructions.
    This system ensures a secure ordering process, please follow the instructions. If the instructions are not in English you can change the language in your browser settings.

I have applied for my Air Quality Certificate

  • After placing your order you will receive:
    - A confirmation email (within 4 hours)
    - An electronic invoice by email (within around 24 hours)
    - An Air Quality Certificate by mail (within around a 10 days)
    When you receive your invoice, you can track your order by clicking on "track my order"
    tab. The invoice contains a specimen picture of the Air Quality Certificate you will receive.

    N.B.: This invoice should not be confused with the direct debit authorisation (which does not contain an image of the Air Quality Certificate but does state the transaction reference). The direct debit authorisation does not mean that your order has been completed. Your account will not be debited if you do not confirm your order or if it is cancelled (e.g. after making an entry error).

  • Your certificate will arrive within 10 days of your application.
    You can track your certificate by clicking on the "Track my order" tab .

  • An application number is provided for each certificate requested (1 per vehicle). This is a 14-digit number beginning with 16 or 17.
    This number is stated in the confirmation email that you receive, as well as on the invoices (at the top-left) that you receive by email.

    N.B.: These documents should not be confused with the direct debit authorisation (which does not contain an image of the Air Quality Certificate but does state the transaction reference). The direct debit authorisation does not state the order number.

  • Use the "Tracking my order" tab
    You must enter the registration number of the vehicle in question.

  • This picture provides proof of your application and the classification of your vehicle while you are waiting to receive your certificate by post.

  • The certificate(s) you have ordered will be sent to the address you entered.

I'm having trouble after applying for an Air Quality Certificate

  • After each order you will receive a confirmation email from noreply@certificat-air.gouv.fr. You should receive this email within one day.
    If you have not received a confirmation email more than 48 hours after placing your order (check your spam), this means that your order has not been registered and your payment has been cancelled.

    You should therefore place another order.

  • Your application has been registered.
    It is processed within three days. During this time you will receive an invoice or information about any problems (e.g. entry error).
    Please check whether this message, sent by noreply@certificat-air.fr, is in your spam folder.
    If you have not received a reply within the times stated above, please contact us here/a>

  • You can track the progress of your certificate application by clicking on "Tracking my order"

  • We have a specific procedure for handling this situation.
    Please contact our teams here

  • Processing of your application has been delayed. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
    While waiting to receive your certificate, you have your order invoice sent by email by noreply@certificat-air.fr.

    You can contact our teams here

I have received my Air Quality Certificate

  • The Air Quality Certificate must be affixed on the front of the vehicle so that it can be read by enforcement officers from the outside. More specifically:
    - For cars, light commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, buses, coaches, the east affixed, the interior of the vehicle, recto visibile dell'esteriorità, sulla parte di lower right of the windscreen.
    - for motor-powered two-wheeled vehicles, tricycles and quadricycles, it is affixed to any surface at the front of the flat surface formed by the fork.
    Instructions for affixing your certificate are available on the "Affixing your certificate" tab.

  • In accordance with the General Conditions of Use that you accepted, your Air Quality Certificate cannot be reimbursed or reissued, as the damage is not our responsibility. Please submit a new application.

  • Like the production department, the reckoner bases the class of your certificate on the information you entered.

  • In accordance with the general conditions of use that you accepted when placing your order, it is not possible to reimburse or exchange a certificate.

Communication kit

  • The video of the presentation of the installation is availablea here

  • All vehicles [FRENCH]
    Private vehicles [FRENCH]s
    Two-wheeled vehicles [FRENCH]
    Commercial vehicles [FRENCH]
    Heavy goods vehicles [FRENCH]

  • The infographic "Flyer Certificat de l’air" is available here

  • The images are the property of the French Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs. You may use them on your communication materials provided that their format remains intact.
    Their use is only permitted for public information purposes. Commercial uses are prohibited.
    - The Air Quality Certificate images can be downloaded

  • The video explaining how to affix your Air Quality Certificate is available here

Learn more about the Air Quality Certificate

If you did not find the answer to your question...

Simply fill in our contact form and ask us your question.We'll be delighted to help you personally.You can also contact our advisors by telephone Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm on +33 800 970 033 – Free call & service. To avoid long waiting times, please first read the FAQs, track your order online and only call the support department if you are experiencing difficulties.