Vehicles registered in the French special series "431 K ..." and "431 CD ..."

CERN/DSU-DO/RH/10922 - 23 April 2002 - Last update: 26 February 2024
Initially published in the Bulletin 18/2002, under Official communications (

1. Registration

a) Entitlement

Based on article XIV 1. g) and 2 of the Status Agreement between the Government of the French Republic and CERN of June 16, 1972, only members of the personnel holding a "titre de séjour spécial" (French "carte spéciale" under AT, FI or CD series) issued by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (hereinafter "MEAE") are entitled to register vehicles in the "431 K ..." or "431 CD ..." special series (green plates).

It is compulsory to register in one of these series vehicles that have been purchased or imported free of tax and/or customs duty. In the event of standard registration at a later date, the duty and/or tax will have to be paid on the basis of the currently applicable rates and the vehicle's residual value.

Registration in one of these series is optional if the duty and/or tax has been paid in a European Union Member State. In this case, you are strongly recommended to retain documentary evidence of payment and pass this on to any subsequent buyer of the vehicle. This documentation will be required if a standard registration needs to be issued. Without it, the duty and/or tax will have to be paid again on the basis of the currently applicable rates and the vehicle's residual value on the date when the new registration formalities are completed.

N.B. : The special series "431 K ... Z" and "431 CD ... Z", reserved for vehicles on which the duty and/or tax has been paid in a European Union Member State, were abolished on 1 January 2001. Vehicles already registered in these series may nonetheless keep their plates.

b) Time limit after installation

Persons taking up residence in France must complete the formalities for the registration of their vehicle as soon as they receive their titre de séjour spécial. As a result, members of the personnel who have not obtained their special residence permit because they failed to take the necessary steps on arrival in France will lose the possibility of registering a special series vehicle. The MEAE makes no exception to this rule.

c) Number of vehicles

The number of vehicles allowed to be registered simultaneously in the special series is limited to:

  • one vehicle for holders of a titre de séjour spécial AT or FI;
  • one vehicle for holders of a titre de séjour spécial CD who either are unmarried or have a spouse who does not hold a spouse's CD card (for instance because he/she is of French nationality, or has a AT/FI card or Carte de séjour préfectorale);
  • two vehicles for other holders of a CD card.

d) Types of vehicle

The French authorities only allow certain types of vehicles to be registered in the special series, for instance passenger cars or two-wheeled vehicles. In particular, mixed or convertible vehicles, vehicles with more than 8 seats, motorhomes and vans, regardless of the type, model or category shown on the certificate of conformity or registration document are excluded.

e) Replacement of a vehicle

A vehicle registered in the special series cannot be replaced until a period of two years has elapsed. This period starts on the date on which the Direction générale des Douanes et Droits indirects (hereinafter "DGDDI") authorises the registration.

This rule shall not apply:

  • in the event of duly registered accident, theft or force majeure, or
  • if the vehicle was registered before 1 January 2002.

Age and wear-and-tear do not constitute grounds for an exception to the rule.

f) Registration procedure

The procedure is detailed on the Admin e-guide "Green plates" page.

2. Roadworthiness test (contrôle technique)

Vehicles registered in special series are exempt from the French roadworthiness test ("contrôle technique").

3. Driving

Only the holders of a valid Carte spéciale (AT or FI series) or Carte diplomatique (CD series) are entitled to drive vehicles registered in the "431 K ..." or "431 CD ..." special series. This means, notably, that French nationals and holders of a Carte de séjour préfectorale or an Attestation de fonctions issued by the MEAE (CR or EF series) are forbidden to drive such vehicles.