What is the Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate (CPI)?
The Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate (Certificat Provisoire d’Immatriculation or CPI) is a document issued to you after applying for a vehicle registration certificate (carte grise) in France. It allows you to drive your vehicle within France for one month while waiting for the permanent registration certificate. The CPI contains the same information as the final registration certificate.
📝 Purpose of the Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate
The Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate, or CPI, is a temporary document that you receive after applying for a registration certificate. It is issued by the National Agency for Secure Documents (Agence Nationale des Titres Sécurisés or ANTS).
When you purchase a new or used vehicle, you are required to register it within 30 days, which is when you obtain the carte grise. However, while waiting to receive the final registration certificate, you will be issued a Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate.
As the name suggests, the Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate temporarily confirms the proper registration of your vehicle. It allows you to drive while awaiting the permanent registration certificate.
The Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate is valid for driving only within France, unlike the final registration certificate. If you plan to drive abroad, you will need to apply for a WW CPI, which is specifically for imported vehicles or vehicles intended for export.
A Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate contains all the information that will be included on the final registration certificate:
- Vehicle registration number
- Name of the vehicle owner and, if applicable, co-owner
- Date of vehicle registration
- Technical specifications of the vehicle (fiscal power, etc.)
🔎 How to Obtain a Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate?
The Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate is obtained by applying for a registration certificate, as it serves as a temporary document while waiting for the final certificate. To obtain a CPI, you must use the ANTS online service or visit an authorized registration professional.
Important: Since 2017, registration procedures are no longer conducted at prefectures or sub-prefectures. You must use the ANTS website or consult an authorized professional.
On the ANTS website, log in using your France Connect credentials or create an ANTS account. Select the relevant procedure for registering your new or used vehicle. Allow approximately 15 minutes to complete your registration application and follow the instructions provided by the online service.
You will need to provide several documents, including:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of address (dated within the last 6 months)
- Manufacturer’s certificate of conformity
- Tax clearance certificate (for vehicles purchased abroad)
For a used vehicle, you must also provide the previous signed and crossed-out registration certificate, transfer code, declaration of transfer, a non-gage certificate, and a valid vehicle inspection report (if the vehicle is over 4 years old and the report is less than 6 months old).
At the end of the procedure, you will need to pay the registration fee by credit card. You will then receive a dossier number and your Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate.
If you applied through the ANTS website, you will need to download and print your Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate. If you used an authorized professional, they will provide you with a printed version of the certificate.
⏱️ What is the Duration of Validity for the Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate?
The Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate is valid for one month. During this period, you are only allowed to drive within France, as the CPI is not valid abroad.
However, there are specific cases where the duration may vary. The WW CPI is valid for 4 months (2 months + automatic renewal for an additional 2 months), unless it concerns a new vehicle sold without complete equipment for bodywork. In that case, it is valid for 3 months and can be renewed for an additional 3 months if the final registration certificate has not been issued in the meantime.
🚗 Expired Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate: What to Do?
The Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate is valid for one month, allowing sufficient time for you to receive your permanent registration certificate. Normally, the permanent certificate should arrive within 7 working days, so you should not risk having your Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate expire.
It is not possible to extend the validity of a Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate, nor can you request a new temporary registration. Only the WW CPI can be automatically renewed, and no additional steps are required on your part.
If your Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate has expired, and you have not yet received your permanent registration certificate, this is not normal. The dossier number provided at the end of the registration procedure allows you to track the progress of your application online. You will also be notified if any documents are missing.
In case of any issues, you can contact the ANTS through the online form on their website. You will receive a response within 48 hours. You can also reach the ANTS at 34 00 (non-premium rate number) within metropolitan France.
Now you have all the information about the Temporary Vehicle Registration Certificate (CPI) and how to obtain it. The procedures are relatively straightforward, but you need to provide several documents. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance from a professional to handle your registration application!