Exemptions from the rules for environmental zones in France

Some vehicles are exonerated from the obligation to enter the environmental zone only with a Crit'Air Vignette. Especially vehicles of public services (police, fire brigade, emergency service, etc.) and other vehicles of public enterprises.
As per French decree Décret n°2016-847 from 28th June 2016 vehicles bearing a parking card for disabled persons need no Crit'Air Vignette. Parking cards for disabled persons are the same all over Europe so that vehicles of handicapped persons are recognisable abroad, too.
Other private vehicles can also be liberated from the obligation to bear a Crit'Air Vignette. But this happens only by means of a special approval from the state or the community.
Here are particular opportunities for vintage cars, old tourist vehicles, breakdown services, etc.


Rules for Old-timers

The rules for old-timers are not settled at the national level, but are different for every environmental zone.
French drivers can prove that their car belongs to the “old-timers” category with the mention “véhicule de collection” under the letter “Z” on the registration certificate.
In the other European countries, this mention can be found under the line “specific”. The special remarks and specificities are written in this section.
The classification of the vehicle as “old-timer” must be proven with the registration certificate in any case. However, the capacity of the police to recognize the different designations for “old-timers” in different languages remains questionable.

Old-timers in Paris
In Paris, old-timers are allowed to drive into the environmental zone and are free of the obligation of bearing the Crit’Air vignette, according to the Arrêté n°2017P007. This means that old-timers cannot obtain any vignette and can therefore not be charged for not having one. An exceptional authorization can be applied by the city of Paris: this one concerns vehicles older than 30 years, used for business purposes, and is time-limited.
For more information about old-timers and the environmental zone in Paris, please write to dvd-zcr-derogation@paris.fr.
You can also send your request per post to the following address:
Mairie de Paris
Direction de la Voirie et des Déplacements,
« Dérogation zone à circulation restreinte »
121 av. de France
75639 Paris Cedex 13

Old-timer in Grenoble and Lyon
For Grenoble and Lyon, no exceptions have been planned for old-timers yet, according to a source by the local prefectures. It was even stressed that old-timers will be charged if they drive in the environmental zone of Lyon or Grenoble in case of a pollution peak. This is particularly problematic, since highways driving to the south of France cross through the zone of Grenoble.