By Holly DeCarlo White
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs
In July, France introduced “Crit’Air,” its own form of environmental identification for vehicles.
According to the French Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, these eco-vignettes are intended to help improve air quality in the areas where air pollution and fine dust are prominent by limiting the types of vehicles that can enter specific zones. Six differently colored Crit’Air stickers indicate the age and cleanliness of a vehicle, and some will be banned from entering certain areas.
In Stuttgart and throughout Germany, green stickers placed on the windshield signify top-rated environmentally friendly vehicles that are able to drive in all zones. However, starting Nov. 1, the German green sticker will not suffice in France. Drivers will need to obtain the Crit’Air vignette from a gas station or convenient store at the border, or purchase one in advance online. The cost is €4.80 including shipping. The sticker is valid for the life of the vehicle and does not require renewal. Those who opt to purchase online should allow up to 30 days for the sticker to arrive.
Cities including Strasbourg, Paris, Lyon, Grenoble and Lille will also implement a driving ban during heavier fine dust alert days, which do not typically occur as often as they do in Stuttgart.
Drivers entering French cities without the required Crit’Air sticker are subject to fines. For cars and motorcycles the fine is €68, for buses and trucks €135.
For more information, visit https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/.