Your valid identification papers should always be with you. Identification can be checked anywhere and at any time, if you are driving or even on the street.
If you plan to drive while in France, you need to carry your Driver's License, a gray card ("carte grise") which is the registration, and a certificate of insurance. If your stay in France is less than six months, you are free to drive with your vehicle throughout France.
All US Citizens and Foreign Nationals entering France will need a valid Passport. If you are American and staying less than 90 days you will not need a visa, unless you are a student and planning to study in France. If you plan to stay longer than 90 days you will need to apply for a temporary stay visa, a long term visa, or a residence card, depending on your circumstances.
US Citizens who have been in France for more than two days can return with $400 worth of merchandise, duty-free. US Citizens who wish to bring more than $400 worth of merchandise with them when they return home are subject to a flat rate of 10% duty on the next $1000 worth. If bringing back gifts, the duty-free limit is $100.) You should keep all receipts from your purchases just in case a Customs inspector asks to see them.
The Value Added Tax (VAT) can be refunded on goods. If you make a purchase of at least 175 Euros, ask the store clerk for detaxe papers. On the paperwork, request that your refund be applied directly to one of your credit cards. You are allowed to do this even if the purchase was made with cash. Fill out the detaxe papers before you arrive at the airport for departure. Have the forms marked / stamped at the airport Customs desks. Customs officials may request to view the purchases, so having them in your carryon bag will make this a faster process. Place the stamped forms in the envelope provided by the store clerk, and mail them while at the airport. You have just begun the refund process. For more information on the VAT refund, please click here.
There are no required vaccinations for entering France. Minors traveling alone are required to carry authorization for travelling, signed by their parents. All currency rules, pet entry requirements, medication requirements, and other up-to-date and detailed information for entry into France please contact the French Embassy.
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