As of today (September 29), people driving UK registered cars in France must now have a ‘UK’ sticker on their car instead of previous ones that said ‘GB’.
Contrary to some reports in the UK press today, this is not being imposed on the UK by either the EU or the UN, but is due to a decision by the UK government.
Earlier this year, the UK informed the UN that it was changing its “national signifier” from GB to the UK.
The reason has not been clarified, but the automotive organization RAC believes it is done in ‘solidarity’ with Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, but not technically in ‘Great Britain’, which is part of the UK. refers to the Isle of Scotland, England. and Wales.
Until this year, UK license plates displayed a GB symbol under the stars of the EU. Since the end of the Brexit transition period in January, the UK has issued license plates which instead show GB with the Union flag.
Until today, the post-Brexit rule for UK registered cars traveling in the EU, including France, was that if you had an older plate with EU stars, or any other than the one displaying the Union flag, you also had to display a GB sticker on the car when using it in France.
This has now changed due to the UK’s decision to drop the ‘GB’ in favor of ‘UK’ and new number plates will now be issued showing this lettering with the Union flag.
There is no obligation to change your license plate, but unless you have a new license plate you must now display a ‘UK’ sticker, which can be obtained online and at post offices and garages for around € 1.50.
The UK Department for Transport confirms this is a UK decision, saying the UK notified the UN depositary of international road traffic conventions that the change would take effect from September 28.
Any potential penalty for not having the ‘right’ sticker in France is unconfirmed, although auto accessories chain Halfords has said ‘drivers could be refused entry to some countries’ without it .
We are checking with the French authorities if this would be applied in France.
Do cars with foreign license plates need a French Crit’Air sticker?