Green card: what is it? How to get it?

What is the green card?

Also known as the international insurance card, the green card is the document required to travel abroad. Thus, under article R.211-22 of the Insurance Code “meet the insurance obligation, when they have a valid international insurance card known as a green card, people which bring into France a vehicle which does not have its usual place of parking in France or in a state referred to in article L.211-4” (i.e. to all the territories of the members of the European Community as well as to the territories of any third country for which the national offices of all the Member States of the European Community individually guarantee the settlement of claims occurring on their territory and caused by the circulation of vehicles having their customary in that third State).

It is systematically drawn up instead of the insurance certificate required under article R.211-17 of the Insurance Code. It has two parts: the insurance certificate and the insurance certificate (also sometimes referred to as the insurance sticker).

Insurance certificate

The insurance certificate is the small green butterfly which must be affixed in the lower right corner of the windshield (or on the front mudguard of a motorcycle). It allows police checks to be carried out even in the absence of the driver and immediately proves whether a vehicle is insured or not. It comprises :

  • the name of the insurer,
  • the contract number,
  • the registration number (or engine number of the insured vehicle),
  • the period of validity (start and end dates).

Insurance certificate

The green card is held with the vehicle registration document and must be presented in the event of an inspection. It allows the driver to prove that his vehicle is insured during an inspection. It involves :

  • the name of the insurer,
  • the contract number,
  • the registration number (or engine number of the insured vehicle),
  • the period of validity (start and end dates),
  • the address of the insurer,
  • the identity and address of the subscriber,
  • the countries in which the liability insurance is valid.

Where to get the green card?

Issued with the authorization of the French Central Office (hence the country code “F” which precedes the insurer code and the contract number), the green card is issued by the insurer who issues it to its insured after regularization of contract. It is reissued after each period of insurance after expiration, the date of which depends on the splitting of the payment (annual, half-yearly or quarterly).

Good to know : if in theory it is not possible to use a photocopy, it is possible to obtain a duplicate if necessary or in the event of loss. All you have to do is make a request to your insurer or to your representative (agency, broker, etc.). Today, many insurers make it possible to apply online.

In the event of theft or loss of the document, you can report it to the police station (or gendarmerie) which will result in the issuance of a receipt allowing you to travel legally, while you obtain a new green card.

Good to know : the green card only constitutes a presumption of insurance, but in no case constitutes absolute proof.

Penalties for non-presentation of the green card

If during a roadside check the driver is unable to produce the green card or if he has not displayed his insurance certificate, he will be sanctioned. And this even if now the police have a tool for checking the lack of insurance by consulting the file of insured vehicles

Failure to affix the insurance certificate

It constitutes a 2nd class offense and is punishable by a fixed fine of 35 euros (article R.233-3 of the Highway Code). Fine reduced to 22 euros or increased to 75 euros depending on the date of payment.

To note : the affixing of an invalid (expired) certificate entails the same sanction.

Failure to present the insurance certificate (or green card)

In the event of immediate non-presentation of this document at a police or gendarmerie check, the driver risks a fine of 35 euros corresponding to the 2nd class fine (fine reduced to 22 euros or increased to 75 euros depending on the time taken to pay it).

In addition, the driver has an obligation to prove that he has an insurance contract by presenting the certificate within 5 days to the police station or the gendarmerie. Failure to comply with this presentation obligation, the driver is liable to a 4th class fine with a fine of 135 euros (reduced to 90 euros if it is paid within 45 days or increased to 375 euros).

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