Thumbnail pollution in 2017 in Paris – Regulations and sanctions

Since 2017, motorists must purchase a new sticker to be able to move to Paris without risk of fines: the pollution pellet "Crit'Air". Manual.
Thumbnail pollution in 2017 in Paris - Regulations and sanctions

What has changed

To regulate traffic day large spikes of pollution, alternating traffic rules were until now in place in Paris. During this period, only vehicles whose plates have an odd or even could alternatively move one day to the other in the capital.

These traffic control rules have changed since January 2017. Paris became a restricted traffic area (ZCR). The authorities are now based on the pellets' Crit'Air "(deployed nationally) to allow or not allow certain vehicles to circulate on days when pollution levels increase (not only in case of" major peaks "). Depending on the level of pollution, vehicles with pellets indicate the most polluting rate (the oldest diesel vehicles, for example) can have driving ban. The city of Paris may also reserve some parking spaces for the least polluting vehicles.

These thumbnails are actually licenses currently divided into five classes, each corresponding to an emission level of pollutants. These tablets take the form of a color sticker to be affixed at the bottom right of the windshield. Vehicles operating with a pellet corresponding to excessive pollution levels will be punished by a fine in case of control by the police.

Example: due to fine particle pollution, only vehicles of categories 1 to 4 (see ranking below) were allowed to circulate Monday, January 23, 2017. The diesel registered before 2001 therefore could not ride that day the.

Hours Traffic

These new rules apply from Monday to Friday, from 8h to 20h. The regulation does not therefore apply to vehicles in the early morning, evening or night.


The system of pollution thumbnail applies to cars but also motorcycles. The sticker must be affixed conspicuously to the front of the motorcycle or scooter.

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The ranking of your vehicle depends on both of its engine (gasoline, diesel or electric) and date of registration. Here is the relevant grid.

Level thumbnailgasolineDiesel
0100% electric vehicles and hydrogen100% electric vehicles and hydrogen
1 gas vehicles and PHEVs + From 2011 (Euro 5 and 6) gas vehicles and PHEVs
2Between 2006 and 2010 (Euro 4)From 2011 (Euro 5 and 6)
3Between 1997 and 2005 (Euro 2 and 3)Between 2006 and 2010 (Euro 4)
4- Between 2001 and 2005 (Euro 3)
5-Between 1997 and 2000 (Euro 2)


The most polluting vehicles have meanwhile more the right to travel on weekdays regardless observed pollution levels. These vehicles registered before 1 January 1997 and, since July 1, 2017, diesel vehicles registered before 2001 (thumbnail crit'air 5). They can not drive between 20h and 8 am and on weekends and holidays.

Exceptions exist, however for merchants Parisian food markets and vintage car drivers.


The pellets can be ordered directly online via the dedicated government website. Warning: some unscrupulous websites try to sell you these pellets at much higher prices.


The application costs 4.18 euros. This amount includes the sticker price (3.70 euros) and shipping (48 cents). Payment is made online by credit card.


Pollution sticker is normally paid using your credit card online. A payment process by sending mail (which allows you to pay by check payable to "National Printing SA") is also possible. You must in this case download a form and send it by post with your payment to the following address: Department issuing Certificates Air Quality - BP 50637 - 59506 Douai Cedex.


The patch is sent to the address on your registration. You must therefore ensure that it is current.


Delays Sending vary according to peak demands. In all cases, your sticker must be sent to you no later than 30 days after your request. You can monitor the processing of your application online.


After your online purchase, you receive an invoice by email. This bill may eventually serve as proof of the time to receive your patch by mail if you ever need to ride in Paris during this period.

Date of entry into force

The new rules came into force January 16, 2017 in Paris.


Traffic ticket

The offender would roll without following the regulations for pollution control on the day is liable to a fine of 68 euros (amount minus 45 euros plus 180 euros).

Driving without vignette

Since 1 July 2017, the mere absence of Crit'Air thumbnail is also punishable by a fine of 68 euros. This penalty applies even when the control takes place outside of peak periods of pollution, and therefore even when the vehicle is in principle entitled to drive (Decree No. 2017-782 of May 5, 2017).

Until June 2017 inclusive, the simple act of rolling out tablet with a vehicle having the right to move to Paris was however not sanctioned (but the driver who was driving without a vignette regulated traffic day however was likely to do more often controlled by the police).

Photo credits: 123RF - Dmitry Kalinovsky
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