Global Sourcebook for International Data Management

                                         by Graham Rhind

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France

Global Sourcebook | Index | Properties

FRANCE
FRANCE

For supplementary information, see links to post office home pages here External, to postal code pages here External and to other personal name and addressing issues pages here External.

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Table of Contents

France - Country information

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Local short name form

Official name

Area

Population

Capital

Currency

International telephone access code

33

ISO 3166 country codes

Car nationality plate code

F

Internet country code

GRC Country Code

FRA

France - Number format

   1 234,45

(where , indicates the decimal separator and a space the thousands separator)

France - Date and time formats

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   dd/mm/yyyy
   dd.mm.yyyy
   dd-mm-yyyy

The 24-hour clock notation is used, with h, indicating heures, hours, often used as a seperator:

   14h32

France - Languages

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French External is the only official language of France. Few people do not speak French, but only 87 per cent of the population speak French as a mother tongue. Along France’s borders a number of people speak other languages - Alsatian External (German, in various dialects) in Alsace-Lorraine on the border with Germany; Letzebuergesch External on the border with Luxembourg; Flemish External in the north on the Belgian border; Provençals External (Occitan - in the dialects of Avergnat, Franco-Provençal, Gascon, Languedocien, Limousin and Provençals) in the south; Catalan External in the south near the Spanish border; and Basque External in the south-west on the Spanish border in the départements of Labourd External, Basse-Navarre External and Soule External. Breton External is still spoken in Brittany External. In Corsica External Corsican External, a dialect of Italian, is spoken. There are significant numbers of people speaking these languages:

   Alsatian : 2.6%
   Basque : 0.1%
   Breton : 0.9%
   Catalan : 0.5%
   Corsican : 0.5%
   Flemish : 0.1%
   Provençals : 3%

Caló External (Iberian Romany) and Romani External are spoken by some 30-60 000 people in France.

France is a highly unitary state, and these languages are rarely given more than a passing recognition that they exist – in fact, the constitution baldly states that the language of the Republic is French. However, this situation is likely to change as a motion is being tabled by the government to give limited recognition to regional languages within France. This may include teaching in these languages, and increased broadcasting. It is highly unusual (but not impossible) to come across addresses written in any language other than French.

France - For the attention of

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This is written A l’Attention du in French.

France - Personal names

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Personal names are usually written given name first, family name last, but this is also often reversed. Family names are usually written in upper case in addresses.

Many French people have double-barrelled given names. These may be written with a space between the components, with a hyphen, or conjoined:

   John Paul
   Jean-Claude
   Annamarie

A change in the law in 2004 has allowed children to be given the family name of either their mother, or their father, or both in either order. All children must be given the same family name, and the father’s name prevails in a dispute.

Tables of names can be acquired: given names External, surnames/family names External, family name prefixes External, forms of address External, job titles External

France - Company names

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It is more correct, where the nature of the company is mentioned in its name, that this precedes the name of the company, thus:

   Boulangerie Lalosse et Cie.

You will often, however, find these activity indications after the company name, thus:

   Lalosse, Boulangerie
   Lalosse (Boulangerie)

Equally, articles are often put in brackets after the name of the company, so:

   Le Centre 

becomes

   Centre (Le)

This is also the case with initials. Thus:

   Boulangerie J. Dumalin 

becomes

   Dumalin (Boulangerie J.)

STE in a company name is an abbreviation of Société (company).

France - Company legal forms

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These company types will often be found in address databases:

   Affaire personnelle
   Auto-Entrepreneur - sole proprietorship
   EI (Entreprise individuelle/entreprise en nom personnel) - sole proprietorship
   EURLEntreprise Unipersonelle à Responsabilité Limitée (sole proprietorship with limited liability)
   FCP (Fonds commun de placement) - unincorporated investment fund
   GIEGroupement d’Intéret Économique
   SASociété Anonyme
   Sarl - Société à Responsabilité limitée (private company)
   SAS - Société par actions simplifiée
   SASU - Société par actions simplifiée unipersonnelle
   SCA -Société en commandite par actions
   SCSociété civile (partnership with full liability)
   SCOP - Société coopérative
   SCP - Société Civile Professional (Professional Company) 
   SCSSociété en Commandité Simple
   SelarlSociéte d'exercice libéral à responsabilité limitée
   SCMSociété Civile de Moyen (Professional Guild)
   SEM (Société d'économie mixte) - semi-public company
   SICAF (Société d'investissement à capital fixe) - closed-end investment fund
   SICAV (Société d'investissement à capital variable) - unit trust /mutual fund.
   SNCSociété en nom collectif – general partnership
   SPSociété en participation
   SPFPLSociété pour les Professions Libérales

Comprehensive tables of these strings can be acquired – see http:www.grcdi.nl/addresses.htm External

France - Addresses

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Addresses are rarely written in any language other than French. Addresses are usually written in this format:

   First name[ ]LAST NAME
   COMPANY NAME
   number[ ]thoroughfare type[ ]Thoroughfare name 
   postal code[ ]TOWN NAME{[ ]SORTING CODE} 

or

   First name[ ]LAST NAME
   COMPANY NAME
   number[, ]thoroughfare type[ ]Thoroughfare name
   postal code[ ]TOWN NAME{[ ]SORTING CODE}

For example:

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or

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The French Post Office prefers that the address is written without the comma between the house number and the thoroughfare.

Addresses may also contain building, sub-building and entrance information, as well as a locality, but it should contain no more than 6 lines. For example:

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It is usual for the surnames of French people, and company names, to be written in upper case.

If the address has a box number, add this after the number:

   number[ boîte ]number[ ]thoroughfare type[ ]Thoroughfare name

You will also find indications of the staircase or building in which the inhabitant lives:

   [Escalier No. ]number 

or

   [Bâtiment ]number

The number might also be followed by the words bis or ter.

Numbers may be written as follows:

   1-4
   1/4
   1 à 4 (1 to 4), or
   1 et 4 (1 and 4)

The thoroughfare type part of the address is prefixed to the thoroughfare name with a space between the words. For example:

   7 rue Amiens
   123 avenue de la Gare

It is more accurate to write the thoroughfare types in lower case, as above.

The abbreviations CIDEX and CAIE (Code d’Acheminement Interne à l’Entreprise) indicate delivery points within building or companies. The abbreviation TSA (Tri Service Arrivée) followed by a number may be found in an address, as well as the street address:

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The code is a company internal sorting code.

A table containing information about the relevant position of elements within address blocks can be acquired External

Building indicators

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Indicator Abbreviation English
appartement app. Apartment
bâtiment bat. Building
immeuble imm. Building
maison   House
résidence res., rés. Residence
villa vla Villa

Comprehensive tables of these strings can be acquired – see http:www.grcdi.nl/addresses.htm External

Thoroughfare types

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Below is a list of the most commonly occurring thoroughfare types (with the abbreviated forms which you are most likely to find in address databases):

Thoroughfare Abbreviation
allée all.
avenue av., ave.
boulevard bld., bd.
centre  
champ  
chaussée ch., chee., chs.
chemin  
clos  
cour  
domaine dom.
faubourg fg.
impasse imp.
marché  
mont/montagne mt
parc  
passage pas., pass.
place pl.
quai  
quartier qu., qrt., qua.
rond-point rpt.
route rte.
Route Nationale RN
rue r.
ruelle  
square sq.
traverse tra.
val/vallée  

Comprehensive tables of these strings can be acquired – see http:www.grcdi.nl/addresses.htm External

Other elements commonly found in address databases

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NB: The following abbreviations are used (m) = masculine form; (f) = feminine form; (pl) = plural form. Except where specified, the plural form of adjectives is the correctly gendered singular form followed by an ‘s’.

le (m)/la (f)/les (pl), (NB: le and la are written l’ before a vowel or an unaspirated h) the
un (m)/une (f) a, an
et and
à/au (m)/à la (f)/aux (pl) till, until, up to, to
pour for
de (before a proper noun)/du (m)/de la, de l’ (f)/des (pl) of, from
à at
près de by, near to
sur on (a river, the sea)
dans in
en face de opposite
à côté de next to
derrière behind
devant in front
entre between
avec with
sous under
lès (occurs only in place names) near
nouveau (m)/nouvelle (f)/nouveaux(m.pl.)/nouvelles (f.pl.) /nouvel (m, before a vowel or unaspirated h) new
vieux (m, pl)/vieille (f)/vielles (f.pl.)/vieil (m, before a vowel or an unaspirated h) old
court (m) (Ct.)/courte (f) (Cte.) short
long (m) (Lg.)/longue (f) (Lgue.) long
grand (m) (Gr./Grd.)/grande (f) (Gr./Grde.) large
petit (m) (P./Pt.)/petite (f) (P./Pte.) small
nord north
est east
sud south
ouest west
saint (m) (St.)/sainte (f) (Ste.) saint
Parc Industriel, Zone d’Activités (Z.A.C.), Zone Industrielle (Z.I.), Zone Artisanale (Z.A.), Centre Commercial (C.C.) Industrial Estate

Note that prepositions are written in lower case in addresses.

al-, an, ann, ar, eul, eun, eunn and eur are articles in Breton.

bat is an article in Basque.

el, els and en are articles in Catalan

i, l’, la, las, le, les, lhi, li, lis, lo, los, lou, lu, un, una, uno, uns and us are articles in Provençals

France - Post office box

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This is written as Boîte Postale, abbreviated to BP.

France - Postal codes

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Postal codes (Code Postal), introduced in May 1965, consist of a block of 5 digits. They are always placed before and on the same line as the town name. The first two digits are the département number. Where the département number is less than 10 it is preceded by 0, for example 05. Département 2A has postal codes beginning with 200, 201, 203, 205, 207 and 209; département 2B has postal codes beginning with 202, 204 and 206. The préfecture (capital) of each départment has as its last three digits 000.

Most communes have their own unique postal code number. However, some scattered rural communities have more than one code. 32 cities have more than one distribution office and there­fore more than one code. These, with their codes, are:

Aix-en-Provence 13090, 13100
Ajaccio 20000, 20090
Amiens 80000, 80080, 80090
Angers 49000, 49100
Bastia 20200, 20600
Bordeaux 33000, 33100, 33200, 33300, 33800
Cergy 95000,95800
Clermont-Ferrand 63000, 63100
Dunkerque 59140, 59240, 59640
Fort-de-France 97200, 97234
Grenoble 38000, 38100
Le Havre 76600, 76610, 76620
Le Mans 72000, 72100
Lille 59000, 59800
Limoges 87000, 87100, 87280
Metz 57000, 57050, 57070
Montpellier 34000, 34070, 34080, 34090
Mulhouse 68100, 68200
Nancy 54000, 54100
Nantes 44000, 44100, 44200, 44300
Nice 06000, 06100, 06200, 06300
Nîmes 30000, 30900
Orléans 45000, 45100
Paris (16th arrondissement) 75016, 75116
Perpignan 66000, 66100
Rennes 35000, 35200, 35700
Rouen 76000, 76100
Saint-Étienne 42000, 42100
Strasbourg 67000, 67100, 67200
Toulon 83000, 83100, 83200
Toulouse 31000, 31100, 31200, 31300, 31400, 31500
Tours 37000, 37100, 37200

Six communes have two codes with different names for the same commune:

   Antibes: 06600 Antibes and 06160 Juan les Pins
   Cannes: 06400 Cannes and 06150 Cannes la Bocca
   Grasse: 06130 Grasse and 06520 Magagnosc
   Meudon: 92190 Meudon and 92360 Meudon la Forêt
   Saint-Denis: 93200 Saint-Denis and 93210 La Plaine-Saint-Denis
   Saint-Maurs-des-Fossés: 94100 Saint-Maur-des-Fosses and 94210 La Varenne-Saint-Hilaire

Three cities (Paris with 20, Lyon with 9 and Marseilles with 16) are split into arrondissements. These have their own postal codes, the number of the arrondissement being the last two digits of the postal code (with the exception of the Paris 16th arrondissement, with 2 codes - 75016 and 75116).

Large companies, town halls and so on can have their own unique postal code. In these cases the town name is followed by the word CÉDEX (Courrier d’Entreprise à Distribution Exceptionelle), thus:

   75910 PARIS CÉDEX

The word CÉDEX may itself be followed by a number:

   75910 PARIS CÉDEX 19

1 350 post offices are also CÉDEX distribution offices. There are around 21 300 CÉDEX codes.

Military bases need no street address, but the town name is followed by either AIR (air-force base), NAVAL (naval base) or ARMÉES (army base), and share postal codes commencing 00.

Also used as a sorting code after a settlement name is CHEQUES (for the address of banks).

There are 6 200 main post offices serving the 36 000 communes. Before 1989, where the recipient did not live in the same commune as that in which the main post office was situated, both communes had to be named, thus:

   Monsieur Durand
   12, rue des Rossignols
   Villemoisson-sur-Orge
   91360 Epinay-sur-Orge

Since 1989 this is no longer necessary, though they may still be found in addresses. Now the code is that of the main post office, but the commune is that of the recipient, so:

   Monsieur Durand
   12, rue des Rossignols
   91360 Villemoisson-sur-Orge

Postal codes beginning with 97 belong to France’s Overseas départements and territories.

Postal codes beginning with 98 belong to the independent state of Monaco.

Metadata containing postal code formatting rules, exceptions and regular expressions can be acquired External

France - Postal code format graphic

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France - Postal code format

France - Postal code specifics

France - Postal code regular expression

\A([0-8][0-9]\d{3,3}|[9][0-6]\d{3,3}|(99)\d{3,3})\Z

France - Postal code level of coverage

3

France - Postal code map

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Place names in France

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All place names consisting of more than one word are hyphenated, with the exception of those beginning with ‘LE’, ‘LA’ or ‘LES’, where there is a space between this word and the next. All other words within a place name beginning with one of these words will be hyphenated, for example:

   La Ferté-Vidame
   Le Château-d’Oléron

Refer to Exonyms in France for full lists of place names in France in other languages.

Alternate place name forms/postal code tables can be acquired at http:www.grcdi.nl/settlements.htm External

Other language place name data can be acquired at http://www.grcdi.nl/otherlanguageplace.htm External

image The village of Y (Source: Wikipedia)

France - Administrative districts

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Administrative districts graphic

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France is divided into 18 régions External (5 of which are overseas), 102 départements External (6 of which are overseas) and around 36 000 communes External (municipalities). The départements are numbered, and these numbers are important because they appear in the postal codes. Initially these numbers were assigned by alphabetical order, but since the first classification some changes have been made which have altered this order.

Départements (Metropolitan France)

Département Region
01 Ain External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
02 Aisne External Hauts-de-France
2A Corse-du-Sud External Corse
2B Haute-Corse External Corse
03 Allier External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
04 Alpes-Haute-Provence External Provence - Alpes - Côte-d’Azur
05 Hautes-Alpes External Provence - Alpes - Côte-d’Azur
06 Alpes-Maritimes External Provence - Alpes - Côte-d’Azur
07 Ardèche External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
08 Ardennes External Grand Est
09 Ariège External Occitanie
10 Aube External Grand Est
11 Aude External Occitanie
12 Aveyron External Occitanie
13 Bouches-du-Rhône External Provence - Alpes - Côte-d’Azur
14 Calvados External Normandie
15 Cantal External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
16 Charente External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
17 Charente Maritime External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
18 Cher External Centre-Val de Loire
19 Corrèze External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
20 (see 2A and 2B)  
21 Côte d’Or External Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
22 Côtes d’Armor External (previously Côte-du-Nord) Bretagne
23 Creuse External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
24 Dordogne External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
25 Doubs External Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
26 Drôme External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
27 Eure External Normandie
28 Eure-et-Loire External Centre-Val de Loire
29 Finistère External Bretagne
30 Gard External Occitanie
31 Haute Garonne External Occitanie
32 Gers External Occitanie
33 Gironde External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
34 Hérault External Occitanie
35 Ille-et-Villaine External Bretagne
36 Indre External Centre-Val de Loire
37 Indre-et-Loire External Centre-Val de Loire
38 Isère External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
39 Jura External Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
40 Landes External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
41 Loir-et-Cher External Centre-Val de Loire
42 Loire External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
43 Haute Loire External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
44 Loire-Atlantique External Pays de la Loire
45 Loiret External Centre-Val de Loire
46 Lot External Occitanie
47 Lot-et-Garonne External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
48 Lozère External Occitanie
49 Maine-et-Loire External Pays de la Loire
50 Manche External Normandie
51 Marne External Grand Est
52 Haute-Marne External Grand Est
53 Mayenne External Pays de la Loire
54 Meurthe-et-Moselle External Grand Est
55 Meuse External Grand Est
56 Morbihan External Bretagne
57 Moselle External Grand Est
58 Nièvre External Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
59 Nord External Hauts-de-France
60 Oise External Hauts-de-France
61 Orne External Normandie
62 Pas-de-Calais External Hauts-de-France
63 Puy-de-Dôme External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
64 Pyrénées Atlantiques External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
65 Hautes Pyrénées External Occitanie
66 Pyrénées-Orientales External Occitanie
67 Bas-Rhin External Grand Est
68 Haut-Rhin External Grand Est
69 Rhône External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
70 Haute Saône External Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
71 Saône-et-Loire External Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
72 Sarthe External Pays de la Loire
73 Savoi External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
74 Haute Savoie External Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
75 Paris External Ile-de-France
76 Seine-Maritime External Normandie
77 Seine-et-Marne External Ile-de-France
78 Yvelines External Ile-de-France
79 Deux-Sèvres External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
80 Somme External Hauts-de-France
81 Tarn External Occitanie
82 Tarn-et-Garonne External Occitanie
83 Var External Provence - Alpes - Côte-d’Azur
84 Vaucluse External Provence - Alpes - Côte-d’Azur
85 Vendée External Pays de la Loire
86 Vienne External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
87 Haute Vienne External Nouvelle-Aquitaine
88 Vosges External Grand Est
89 Yonne External Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
90 Belfort External Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
91 Essonne External Ile-de-France
92 Hauts-de-Seine External Ile-de-France
93 Seine-Saint-Denis External Ile-de-France
94 Val-de-Marne External Ile-de-France
95 Val-d’Oise External Ile-de-France

Postal codes commencing ‘99’ are special postal codes for Paris.

These form the French Overseas’ Territories/Départements:

   9705-9708, 97150 Saint-Martin
   9709, 97133 Saint-Barthélemy 
   9710-97132, 97136-97198 Guadeloupe
   972 Martinique
   973 Guyane Française (French Guiana)
   974 Réunion
   975 Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon (Saint Pierre and Miquelon)
   976-979 Mayotte
   985 Mayotte Cédex
   986 Wallis and Futuna
   987 Polynésie Française (French Polynesia)
   988 Nouvelle-Calédonie (New Caledonia)

This regions/postal code data can be acquired as a data file External

Régions

    Grand Est External
    Nouvelle-Aquitaine External
    Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes External
    Bretagne External
    Centre-Val de Loire External
    Corse External
    Ile-de-France External
    Occitanie External
    Hauts-de-France External
    Normandie External
    Pays de la Loire External
    Provence - Alpes - Côte-d’Azur External

Telephone numbers in France

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France changed its telephone number system on 18th October 1996. Every number, including code, now consists of 10 digits. Each subscriber number now has 8 digits and a two digit area code, 01, 02 , 03, 04 or 05. When called from abroad, the total number length is 9. Telephone numbers are usually written with the digits in groups of two: 02 34 56 78 90

The zone Paris/Ile de France (départements 75-Paris, 77-Seine-et-Marne, 78-Yvelines, 91-Essonne, 92-Hauts-de-Seine, 93-Seine-Saint-Denis, 94-Val-de-Marne and 95-Val d'Oise) has retained the area code 01.

02 covers western France (Normandie, Bretagne, Pays-de-la-Loire and part of Centre).

03 covers northern and eastern France - Picardie, Pas-de-Calais, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine, Alsace and parts of Bourgogne and Franche-Comté.

04 covers south-eastern France - Auvergne, Rhône-Alpes, Provence, Côte-d’Azur, Languedoc, Roussillón and part of Midi-Pyrenées.

05 covers south-western France - Poitou-Charentes, Aquitaine and parts of Centre and Midi-Pyrenées.

06 and 07 is for mobile numbers.

image Source: Wikipedia

The correct area code can be identified on the basis of the first two digits of the telephone number for numbers outside the Île-de-France 01 region as below. Numbers within the Paris region remain unchanged.

First 2 digits of subscriber’s number (outside Île-de-France region) New area code
20 03
21 03
22 03
23 03
24 03
25 03
26 03
27 03
28 03
29 03
31 02
32 02
33 02
34 05
35 02
37 02
38 02
39 02
40 02
41 02
42 04
43 02
44 03
45 05
46 05
47 02
48 02
49 05
50 04
51 02
53 05
54 02
55 05
56 05
57 05
58 05
59 05
60 03
61 05
62 05
63 05
65 05
66 04
67 04
68 04
69 04
70 04
71 04
72 04
73 04
74 04
75 04
76 04
77 04
78 04
79 04
80 03
81 03
82 03
83 03
84 03
85 03
86 03
87 03
88 03
89 03
90 04
91 04
92 04
93 04
94 04
95 04
96 02
97 02
98 02
99 02

Tables of telephone number information/formats can be acquired – see http://www.grcdi.nl/telephone.htm External

Properties with value France


Every effort is made to keep this resource updated. If you find any errors, or have any questions or requests, please don't hesitate to contact the author.

All information copyright Graham Rhind 2017. Any information used should be acknowledged and referenced.