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1. Defining the activity
Driverless transport car operators provide their customers with one or more chauffeur-driven transport cars, under pre-arranged conditions between the parties.
The operator of a chauffeur-driven transport car (VTC) is a professional whose activity consists ofcarry persons and their luggage with a vehicle with at least four seats, including the driver's, on advance reservation.
The VTC driver is not eligible for parking authorization, unlike taxis:
- He must justify a pre-booking to take care of a customer;
- it is forbidden to practice marauding, i.e. to stop, park or drive on the lane open to public traffic in search of customers;
- it cannot park on the lane open to public traffic at the front of stations and terminals more than an hour before the customer who has made a pre-booking is taken care of;
- Upon completion of the service, he is required to return to the location of the operator of that car or to a place, off the roadway, where parking is permitted, unless he justifies another advance reservation or a contract with the end customer.
To go further: Sections L. 3120-2 and L. 3122-9 of the Transportation Code.
Two degrees. Registration in the VTC register
The operator must register to operate chauffeur-driven transport cars before he can carry out his activity, under penalty of sanctions.
The registration of a natural or legal person established in France, or a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) who wishes to establish himself in France, is compulsory to carry out the activity of VTC operator. This registry is managed by the Department of Transportation.
Registration must be renewed every five years. It results in a regular update of the registration file information. Changes must be reported electronically within a maximum of 15 free days.
Operators may use additional vehicles on an exceptional basis in the event of a physical inability to use the vehicles on the register. They must report it to the registry electronically. This appeal may not exceed one month.
They may also use vehicles or drivers on an exceptional basis in connection with commercial, sporting, cultural, educational or political events or specific events justifying such recourse. In this case, they are required to send copies of business cards and registration certificates of the drivers and vehicles concerned, with the period corresponding to this period, to the registry manager electronically. exceptional recourse, which may not last more than one month.
Evidence for registration in the VTC register
To register with the VTC register, the person must provide the following supporting documents:
- marital status, occupation, applicant's residence;
- Address of the applicant's principal institution
- Proof of company registration;
- certification of insurance covering professional civil liability;
- Proof of financial capacity;
- copy of the driver's business card.
- copy of vehicle registration certificates
The operator of one or more chauffeur-made transport vehicles must justify financial capacity. These financial capacity requirements are met in the following cases:
- The operator owns the vehicle.
- It justifies a lease of at least 6 months;
- it has a financial guarantee of 1,500 euros per vehicle.
The application is made electronically on the portal VTC Registry Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition.
Outcome of the procedure
Registration is made within two months of the operator sending the full file, subject to the transfer to the registry manager of the registration fee receipt. The operator receives a certificate of registration.
As of January 1, 2020, the registration fee is set at 170 euros per operator.
To go further: Articles L. 3122-3, L.3122-4, R. 3122-1 to R. 3122-9
3. Driver regulation
Drivers of vehicles performing VTC services must meet professional aptitude and honour requirements and must hold a professional card issued by the administrative authority. For more information, please refer to the listing Driver-driven transport car driver.
To go further: Sections L. 3120-2-1 and L. 3120-2-2 of the Transportation Code.
4. Vehicle regulations
Driverless transport cars have at least four seats and no more than nine seats, including the driver's. They must be less than six years old (unless they are vintage vehicles), have at least four doors and have a minimum length of 4.50 metres and a width of 1.70 metres. Their engine must have a minimum power of 84 kilowatts.
Electric or hybrid vehicles, which contribute to the preservation of automotive heritage or are designed to transport people with reduced mobility, are exempt from the technical characteristics imposed on VTC vehicles.
The VTC driver must ensure that his vehicle does not have any special equipment that could cause confusion with a taxi. On the other hand, the vehicle must have a distinctive signage (the final signage has two stickers produced and distributed by the National Printing House).
To go further: Articles L. 3120-5, L. 3122-4 and R. 3122-6 to R. 3122-8 of the Transportation Code; Order of 26 March 2015 relating to the characteristics of vehicles used by operators of chauffeur-driven transport cars; order of 6 April 2017 relating to the signage of chauffeur-driven transport cars.
(5) Administrative and criminal sanctions
For operators of chauffeur-made transport vehicles, failure to register with the VTC register is punishable by one year's imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 euros. The natural operator may also be suspended for up to 5 years, forfeiture of his vehicle or immobilized for up to one year.
The fact that a VTC driver takes care of a passenger without prior reservation or practice marauding exposes him to the same penalties.
An operator who does not update the information reported in the register is liable to a 4th class ticket, as is the failure to declare an exceptional event.
An operator who does not place mandatory signage on his vehicle or uses non-compliant signage is liable to a 4th class ticket.
An operator who uses a vehicle that does not conform to the characteristics imposed on VTC vehicles is liable to a 3rd class ticket.
Operating a VTC vehicle by using drivers of vehicles who do not hold a valid business card for transportation is punishable by a 5th class ticket.
The operator is struck off the register:
- when one of the requirements for registration, such as when the operator makes available to a third party, whether for a fee or not, the registration in the register referred to in section L. 3122-3 that he obtained for its own account;
- where, for whatever reason, the operator ceases its transport activity with chauffeur-made transport vehicles.
To go further: Articles L. 3124-7, L. 3124-12, R.3122-4, R.3124-5 to R. 3124-7 and R. 3124-12 of the Transportation Code.