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The Normandy American Heroes Blog

World War Two, Normandy and More

How to Find a Safe and Legal Private Tour Guide In France

Posted by Rodolphe Passera on Jul 17, 2017 11:59:40 AM

france safe tour guides

To ensure you travel safely in Normandy we believe you must be aware of French Legislation.

Why? Because it could have a disastrous impact rendering your trip to Normandy a real nightmare.

How? By choosing a company which does not comply with the law. 

What then? Normandy American Heroes has decided to share with you the documents, safety equipment etc… that must be aboard the vehicle you decide to take.

To conclude, you will find at the end of this blog the sanctions that the driver could have and how this could directly impact negatively your journey, especially if the vehicle is grounded!

Hint: as the Customer you have the right to demand the driver to respect the speed limit, not talk on his mobile phone etc… just like when you take a taxi in Paris for example, you have the right to choose your itinerary or ask him to turn off the radio!



A certified numbered copy or an original Inland Transport License is mandatory for any vehicle operating a public road transport service or a private service. This document certifies the registration of the company at the “DREAL”, public road transport operators, therefore authorizing the company to transport passengers.

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It’s the law; the tour company must show on the front windscreen the “VTC license” authorizing them to transport passengers.

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The driver must have a Transport Document & Mission Order, again it’s the law.

Article 1-2 of the 28 December 2011 clearly states that a driver performing road transport activities of persons as an occasional service must have in his possession a Mission Order.

The Mission Order must include:

  • Schedule and location for the start of the mission
  • Places and times scheduled picking up and bringing back the passengers
  • Summary of the itinerary
  • Schedule and location for the end of the mission
  • Details of the nature of the service and when applicable of the services other than driving

The Transport Document is a travel document that justifies the group's right to be transported while the Mission Order is a document that details the mission's instructions. For reasons of convenience, these two documents are often combined as one.

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Issued by the Insurance Company, you must see on the green certificate at the front of the windscreen the validity date (from / to) and the licence plate number of the vehicle




When the vehicle is 5 years old, one time per year it must pass a technical control confirming that it’s safe to transport passengers.




A fire extinguisher

A reflector vest

A warning triangle

A first-aid kit visible to all passengers and of easy access

A flashlight



For the so-called "light" vehicles (9 seats including the driver) driven with a B driving licence, the maximum speeds are as follows:


130 km on highways can be reduced to 110 km

110 km on roads with two carriageways separated by a median can be reduced to 90 km

90 km on other roads can be reduced to 70 km

50 km in built-up areas, can be reduced to 30 km


In case of rain or other precipitation, the maximum speeds are lowered to:


110 km on highways

100 km on roads with two carriageways separated by a median

80 km on other roads

50 km in built-up areas


In the case of visibility less than 50 meters (165 feet), maximum speeds are lowered to 50 km on all road and highway networks.


Amount of the fine and number of point’s loss if your driver does not respect the speed limit


< 20 km on other roads, 1 point, 68 Euros, max 450 Euros

< 20 km in built-up areas, 1 point, 135 Euros, max 750 Euros

< 30 km, 2 points, 135 Euros, max 750 Euros

< 40 km, 3 points, 135 Euros, max 750 Euros

< 50 km, 4 points, 135 Euros, max 750 Euros

> 50 km, 6 points, 1500 Euros – the vehicle can be grounded by the police force

> 50 km (recidivism), 6 points, 3750 Euros – the vehicle is grounded by the police


Note: each driver initially has 12 points on his driving license (except for young drivers)

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If your driver uses his phone manually or with a headset it’s strictly illegal! 3 points loss, 135 Euros



In France, all passengers must wear their seatbelt, it’s the law. 3 points loss, 135 Euros



In France, it is forbidden to drive with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.5 g of alcohol per liter of blood



In France, it’s totally illegal to use drugs, even more so to drive under the influence of a drug



The invoice is mandatory for sales or services performed by a professional regardless of the amount.


If you are boarding a vehicle driven by a chauffeur, the V.A.T. on the invoice should be 10%

If you are driving your own vehicle with a guide, the V.A.T. on the invoice should be 20%

Note: If the amount charged exceeds 150 Euros NET the V.A.T. identification number of the company must be written out on the invoice


The R.C.S. (Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés) must be on the invoice proving that the company is registered.


Failure to comply with the invoice regulations exposes the company manager to a fine of up to 75,000 Euros. In addition, any omission or inaccuracy found on an invoice is liable to a fine of 15 Euros for inaccuracy or omission (but the total fine cannot exceed one quarter of the total invoice amount).


Important notice: The Government has decided to limit the payment in cash to 1000 Euros since the 1st September 2015 (Decree No. 2015-741 of 24 June 2015).



It can fall under the Correctional court jurisdiction when a prison sentence is to be carried out or when the fine is more than or equal to 3750 Euros


It can be a fine issued by the Police Court when it does not exceed the sum of 3000 Euros


· Failure to be registered at the “DREAL” and provide an Inland Transport License: one year's imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 €


· Use of a duplicate of an expired or suspended Inland Transport License authorization: one year's imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 €


· No Inland Transport License, meaning no vehicle insurance: one year's imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 €


· Refusal to allow controls to be carried out: 6 months imprisonment and a 3750 € fine


· Refusal to submit documents or providing information to screening officers: 6 months imprisonment and a 3750 € fine


· Absence of documents mandatory on board (collective ticket, mission order ...): 750 € fine


· Not affixing on the windscreen of the vehicle the sign bearing the Inland Transport License number: 4th class ticket (a flat-rate fine of 135 Euros)


· The failure to mention in a conspicuous place on the vehicle the name of the company: 4th class ticket (a flat-rate fine of 135 Euros)

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About this Blog

Normandy American Heroes provides custom World War II tours of Normandy and beyond. On our blog, we write about World War II, things to do in Normandy and much more.

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