Requesting a French passport

Requesting a French passport
Eager to travel? Administrative necessity? Loss, theft? You must renew your French passport… and it’s not the easiest task right now. Yes Immigration gives you some info on the matter!
How does it work?
  • You must submit your pre-application online on the CNI-Passeport – Accueil website ( – the same site gives you the list of documents to provide, and allows you to buy the tax stamp online, track your application or geolocate the nearest town halls and photographers.
  • Once your file is submitted, you must make an appointment at the town hall to submit your file and leave your fingerprints. You can submit your application to any town hall, as long as it is entitled to register you (you will find this information on Please check that this town hall issues biometric passports.
  • Your can keep your current passport during the examination of your application. Once the file has been accepted and processed, a SMS will be sent to you when your passport is ready to be picked up at the town hall. Be careful, the title is destroyed after 3 months!

You can also go through your town hall directly to have the list of documents, the CERFA to complete, etc … but the deadline will be greatly extended.

Anticipate the deadlines

Lately, waiting times to apply for or renew a passport have been very long – it takes an average of fifty days to get an appointment to submit your application and then retrieve your document. Reasons? A lack of staff and an overload of work after the great trough due to Covid, according to the ANTS (National Agency for Secure Securities).  The State tries to stem the flow of requests, but it is important to anticipate your request (4 months minimum).

Emergency passport

The emergency passport may be issued by the authorities on an exceptional basis, in the event of a compelling reason: urgent travel for humanitarian or medical reasons (serious illness, death,….) or professional reasons (unforeseen departure that cannot be postponed). In all cases, the request must be very clearly justified by specific documents (employer certificate, doctor’s certificate,….).

Please note that this passport is only valid for one year and is not biometric. It therefore cannot be used for immigration procedures. 

Are you abroad?

Nothing changes, except for the fact that you will have to file your request at your local  Consulate of France. Be careful, plan for (even) longer delays: your title is sent for manufacture in France!

Some tips

* Think about the validity of the titles

The identity card, normally issued for 10 years, is valid for 15 years if issued between 2 January 2004 and 31 December 2013. Cards issued after 2014 are also valid for 15 years – be careful, new model cards (credit card type) have a validity of 10 years.

The government has put in place derogations. People who no longer have any identity document following a loss or theft, as well as business trips and compelling reasons (family, health,….) are treated as a priority provided they can handle serious supporting documents. 

Exams scheduled for June and the registration for the driver’s license temporarily accept identity cards and passports expired less than 5 years ago.

*Website to help you book an appointment: 

RDV Titres – appointmenttitresearch (

Rendez-vous en ligne pour CNI ou passeport. (

Try and connect at  less dense traffic hours (early in the morning, at night,…).

* Prefer prefectures or sub-prefectures

Deadlines are sometimes a little faster – check it out!

*Be mobile

This is common sense: depending on the urgency of your request, you may need to submit your application to a more distant town hall. Be careful, it is in the same place that you will have to collect your title.

*Prepare the appointment

Make sure your file is complete and meets the requirements of the authority – it is better to bring more documents than requested than to have to resume an appointment.

In short, be patient, mobile and precise in the completion of the file… and stay optimistic: the government has put in place an emergency plan that should ease the situation in the coming months!

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