With or without driving licence?

Since 19 January 2013, the AM license is entered, in all member countries of the European Union. However, each country has the possibility of establishing its own terms.

In France, the AM license is equivalent to BSR, within the meaning of European Directive 2006/126/EC and does not enter the system of penalty points

Quadricycle legislation

The light quadricycles - Flex Model
Legislation defines it as "a light quadricycle the weight of which is limited to 350 kg by law, equipped with a 4 KW (5.6 bhp) engine and the speed of which is less than 45 km/h". It is assimilated to the moped category and may be driven with a driving licence for category AM (light quadricycle option) or without a driving licence according to the age of the driver.

With or without a licence, the current situation

To drive a light quadricyle, there are two possible scenarios:

  • Those persons born after 1st January 1988: holding a driving license with category AM is mandatory.

Except, persons holding:

  • either a driving license,
  • or a patent of road safety,
  • or a recognized equivalent qualification issued by a State of the European Union or the European Economic Area.

Those persons born before 1st January 1988: they can drive a light quadricycle without particular formality whether or not holders of the driving license.
The AM license takes the theoretical BSR program, but by extending the duration of the practical training from five to seven hours.

Theoretical training

The Category AM is the practical part which is intended for young people who received the school certificate of road safety (ASSR) 1st level - passed in 5th grade in college - or ASSR 2nd level passed in 3rd class, or the certificate of road safety (ASR) for those who have left school.

Practical training

The formation of the practical part of the certificate of road safety and the issuance of the said certificate are provided by the educational institutions for consideration, of the driving of motor vehicles and road safety or the associations of social integration or reintegration or professional approved by the prefect

Training without examination of 7 hours on a light quadricycle including:

  • Practical training out of circulation: equipment, their roles, indispensable controls to the maintenance of security, control of the vehicle out of circulation (duration 2 hours);
  • Practical training in circulation (duration 4 hours);
  • Awareness of the specific risks associated with driving: behaviors to have, speed and consequences (1 hour)

The Category AM is the practical part which is intended for young people who received the school certificate of road safety (ASSR) 1st level - passed in 5th grade in college - or ASSR 2nd level passed in 3rd class, or the certificate of road safety (ASR) for those who have left school.
Terms of practical training on:

  • Option on light quadricycle, the teacher can supervise only one student in circulation The teacher can either be in the quadricycle driven by the student or in a following vehicle connected to the quadricycle by radio.

The AM license shall be issued by the prefectures, and benefit from the new electronic driving licenses in credit card format and has a microchip from September 2013.

Namely

  • The current BSR moped option issued until January 19, 2013 does not allow the operation of a light quadricycle.
  • The AM license, light quadricycle option issued since January 19, 2013, does not allow a moped, unlike the moped option that is worth recognition of monitoring of the light quadricycle engine option when the student meets the required age.

Freedom to be experienced together.

A licence-free car is a two-seater vehicle, allowing for the transportation of a single passenger.
Transportation of a child under ten years of age on the front seat of a motor vehicle is forbidden, except in one of the following occurrences:

  • When the child is transported, with his/her back to the road, in car seat system approved to be installed in the front of the vehicle;
  • When the vehicle does not have a back seat, which a light quadricycle does not, or if the back seat is not equipped with safety belts.

Seat belts

Wearing of the safety belt is mandatory.
While driving, any driver or passenger of a motor vehicle must wear an approved safety belt if the seat he/she is sitting in is equipped with one. All seats equipped with a safety belt cannot be occupied by more than one person.

Driving on motorways and dual carriage ways is forbidden!

Circulation of licence-free cars is forbidden on motorways and on dual carriage ways (Article R 421-2 of the Code de la route (French Highway Traffic Act)).
As a rule, this means roads with two lanes for each direction separated by a central reservation and with slip-road access. 
But their status is bound by a classification decision made by the relevant authorities that does not depend on any technical features. The status may thus be granted to all or part of a national or departmental road, or to certain ring roads in urban and outlying areas. A white-framed blue sign with the drawing of a white car tells drivers that the road is considered as a motorway.
In the event the driver of the light quadricycle is using a GPS device, he/she should be extremely careful regarding these restrictions which are not taken into account by the apparatus.
Also, any traffic or parking limitations or prohibitions regarding motor vehicles with two or four wheels are applicable to the said vehicles and should not be ignored by their drivers.
Driving on roads that are closed to motor quadricycles (motorways, dual carriage ways and express ways) is punishable by a fifth class fine (French criminal law). (1,500 euros). Confiscation, immobilisation or impounding may be used in accordance with the conditions provided in Articles L. 325-1 to L. 325-9.

Mandatory insurance

Licence-free cars, as terrestrial motor vehicles, are subject to the mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance (Articles L. 211-1 and L. 211-2 of the Code des assurances (French Insurance Regulations))

Alcohol is forbidden while driving

The law of June 12th 2003 concerning road traffic violence states that a driving ban imposed by a court of law can be applied to any kind of vehicle (including licence-free cars).
A criminal court may therefore ban any person convicted of a motoring offence (drink-driving, excessive speeding, etc.) from driving a vehicle of that type.

Reference