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Speeding ticket in France, need help understanding ticket

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Oct 23rd, 2017, 03:56 PM
  #1
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Speeding ticket in France, need help understanding ticket

Hello! Thanks for reading my post, I really need help and don't know where else to go for help.

I am from the United States. My friend and I rented a car in while I was visiting her in France this past summer and unbeknownst to us, we got a speeding ticket. The ticket was sent to the address on my driver's license, my parent's address, which I do not primarily reside at anymore. My parents misplaced the ticket, then found it, and they just gave it to me recently.

I do not understand French very well. I've done what I can with the website provided (antai.fr) and I was able to figure out that I unfortunately missed the period of time to pay the fine (91 days) and now it seems I will have to wait for an additional notice. I don't think my parents have gotten it yet but I'm afraid it'll be lost again.

My questions are:
1. Is there any way I can pay this sooner rather than later? If so, where do I go/who do I contact about this? 2. When it is time for me to pay, can I pay it in increments instead of all at once?
3. Is there any way I can explain what happened with the notice getting lost and see if the additional fines will be waived? (Fine for paying late)
4. I believe my friend was actually the one driving at the time because I didn't really speed when I drove, but she always speeds. Based on the speed that the ticket was for it seems to be her. Is there any way to tell what time of day the contravention was committed?
5. Will this impact my US driver's licence? If so, how do I find out?
Merbear1991 is offline  
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 04:40 PM
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Is there a French Consulate near you. Not sure if they can help, but it would be a start. You could call them.

StCirq will know what to do if she sees your plight.

When you find out how to pay, just pay it--no explanations will help or matter.
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 05:15 PM
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Ditto.

The OP must be a young person, and as such, should pay it, since he may very well return at some point in the future (it's my understanding that somehow the French police can prevent you from renting a car in the future if a ticket isn't paid).

But in our case, we won't be returning to France, or Europe for that matter. Ever. So no fear of rental blockage. But am I correct in assuming there's no other way for the gendarmes to collect my fine?
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 05:20 PM
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PS. my ticket states the location, time and date of the infraction. It sure isn't clear, however, what the infraction was; I'm sure it was speeding, as I recall seeing a city limits sign with a speed counter in front of it flashing as my speed increased...45...39...35...gotcha
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 06:35 PM
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There is a link indicated on the ticket for paying online. You go to the website and enter the reference number and then go through the usual card payment process.

Normally, I would say that you could contest the increased amount for late payment due to having received the ticket late, but since you gave an address that was not your own and let your friend drive the car, you probably don't have a leg to stand on.

Besides the speed, the ticket also always says the time and on which section of the road you were caught.

It will not have any impact on your US licence.
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 06:58 PM
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Pay your fine here:

https://www.amendes.gouv.fr/portail/index.jsp

It will not affect your US drivers license but it could affect your credit as the French Police have been known to use the US court system to collect what you owe.
Sarastro is online now  
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 09:21 PM
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The link sarastro supplied is in English - just click on the British flag.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 02:38 AM
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I would try paying just the first amount requested. They may accept it. But, settle this soon.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 03:14 AM
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I am a bit surprised they don't send the information in English We received a speeding fine from France recently and it was all in Dutch. If they can translate it all into Dutch they can do the same for English.
It was a painless procedure to pay it, though the amount was painful,for going 2km to fast. DH didn't slow down fast enough as we entered a village and we got caught by a camera just past the village name sign.

Tomboy if you got a fine why not just pay it? You broke the law and should accept that. The French may still come after you via a US agency and the fine then will be huge. Saying don't pay because you won't be going back is certainly not good advice to give to OP, or anyone else.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 03:42 AM
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It is far from clear that the OP gave a false address. The OP may have moved shortly after returning from the trip, and the parents kept the ticket without informing the OP. Many states in the US also allow a significant grace period from the time you change address to notifying the license bureau of the change and receiving a new license.

It is not unreasonable for the OP to be looking for evidence that her friend was behind the wheel at the time of the infraction so she can get reimbursed by the friend. I don't get the impession the OP is trying to avoid payment based on a defense her friend was driving.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 03:59 AM
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IMO, regardless of who was driving even though you say "she always speeds" and that you "didn't really" the fine came to you so you have to pay it. Just do so and be done with it. Pay the original amount and let THEM tell you to pay more.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 04:00 AM
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PS, this is the kind of thing that happens when you let someone who "always speeds" behind the wheel of the car you rented.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 05:36 AM
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<>

Exactly. And trying to contest it in English will likely be useless. Just pay it. And no, you can't arrange for incremental payments.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 06:45 AM
  #14
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"It is far from clear that the OP gave a false address."
That's what I was thinking, too.

"Many states in the US also allow a significant grace period from the time you change address to notifying the license bureau of the change"
The last time I changed states, I was able to keep my former state's driver's license until it expired. For me, that meant a few years. The rules may vary from state to state. I don't know.

Even so, car rental counter agents typically ask if the address on the license is current. It's quite possible it was in the OP's case.

As for splitting the cost, if two friends shared in the cost of the rental, those same two friends should split the ticket, especially if one friend likes to speed and shared time at the wheel. If you're not friends anymore, then that situation could be a tougher sell.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 06:54 AM
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I am a bit surprised they don't send the information in English We received a speeding fine from France recently and it was all in Dutch. If they can translate it all into Dutch they can do the same for English.

This might simply be a case of a computer automatically sending the fine in the language of the country of the vehichle's registration. Obviously, this doesn't necessarily work with rental cars, but since about 90% of cars are rented by locals, the exceptions don't really count.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 08:11 AM
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We're from the US & have received several speeding tickets while in France.

I agree with the others - pay the amount you have been ticketed for, and then let the French police contact you for "penalty" amounts for a late payment. Forget about arguing the "excuses" with the French police, and work out "who pays" with your friend.

Also - on your rental contract, did you specify your friend as a "additional driver"??? If not - you'd be in a world of trouble (I suspect) if you had an accident when your friend was driving - depending on what type of insurance you were carrying.

Also, expect your car rental agency to charge you something for passing on your name & address on to the police.

Stu Dudley
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Oct 24th, 2017, 08:33 AM
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I don't know where the idea of contesting it because it is late came from, the OP said it went to her parent's address because that's the address on her license and then her parents didn't give it to your for a long time. We don't even know when they go it.

I have never ever heard of any legal system that waives fines because of carelessness and parents misplacing things. No, forget that. I'd like to see that happen in the US, asking for late fees to be waived because you misplaced the ticket and forgot about it for a while.

Who was driving is irrelevant and could never be proven anyway. Where I live, camera tickets go with the car, anyway. So I guess the idea was to guilt the friend into paying? I think that's fine, sounds like it was her fault anyway.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 09:13 AM
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"I have never ever heard of any legal system that waives fines because of carelessness and parents misplacing things."
While the OP's story isn't fully clear, USPS mail doesn't always make it to the correct mail box, if it makes it at all. I have plenty of examples where serious mistakes have occurred, including a missing IRS refund check. I'm just happy the mistakes haven't involved traffic tickets, yet.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 09:21 AM
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It won't impact your US license but you should pay it anyway. Split the ticket with friend, you're in it together. You let a known speeder drive a rental car under your name? Really?

US wouldn't accept the lost ticket explanation either. Believe me, I know!

It's also, I suspect, not a false address. I gave my parents' address for about 10 years after high school because when you move every year, getting your mail is a lot less complicated if you have a permanent address. But the OP needs to stop doing this if your parents can't be trusted to pass on your mail.

Good luck with your friend. I think you two share the blame for the ticket, but the late fee is different. I am not sure if I'd pay that if I was your friend. You're responsible for your own mail.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 09:25 AM
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What you say s correct Kerouac, but they have to get the address from the rental company, and being a US address there is a good chance the person involved speaks English, rather than French.

If the friend was not listed as a named diver they were driving uninsured which could have been a serious problem. Better not to mention that to the French authorities!
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