How to Find a Safe Tour Guide in France
Failure to travel safely in Normandy can result in a disastrous trip and we’re here to help with our tips for finding a safe tour guide. In order to ensure that you travel safely in Normandy, it is important that you are aware of French Legislation. There are a number of documents that your tour guide must have present at all times to prove that they are legit. Normandy American Heroes has decided to share with you the documents, safety equipment etc… that must be aboard the vehicle you decide to take.
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!
The following is a list of documents that must be aboard the vehicle you decide to take on your tour and will help indicate you’ve found a safe tour guide.
1. INLAND TRANSPORT LICENSE
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.
2. “VTC” LICENSE CAR STICKER
It’s the law; the tour company must show on the front windscreen the “VTC license” authorizing them to transport passengers, a important indicator that you’ve found a safe tour guide.
3. TRANSPORT DOCUMENT & MISSION ORDER
The driver must have a Transport Document & Mission Order, again it’s the law.
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.
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 license plate number of the vehicle
5. TECHNICAL CONTROL
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.
6. SAFETY EQUIPMENT
- A fire extinguisher
- A reflector vest
- A warning triangle
- A first-aid kit visible to all passengers and of easy access
- A flashlight
7. YOUR INVOICE
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).
1. TELEPHONE ONBOARD THE VEHICLE
If your driver uses his phone manually or with a headset it’s strictly illegal! 3 points loss, 135 Euros
2. SEAT BELT
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.
Utilize these tips and you should be on your way to finding a safe tour guide in France!
Rudy Passera, Interpretive Guide & Owner, Normandy American Heroes | August 28, 2017
My passion for history was sparked by my father’s passion of history, heritage, gastronomy and culture as we traveled/lived in Europe and the U.S.A. I decided to create my own company, Normandy American Heroes that would pay homage to those who fought and suffered during the Second World War, to honor the sacrifices made and educate younger generations on the meaning of courage, competence and devotion to duty.
The last two decades has seen an increased interest in World War 2. Visiting the locations where many of the iconic battles were fought is important to understand clearly what the soldiers achieved individually to free the world. Normandy American Heroes strongly believes all Americans who fought in Normandy & beyond are heroes, whether resting in peace here in the hallowed grounds of the Normandy cemetery (Omaha beach), Saint James American cemetery, Luxembourg… or back at home.
Thus the name we chose, Normandy American Heroes to recognize the sacrifice of all those men and women who fought for our freedom.
Moreover it represents an honorable passion. People need to perceive how France and other countries of Europe (your ancestors, your cultural heritage!) were before, during and after World War II.
Click here for more information about Normandy American Heroes!