As government services in small market towns are closed in an effort to streamline and centralize offices, people in rural areas often complain that they have lost access to administrative help.
To solve this problem, the government has established a network of France Services offices, of which 2,379 are in operation in 2022, for a total of 2,750 by the end of this year.
They are designed to be the first point of contact with the French bureaucracy, offering free assistance with processes and paperwork related to health, family, legal, housing, taxes, job search and digital services.
Read more: Which French public services do Connexion readers find ‘most useful’?
The goal is for everyone to be within 30 minutes of one of these toll booths (service counters). Find your local France Services Here.
Here are some of the things you can do at France Services:
1. Learn how systems work
Staff can provide information about how systems work in France in general: for example, how to get into the healthcare system, understand where your taxes go, why you have to answer questions about your swimming pool or whether you have to pay for a television licence. .
2. Complete administrative tasks
They can help carry out a specific task, such as filling out a tax declaration form, adjusting income tax deductions at source, and requesting or renewing a French ID card, driver’s license or driver’s license. gray card (vehicle logbook).
3. Get IT help
You can also get basic IT assistance, including setting up an email address or printing/scanning documents needed for official purposes. Folders (Folders).
4. Browse websites
Staff may show people how to find and navigate various official government websites, conduct online simulations (for example, about the benefits they may receive), and request documents (for example, new copies of French birth certificates).
Read more: Foreigners among the losers from France’s ‘excessive digitalization’
5. Move issues forward
Staff can connect with the right people in other offices to untangle difficult bureaucratic knots. If you can’t resolve a difficult situation on your own, France Services is your next stop.
6. Know what to expect when expecting
Staff can help expectant mothers declare their pregnancies, apply for benefits, find a local midwife, choose where to give birth, and deal with employment issues, among other services.
This is an important step for first-time mothers, because maternity benefits are paid to women who follow the correct rules during pregnancy. course (i.e. you have filled out the correct paperwork).
7. Find a job
Get help finding a job, advice on CVs and find out how to register with Pôle Emploi.
Staff can also often provide information about local employers who are currently hiring.
8. Enjoy the benefits
If you are unsure of the social security benefits available to you or how to apply for them, you can contact the French Services office.
Staff can even help find the correct web pages to apply online.
Read more: Social aid statement in French: Aspa adding to low retirement income
9. Apply vitale card
If you have problems with your device vitale card – whether you want to buy one in the first place, replace a lost one or update an existing one – help is at hand.
The same goes for healthcare reimbursement. (Obviously the staff cannot offer medical assistance.)
Read more: Carte Vitale: What should I do if I lose my French health insurance card?
10. Make sure your pension is paid
Get advice to determine your exact retirement date and ensure your pension is paid in full and on time.
11. Resolve arguments
Staff can provide advice to people facing legal disputes: how to avoid them, how to find mediation, how to resolve them out of court, or where it cannot be avoided.
They can also explain which courts hear different types of cases and give their addresses.
12. Local offers
Offices are free to add other services to the range of services offered. You can also find help with things like rubbish collection, parking inquiries or the opening hours of your local post office.
‘The painful story of my lost Carte Vitale and French bureaucracy’
Prefecture help desks can provide support with French online administration
Artificial Intelligence can write your letters in French