Postal codes in France

Postal codes in France

Postal codes were introduced in France in 1972, when "La Poste" introduced automated sorting.


The postal code (lang fr|code postal) consists of five digits, the first two digits being the number of the "département" in metropolitan France where the post office in charge of delivery to a town is located. The system is also used outside Europe, in the Overseas Departments and Territories, but it is the first two digits that identify the "département" or territory. The digits 00 are used for Military addresses. The digits "20" are used for all of Corsica; Corsica used to be one département numbered 20, but today it is split into two départements numbered as 2A and 2B.

The next three digits identify the local postal office in charge of mail delivery. A regular postcode always ends with a 0, with the notable exception of Paris, Lyon and Marseille - see below - and the Overseas Départements and Territories. Postcodes not ending with a 0 may indicate a special code, known as CEDEX (see below), or newest postcodes.

In Paris, the last two digits of the postal code indicate the "arrondissement". Prior to 1972, an address in the eighth "arrondissement" in Paris, would be written as:

8 rue Chambiges Paris 8e

This number was incorporated into the postal code as:

8 rue Chambiges 75008 Paris

An exception to this rule is the XVIe arrondissement, which has two postal codes, 75016 (south) and 75116 (north).

Outside of Paris, the cities of Lyon and Marseille are also divided into arrondissements, which are part of the postal code:

11 rue Duhamel 69002 Lyon

2 avenue du Maréchal Foch 13004 Marseille

In each département, the "préfecture" (main city) has a postal code ending with "000", for example Bourges in Cher:

15 avenue du Général Leclerc 18000 Bourges

The more important the city, the simpler the postal code. The "sous-préfectures" are generally recognized by using a XXX00 postcode. Here is for example the postal code of a small village, Lépaud in Creuse:

16 grande rue 23170 Lépaud

And the postal code of Mortagne-au-Perche, "sous-préfecture" of the Département de l'Orne:

4 rue des Quinze Fusillés 61400 Mortagne-au-Perche

It is not rare that many adjacent villages share the same postal code, which is primarily associated with a bigger post office, e.g.: 64150 can correspond to Abidos, Bésingrand, Lagor, Lahourcade, Mourenx, Noguère, Os Marsillon, Pardies, Sauvelade and Vielleségure.

Overseas Départements and Territories use 3-digit codes starting with : 971 (Guadeloupe), 972 (Martinique), 973 (French Guiana), 974 (Réunion), 975 (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), 976 (Mayotte), 984 (French Southern Territories), 986 (Wallis and Futuna), 987 (French Polynesia), 988 (New Caledonia). In March 2008 La Poste proposed allotting 977 to Saint Barthélemy and 978 to Saint Martin due to their new status as overseas collectivities [cite news
first = Cécile
last = Lucot
author =
coauthors =
title = General Director of Post Office visits Saint Barth
url =
format =
work =
publisher = Local News from St-Barths by Cecile Lucot
pages =
page =
date = 2008-03-12
accessdate = 2008-03-20
language =
quote = It looks as if the new codes will begin with 97-7 for St Barth and 97-8 for St Martin. The post office is not yet sure and will make a definitive decision next July.
] . In this case, the last zero is dropped so as to keep the 5-digit format. This is why the regular postcodes for these don't end with 0 except for the préfecture or sous-préfecture, for example :

Maison du Port 97100 Basse-Terre

4 boulevard du Général de Gaulle 97320 Saint-Laurent du Maroni

193 RN2 97439 Sainte-Rose


There is also a system known as CEDEX, "Courrier d'Entreprise à Distribution EXceptionnelle", designed for recipients of large volumes of mail. A postal code is allocated to each large organisation or to post office box holders, ending in three unique digits, for example:

2 place Jussieu 75251 Paris CEDEX 05

The '05' is for the Ve arrondissement. CEDEX should always be written in capitals.

Ordinary deliveries would be addressed to:

2 place Jussieu 75005 Paris

It is also acceptable to include a "boîte postale" (post office box) number as well as the street address in CEDEX addresses.


The French postal code system is also used in Monaco as if it were a French département numbered 98. However the destination country that has to be indicated, when sending a letter from outside the country, is "Monaco" and not "France".

12 avenue de la Costa 98000 Monaco MONACO

23 Avenue Prince Héréditaire Albert 98025 Monaco Cedex MONACO

ee also

*Département in France


External links

* [ Les Codes Postaux et CEDEX]
* [ Find a French postcode]

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