Bitesize Guide to applying for a Carte de Séjour without a conventional address

Applying for a Carte de Séjour is often a daunting experience, but for those people living in less conventional circumstances, the prospect may feel overwhelming. We don’t know as yet the details for the new online CdS system, but we must assume that proof of residence will be required.

There are many Rift members who have succeeded in obtaining a CdS without a bricks and mortar home, and they’ve generously shared their experiences for the research of this Bitesize.

Although a level of stability is essential, it is clear that a Titre de Séjour should not be refused based solely on the lack of a permanent address;

Droit des personnes sans domicile stable de faire des démarches d’admission au séjour en préfecture

Therefore, there are ways and procedures for those living in France in different situations, to apply for a CdS.

Living afloat

For those with a permanent mooring, and those prepared to stay local, an attestation de domicile can be requested from the Captainerie. As moorings are hard to come by and being at anchor may be the only possibility, an attestation de mouillage could be requested. These requests would certainly be looked on more favourably if you were well known within the community, and could provide proof of lasting links. One Rift member was advised by the préfectureto remain locally, while building up his residence years towards a permanent card, to avoid different interpretations on his validity of residence if renewing at another préfecture.

Staying with friends and family

When you have a home but your name is not on the rental agreement, the house deeds or the essential services bills, an attestation d’hébergement is required. The form can be printed off here: it is completed by the householder, who also adds a copy of their passport, identity card or CdS and an essential services bill in their name. This is your proof of residence.

Other circumstances 

If living in a caravan, or a yurt on someone else’s property, the attestations de domicile or d’hébergementmay also be suitable. If not, there is a further solution for an address in France. Une demande de domiciliation des personnes sans domicile stable; a request for an address to receive mail, for those temporarily without one.


A request for this service can be made at the centre communal d’action sociale (CCAS) or the centre intercommunal d’action sociale (CIAS), or at the mairie in small towns without a CCAS or CIAS.


There are conditions that need to be met in order to apply. The conditions require a level of stability and investment in the local community, for example, to be employed or to be a parent of a school child within the commune.

If accepted, there is a time limit of 12 months as it’s not meant to be long term, rather a stop gap to provide a temporary solution during a difficult period.

Julie Hall, May 2020


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