
Area code 33 
Common abbreviation F 
Last updated 2942018 
Road class 
Syntax explanation 
Administrative subordination 
Sub classes 
Zones 
System 
Remarks 
European road 
E[09]<23> 
Europe 
See Europe 
Motorway (Autoroute) 
A[09]<14>{[ab]} 
national 
1/2d 
first digit of 2 to 4d numbers 
spiderweb with derivation 
Exit numbers: sequential 
3/4d 
only known 4d: 1086, 1501 and 7109 
National road (Route Nationale) 
(R)N[09]<14>{[AER];II;bis} 
national 
127 main radial 
class distinction not strict 
spiderweb 
Exit numbers on some roads: sequential 
28212 
213999 

4d 
Main departmental road (Route Departementale) 
RD[09]<13> 
department (Marne only) 
 

derived from former N 
Departmental road (Chemin Departemental) 
(C)D{N}[09]<14>{`suffix`} 
department 
sequential 
suffixes see below 
Special class departmental road 
DS{T}[09] 
department 
sequential 
near Langres and near Verdun 
Territorial road (Route territoriale) 
{R}T[09]<13> 
Corsica 
 


Metropolitan road (Route métropolitaine) 
M[09]<14>{`suffix`} 
Departement 
 

Derived from departmental roads 
Local road 
[LRT][09] 
Community 

sequential 
Only L number L2 
Vicinity road (Chemin Vicinal) 
C(V)[09]<13>{[AEU];bis};(C)V[09]<13>{[AEU];bis} 
community 
 

sequential 
Obsolete numbers (used until 1950's) classed below D: 
Chemin de grande communication 
G[09]<13>{`suffix`} 
Departement 
 

sequential 
suffixes see below 
Chemin d'intérêt commun 
Ic[09]<13>{`suffix`} 
Departement 
 

sequential 
suffixes see below 
Route F... 
(R)F[09]<12> 
Corse 
 

sequential 
General description:
Motorways: In some cases, motorways have roughly the same route as the national road with the same number, for example the A4 and N4 both link Paris with Strasbourg (though they are more than 50 km apart in between) and the A6 and N6 both Link Paris and Lyon. Another example is the A20. This one was derived from the N20 and therefore it is an exception to the zone system: 
1 
Around Paris 
5 
Southeast 
2 
North 
6 
Southwest 
3 
Northeast 
7 
South centre 
4 
East 
8 
West 
There are single carriageway motorways. A few A roads even have crossings at grade. See also Route list. 
National roads: Numbers 117 evolve in clockwise order around Paris, beginning with the N1 to the north. Higher numbers are assigned sequentially, continuing to evolve around Paris (but no longer from Paris or even in the direction of Paris). Numbers 1192 are generally the most important roads. Numbers 193200 are on Corse and 201212 are in the Alps. Any other numbers between 212 and 300 were introduced after the number change of 197376 (see History below). Most of them are derived from lower numbers (some of those are A numbers) by adding a multiple of 100 (see route list). Some of the numbers between 300 and 580 are remnants of the old zone system (see below), others are derived from lower numbers. Many N roads today are quite minor (e.g. N544, N545, N546). During its long history, the N road system has become rather inconsistent with many curious special situations, and the rules that can be formulated tend to have strange exceptions. The class distinction for N roads is very loose: it can only be said that numbers up to 212 are generally more important than higher numbers. Some strange examples (see also History): 
N128 
Only a shortcut to turn right (N100  D239) at a roundabout (about 200m long) 
N220 
Not derived from any number nearby but also (probably) not a remnant of the old system. 
N501 
Does not seem to be an old number but is also not derived from any other number. 
Many 3d numbers are derived from lower numbers (sometimes A) by adding a multiple of 100. In some cases, numbers are derived in another way. Examples: 
Number 
Derived from 
Rule 
Remarks 
N252 
N152 
Add multiple of 100 to other N number 
N407 
N7 
N251 
N250 
Add 1 
N371 
A71 
Add multiple of 100 to motorway (A) number 
N442 
N44 
Add digit at the end 
N521 
N52 
Downgraded to D in 2001 
4d numbers are always derived from 1 to 3d N numbers, by adding either 1000 or 2000.
1000 is added for new roads (mostly bypasses around cities). The only known exception is the N1453, which used to be the N453.
2000 is added to the number of an old road, when the main road is diverted via a new road. This is not done when a motorway replaces the old road (i.e. where the old N number disappears), except in the case of the N2009 near Millau, which was replaced by the A75. 
In many cases, these 4d N numbers are temporary only. Eventually numbers in the 1000 series are replaced by the original N number and the old road is downgraded to a D road (e.g. the N1176 near Dinan soon became the N176). Numbers in the 2000 series are replaced by D numbers wnding in the same 2 digits (in other words, a multiple of 100 is subtracted). The same number can be used several times. For example, the N2007 is the old N7 in Moulins, Vienne and Roanne.
Examples: 
Number 
Description 
N1154 
Chartres bypass, linked to N154 
present 
N2007 
Former N7 in Moulins 
N1176 
Near Dinan, changed to N176 
obsolete 
N2057 
Old N57, changed to D157 
See also Route list. Here all known 'parent' routes are indicated. 
Departmental roads: Every department has its own system. Numbers are mostly assigned sequentially except for decommissioned national roads.
The same derivation as for N roads is sometimes used for D roads: the D1763 is a bypass to the D763.
Most N roads are to be transferred to the departments, see history below.
In 2012, a separate class of metropolitan roads was introduced only in Nice Côte d'Azur. Numbers are taken over from D roads, e.g. D1 can become M1. Therefore it can be expected that the numbers will remain unique per departement.

C roads are rarely signposted. Sometimes roads are just indicated as 'C' without a number.
Other roads: M and T numbers are near Melun only. 
Suffixes of D numbers 
The same formats were in use for G and Ic numbers. 
The following formats are possible for suffixes: 
[Bb]is{2} 
Any suffix beginning with a digit has to be superscript, other suffixes may appear as standard text (this is not known). 
[AZaz]<12> 
[AZ][09][AZ] 
[AZ][09] 
[AE]Bis 
[Ee][09]<12> 
{B}`Roman numeral` 
A TER 
TER 
n 
Important former N road (only in BouchesduRhône) 
In the department EureetLoir, suffixes are of the form 
.[09]<12> 
Road signs: 
Road type 
Background 
Text 
Road numbers 
Class 
Shape 
Background 
Text 
Motorways 
Blue 
White 
A 
Rectangle 
Red 
White 
Main roads (N or D) 
Green 
White 
N 
Rectangle 
Red 
White 
D 
Rectangle 
Yellow 
Black 
Local roads (N, D or C) 
White 
Black 
C 
Rectangle 
White 
Black 
Pictures from March 2008
C numbers are rarely indicated on signs.

History:
Motorways: Motorway numbers were introduced in 1963. Until 1982, there were second class motorways with numbers with prefix B, C, F, G and H. These were derived from A numbers with the same digits (e.g. A52 > C52, A15 > F15). Presumably, D and E were not used because of duplication with Departmental and European roads, respectively. They were later changed, mostly to 3d A numbers. For example, the F15 (derived from the A15) became the A115. Other examples are B35, B52, C52, B61 and B86.
The B31 still exists, it is the ramp A5 > A31 north. It only appears on km posts.
There used to be a zone 9 between Paris and Caen but the numbers were changed and the area became part of zone 1. There were also a few 4d numbers but these have all been changed to 3d numbers. All 3d numbers beginning with 9 were also changed so currently there are only numbers under 900. See route list.

Routes Nationales: The numbering system was one of the first in the world, introduced on 16 december 1811 by Napoleon. Numbers appeared on signs around 1912. Many of today's N roads still have the same approximate route as 90 years ago, and some are even the same as in 1811, though most of them have been realigned.
Until 1976 there was a zone system for numbers 301853. Zones were determined by the first digit and there was not much overlap. Zones evolved in clockwise order around Paris, though there were only numbers beginning with 3, 4 and 7 near Paris: 
3 
North 
4 
East 
5 
Southeast 
6 
Southwest 
7 
West 
8 
Between Paris and zone 7 (800841); Corse (843853) 
Between 1973 and 1976, many national roads were transferred to departmental administration. In 1976 there were about 29000 km of national roads left.
Very often the first digit was changed to 9 (e.g. N552 became D952). Therefore, D numbers in the 900 series are often more important than others, but there are too many exceptions to say that these form a higher sub class of D numbers. For some the old number was retained but the N was replaced by a D. In the departement AlpesMaritimes, 2000 was added (e.g. N566 > D2566). Many of the more important roads (with numbers up to 212) were downgraded in a similar way.
Some of the less important roads either kept their number (if they were in zones 3, 4 or 5) or were renumbered by changing the first digit in order to avoid numbers over 580 (e.g. N650 became N250).
The downgrading was almost finished by 1976 except in the area near Marseille, where some more numbers were downgraded later and near Paris, where many were given a D number around 1995. Until the present, there are still many more N numbers near Paris and Marseille for minor roads. Near Paris, they often stop at departement borders (e.g. the N303). It can be expected that the remaining parts will also become D roads in future.
After the downgrading of national roads, the highest existing number was N580. In recent years, some relatively minor roads have been given an N number (for example, the N544 near FossurMer). Until about 2000, there were no 3d N numbers over 580. Then the numbers N814 (ring Caen) and N999 (link between A 4 and A199) were introduced. The 4digit N numbers are also a recent phenomenon, introduced around 1990.
The N141 Limoges  ClermontFerrand was one of the most important N roads that were downgraded. It became the D941 but in the mid 1990's it was changed back to N141 except near ClermontFerrand (in the departement PuydeDôme).
Another interesting case is the N104. This was originally the route Aubenas  LoriolsurDrome but the number was later assigned to the southeastern part of the Paris outer ring road (La Francilienne). Apparently the old N104 was changed into N304 but part of it still bears its old number, perhaps simply because signs have not yet been replaced.
In 2006, a major new downgrading operation was started. According to the Michelin atlas, only the following departments have started to implement this, according to these rules:

Number 
Department 
Nx becomes D 
Remarks 
01 
Ain 
1000 + x 

02 
Aisne 


03 
Allier 
2000 + x 

04 
AlpesdeHauteProvence 
4000 + x 

05 
HautesAlpes 
1000 + x 

06 
AlpesMaritimes 
6000 + x 

07 
Ardèche 
x 

08 
Ardennes 
8000 + x 

09 
Ariège 
800 + x 

10 
Aube 
600 + x 

11 
Aude 
6000 + x 

12 
Aveyron 
700 + x 
Only D840 
13 
BouchesduRhône 
x or xn 
Important roads get suffix n 
14 
Calvados 
600 + (x mod 100) 

15 
Cantal 
x 

16 
Charente 
No downgrades known 

17 
CharenteMaritime 
x 

18 
Cher 
2000 + x 

19 
Corrèze 
1000 + x 

21 
Côted'Or 
900 + x 

22 
Côtesd'Armor 
No downgrades known 

23 
Creuse 
800 + x 
Only D941 
24 
Dordogne 
6000 + x 

25 
Doubs 
600 + x 

26 
Drôme 
DxN 

27 
Eure 
No specific rules 
Last two digits stay, e.g. N138 > D438, N13 > D613 
28 
EureetLoir 
No specific rules 
Last two digits stay, e.g. N10 > D910, N20 > D2020 
29 
Finistère 
No downgrades known 

30 
Gard 
6000 + x 

31 
HauteGaronne 
800 + (x mod 100) 

32 
Gers 


33 
Gironde 
No specific rules 
Only N124 changed to D924 and D931 
34 
Hérault 
No downgrades known 

35 
IlleetVilaine 
x 

36 
Indre 
800 + x 
Only D943 
37 
IndreetLoire 
900 + (x mod 100) 

38 
Isère 
1000 + x 

39 
Jura 
No specific rules 
Last two digits stay, e.g. N5 > D905, N78 > D678 
40 
Landes 
800 + (x mod 100) 

41 
LoiretCher 
No specific rules 
Last two digits stay, e.g. N76 > D976, N152 > D952 and D2152, N252 > D952A 
42 
Loire 
1000 + x 

43 
HauteLoire 
No downgrades known 

44 
LoireAtlantique 
x 

45 
Loiret 
No downgrades known 

46 
Lot 
800 + (x mod 100) 

47 
LotetGaronne 
No specific rules 
Last two digits stay, e.g. N23 > D723, N113 > D813, N147 > D347 
48 
Lozère 
800 + (x mod 100) 

49 
MaineetLoire 
No specific rules 
N160 > D160, N162 > D775, N149 > D949 
50 
Manche 
800 + x 

51 
Marne 
x 
for x<10 
900 + x 
for x>10 
52 
HauteMarne 
600 + x 

53 
Mayenne 
x mod 100 

54 
MeurtheetMoselle 
600 + (x mod 100) 

55 
Meuse 
600 + x 

56 
Morbihan 
No downgrades known 

57 
Moselle 
600 + x 

58 
Nièvre 
No specific rules 
Last two digits stay, e.g. N76 > D2076, N81 > D981 
59 
Nord 
600 + x 

60 
Oise 
1000 + x 

61 
Orne 
900 + (x mod 100) 

62 
PasdeCalais 
900 + x 

63 
PuydeDôme 
2000 + x 

64 
PyrénéesAtlantiques 
800 + (x mod 100) 

65 
HautesPyrénées 
800 + (x mod 100) 

66 
PyrénéesOrientales 
900 + (x mod 100) 

67 
BasRhin 
1000 + x 

68 
HautRhin 
x 

69 
Rhône 
300 + x or 400 + x 

70 
HauteSaône 
No downgrades known 

71 
SaôneetLoire 
No downgrades known 

72 
Sarthe 
300 + (x mod 100) 

73 
Savoie 
1000 + x 

74 
HauteSavoie 
1000 + x 

76 
SeineMaritime 
900 + x or 6000 + x 

77 
SeineetMarne 
600 + (x mod 100) 
for x<10 
900 + x 
for x>10 
78 
Yvelines 
100 + (x mod 100) 
N15 > D915 
79 
DeuxSèvres 
No downgrades known 

80 
Somme 
1000 + x 

81 
Tarn 
600 + (x mod 100) 

82 
TarnetGaronne 
800 + (x mod 100) 

83 
Var 
x or Nx 
Important roads get DN numbers 
84 
Vaucluse 
900 + (x mod 100) 

85 
Vendée 
x 

86 
Vienne 
900 + (x mod 100) 

87 
HauteVienne 
No downgrades known 

88 
Vosges 
x 
N57 > D657 
89 
Yonne 
600 + x 
N360 > D606A / D606B 
90 
Territoire de Belfort 
x 

91 
Essonne 
No downgrades known 

92 
HautsdeSeine 
900 + (x mod 100) 

93 
SeineSaintDenis 
No downgrades known 

94 
ValdeMarne 
x mod 100 

95 
Vald'Oise 
x 

All RD roads used to be N roads. Most of them have recently been replaced by D roads.
Most frequent schemes:
Nxy > RDxy > RD9xy > D9xy
N3xy > RD3xy > RD9xy > D9xy
Overview:

1970 
1991 
1997 
2004 
Remarks 
N3 
RD3 
RD3 
D3 
D3 
D3 
RD4 
RD4 
Minor road ChâlonsenChampagne  Sompuis, later changed to D4 
N31 
RD31 
RD931 
D931 
N33 
RD33 
RD933 
D933 
N51 
RD51 
RD951 
D951 
N77 
RD77 
RD977 
D977 
N366 
RD366 
RD966 
D966 
N373 
RD373 
RD373 
D373 
N380 
RD380 
RD980 
D980 
N382 
RD382 
RD982 
D982 
N385 
RD385 
RD985 
D985 
N386 
RD386 
RD386 
D386 
N394 
RD394 
RD994 
D994 
West of N3 
N394 
RD394 
RD994 
RD994 
East of N3 
N395 
RD395 
RD995 
D995 
N396 
RD396 
RD396 
RD396 
Only unchanged RD number since 1991 
N402 
RD402 
RD902 
RD902 
Lower classes: All Ic and G roads were given D or C numbers, in 1938, but some signs remained until the 1950's.
Routes métropolitaines were introduced in 2012. National routes in Corsica were replaced by T roads in 2014.

Sources and links: Various maps and atlases, personal experience
Official sites:
 Ministère de l'Equipement, du Logement, des Transports et du Tourisme
 Arrêté du 29 mai 2005 portant constitution des directions interdépartementales des routes Contains information on some special road numbers
 Instruction interministérielle sur la signalisation routière
 Nomenclature Autoroutes 1982
 Replacement of national roads by territorial roads in Corsica
Other links:
 Portail SARA, Sites Amoureux des Routes et Autoroutes
 SARatlas
 WikiSara
 Routes Impériales Wikisara
 Former motorway and expressway numbers Wikisara
 autoroutesnews
 Motorway construction projects
 Association pour la Route Centre Europe Atlantique new eastwest routes
 Cofiroute
 ASFA
 ESCOTA
 Automobi.free.fr links
 Old maps by Pascal Pannetier
 Abrégé d'histoire des routes by Jean Billard
 Revue Générale des Routes  news
 Societe des autoroutes ParisRhinRhones
 Les autoroutes RhoneAlpes
 Societe des autoroutes ParisNormandie
 Societe des autoroutes du sud de la France
 Ressources d'infos sur les routes
 France Autoroutes contains thousands of pictures
 Explanation of road classes and green signs SARA forum
 Roadbook Wiki
 Routes métropolitaines in nicematin.com
 La numérotation des routes françaises.
Le sens de la nomenclature dans une perspective géographique
Specific roads:
 A41
 A51
 A65
 A63 (N10)
 A75
 Cofiroute A86 ouest
 A88
 A89
 A150
 N19 to be upgraded to A319
 A466
 A680
Other pages within this site:
 N19
 N154/N12
 Road sign colours
 Europe
 Mayotte
 New Caledonia
 Motorway route list
 National roads route list
 Description of kilometerage system and sections
 Motorways and expressways km Fusion table with 14243 points
 One digit A roads km coordinates csv 2277 points
 Two and threedigit A roads km coordinates csv 9570 points
 Expressways km coordinates csv 2396 points
Pictures:
 A33 west including N4 Lunéville bypass
 A35 positive
 A35 negative
 N4 east
 N4 west
Marcel Monterie

DOMTOM (Departements d'outremer et territoires d'outremer)
Most French overseas departments have their own N and D roads, with 1digit N numbers and 1 to 3digit D numbers.
The only motorway number is the A1 in Martinique.
Overseas territories mostly do not have road numbers. New Caledonia has a different road numbering system and Mayotte has CCT numbers.
