French Public Services

This page explains some of the French institutions that you will certainly use at some point during your time in Paris. From administrative bodies such as the Mairie and the Prefecture, to high street regulars such as the post office and tabacconists.

Town Hall / La Mairie
Each arrondissement has it’s own Mairie. As well being the administrative centre for that area (births, deaths, marriages), it offers information on cultural and social events that are taking place within your arrondissement. You will also find free leaflets on events that La Mairie has organised, including festivals (film, photogtaphy, arts etc.), special activities and more.

The central Marie for Paris is located at:
Hôtel de Ville de Paris
Place de l’Hôtel de Ville
75004 Paris
Tel: 01 42 76 40 40
Open: Monday-Friday 8am-7pm, Saturday 8:30-1pm

Embassies & Consulates / Ambassades & Consulats
For contact information for embassiess and consulates, please click here

Préfecture de Police (Paris -75) (Yvelines - 78) (HautsdeSeine - 92)
France is administered departmentally (Paris is department 75, Yvelines is department 78) and each department has its own central prefecture and several sous-prefectures (sub-departments). The Prefecture de Police is the French State’s administrative arm.

Immigration Office / Les services d’immigration (OMI)
The immigration office handles all immigration administration for non-EU citizens residing in France.

Satellite offices can be found in most prefectures.
The main office is located at:
45 bis rue de la Procession 75015 Paris
Tel: 01 53 69 51 96

Post Offices / La Poste
Post offices are found in most town centers and highstreets and can be easily identified by their yellow insignia. They offer standard postal services, international express delivery (Chronopost) and banking services. You can also buy phone cards and tax stamps (timbres fiscaux)

There is a 24hour post office located at
52, rue du Louvre,
75001 Paris.

Tabacconists / Le Tabac
Tabacconists sell much more than just cigarettes and cigars. You can also buy phone cards (Carte telephonique), a book of 10 stamps / carnet des timbres, tax stamps / timbres fiscaux and even carnets / books of ten Métro/bus tickets. Many are closed on Sundays so you will need to stock up if you smoke!

Libraries / Bibliothèques
There is no charge to join the libraries in Paris and many stock foreign language books. To join, you will need to take:

1) ID - National Identity card/ passport/driving licence/Carte de Séjour
2) Proof of address - Recent Utility bill

Once you have joined a library, you will have access to any of the 63 libraries in Paris. To locate your nearest Paris library, visit:

There is also a large private library lending books in English at:
American Library in Paris
10 rue du Général-Camou,
75007 Paris
Tel: 01 53 59 12 60