France is divided into regions, which are then divided into departments (
Departements). There is a total of 96 excluding the overseas territories. Each department has a unique number, which is used for
many administrative reasons, such as the vehicle registration plates,
postcodes, but not phone numbers. If you see a car where the last
two numbers are 06, then it comes from the "Alpes Maritimes"
in southern France. If you send a postcard to someone in Paris then
the postcode would be 75000.
After the French Revolution, the country was originally divided in to 82 departments, as the population has grown and for administrative reasons certain of them have been divided into smaller areas (especially near Paris).