Background: The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist Scale (PCLS) is a short self-report inventory for assessing the 3 main syndromes of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The aim of this study was the validation of the French version of the PCLS in PTSD subjects and nonclinical subjects. Methods: One-hundred and thirteen outpatients suffering from PTSD according to DSM-IV were administered the PCLS. The patients’ scores on the PCLS were then compared to those of 31 nonclinical control subjects. Thirty-five of the patients were administered the PCLS twice over an interval of 1–2 weeks and also completed questionnaires measuring depression, phobia and anxiety. Results: The patients’ total score and subscores on the PCLS were found to be significantly higher than those of control subjects. The cutoff score of 44 on the French version PCLS distinguishes well between the PTSD group and control group with a high diagnostic efficacy (0.94). Factor analysis revealed 3 main factors corresponding to the reexperiencing, numbing and hyperarousal syndromes. The PCLS showed satisfactory test-retest reliability and internal consistency. Conclusions: The PCLS is therefore a valid and effective measurement of PTSD. It may be a useful tool for screening and assessing PTSD in psychiatric as well as in primary-care settings.