France has seen exceptionally warm, dry weather this month with little wind, which has trapped car pollution and fumes from seasonal farming activity in the air. France's unusually high number of diesel vehicles is also contributing to the smog.
Environment Minister Philippe Martin said lower traffic and favorable weather patterns were having an impact on pollution Monday, and that the alternate-plates measure would be lifted Tuesday.
It was the first time since 1997 that the measure was taken.
All public transport has been free for four days straight to help deal with the pollution — but that too is set to end Tuesday.
Paris' anti-pollution efforts trail behind those of some other cities.
Athens has had a similar alternate driving ban in place for many years that has reduced pollution and traffic. In Brazil, Sao Paulo employs a complicated license plate-based system that assigns each car a day of the week when it cannot be driven during rush hours.
Berlin has strict rules on what kind of cars can enter the city, and London makes drivers pay a "congestion charge" to drive in the center of town.
Associated Press writers Cassandra Vinograd in London, Elena Becatoros in Athens, Alan Clendenning in Madrid, David Rising in Berlin and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this article.