This work presents the implementation of a high standards dataset of earthquake ground motions recorded in Metropolitan France between 1996 and 2016. This dataset is intended to serve the scopes of a large seismological community; however, its primary aims are engineering seismology and earthquake engineering applications. The dataset includes records from broadband and accelerometric sensors provided by permanent and temporary seismic networks operated by French research institutions and partners grouped within the Réseau Sismologique et géodésique Français (RESIF) consortium (see Data and Resources). All the waveforms are first homogenized to acceleration units and underwent a full quality control process including: (1) visual verification and manual phase picking, (2) processing scheme, and (3) consistency check by residual analysis. These make the dataset fully compliant with international standards. Finally, the RESIF dataset includes more than 6500 quality‐checked records from 468 earthquakes recorded at 379 stations. Over the 379 stations included in the dataset, 177 are permanent stations (RA and FR networks) and 202 are temporary stations (YP and X7 networks). The dataset is complete down to magnitude 3.5 over the whole French territory and less (about 2.5) in the eastern part. Magnitudes range from 2.4 to 5.6 and from 2.0 to 5.2, whereas distances range from less than 1 to 600 km. The disseminated dataset is constituted of (1) a versioned flatfile containing the metadata and main intensity measures computed on each processed record, (2) time histories, and (3) response spectra for several damping values and Fourier spectra.