People who use drugs (PWUD) are a key population for hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination and screening. We aimed to estimate the seroprevalence of HBs antigen (HBsAg) and self-reported HBV vaccination history in French PWUD attending harm reduction centres using data from the ANRS-Coquelicot multicentre survey conducted in 2011–2013 in 1718 PWUD. Self-fingerprick blood samples were collected on dried blood spots to detect the presence of HBsAg. HBsAg seroprevalence was estimated at 1·4% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0·8–2·5]. It varied between PWUD born in high (7·6%, 95% CI 2·7–19·1), moderate (2·2%, 95% CI 0·8–5·7) and low (0·7%, 95% CI 0·3–1·5) endemic zones. Factors independently associated with HBsAg carriage were being born in a moderate or high endemic zone or reporting precarious housing. Self-reported HBV vaccination history varied from 47·4% in high endemic zones, to 59·3% and 62·6% for moderate and low endemic zones, respectively. Our results suggest that drug use plays a small and substantial role, respectively, in HBsAg carriage in PWUD born in high/moderate and low endemic zones.