Residual stresses play an important role on the mechanical behavior of composite laminate. The development of new methods to determine the residual stresses gradient within the laminates is necessary. This article presents the adaptation of the compliance method in the case of composite laminates carbon/epoxy [02/902]s. The incremental drilling of a constant width groove allows for each increment to measure the strains (using strain gages) and displacements (using an optical device) of particularly points of the structure surface. These experimental data are compared with results given by a finite elements simulation. This comparison allows to raise the residual stresses in the composite laminate.