Foreign Driver's Licence

Your driver's licence was issued in a jurisdiction that isn't covered by an agreement

Step 0 Your driver's licence was issued in a jurisdiction that isn't covered by an agreement

    • Documents to provide

      The original documents that were requested when you made your appointment

      • Foreign driver's licence
      • Proof of Canadian citizenship or right to stay in Canada
      • Proof of residency in Québec
      • Proof of residency in the country in which your licence was issued if you obtained your licence within the previous 3 years

Vehicles that you may drive during the first 6 months

Your driver’s licence is valid during the first 6 months of your stay in Québec if you drive:

  • a car
  • a motorcycle
  • a moped or scooterA 2- or 3-wheel passenger vehicle equipped with an electric motor or a gasoline-powered engine with a cylinder capacity of no more than 50 cc and an automatic transmission.

However, make sure that your foreign licence:

  • is valid
  • authorizes you to drive the type of road vehicle that you are using

Québec driver’s licence required after the first 6 months

Here is the procedure to obtain a Québec licence, according to the road vehicle that you drive. You can begin the application process as soon as you arrive in Québec.

For a car

You must have held a driver’s licence authorizing you to drive a car for at least one year before settling in Québec and pass the Class 5 (car) proficiency examinationsProficiency examinations allow the SAAQ to check the knowledge and skills of drivers. They include both knowledge and road tests and differ based on the class of driver's licence. They are almost always mandatory when an individual wants to obtain a licence for the first time. before being eligible to obtain a Québec driver’s licence.

If you have less than one year of driving experience

You must follow a driving course and follow the graduated licensing process to obtain a learner’s licence.

For a motorcycle

You must follow a driving course and follow the graduated licensing process.

Vehicles that you may not drive with a foreign licence

Even if your foreign licence authorizes you to, you may not drive:

  • a truck
  • an emergency vehicle
  • a bus
  • a minibus
  • a taxi

Procedure to be authorized to drive these vehicles

You must obtain a Québec driver’s licence corresponding to the appropriate class. To do so, you must first:

Procedure to obtain your licence

Step 1 – Meet the following conditions:

  • be aged 16 or older (or 14 for a scooter with a cylinder capacity of 50 cc or less, Class 6D)
  • hold a licence equivalent to the licence class sought, for example a licence authorizing you to drive a car or operate a motorcycle
  • be a resident of Québec
  • be authorized to stay in Canada

Step 2 – Call one of the numbers listed below, depending on your region, to make your request and check your eligibility:

Montréal area: 514-954-7771
Elsewhere Québec: 1-888-356-6616

As of January 24 for an appointment in March

Step 3 – Go to the service outlet that was designated by the officer who scheduled your licence exchange appointment by phone with the required original documents, namely:

  • your foreign driver's licence
  • proof of Canadian citizenship or right to stay in Canada
  • proof of residency in Québec
  • proof that you were a resident of the country in which your driver's licence was issued if you obtained your licence within the previous 3 years
  • the translation of your driver's licence, if it is written in a language other than French or English. The international driver's permit is not considered an official translation

In certain situations, other documents may be required. Make sure to check with the officer when scheduling your appointment by telephone.

Translation of a driver’s licence written in a language other than French or English

You must have your licence translated by a translator who is a member of:

Step 4 – Pass the proficiency examinations

To help you prepare for the tests, we recommend you study the following publications:

Paper versions can also be purchased at bookstores in Québec. 

We also recommend:

  • Road Access Binder, available in both French and English from driving schools recognized by the SAAQ
Knowledge tests

Depending on your situation, you could take the knowledge tests at the service outlet on the same day as your appointment, or you may have to make another appointment. The fees for the tests are $12.00.

Road test

Once you have passed the knowledge tests, you can schedule an appointment for the road test and pay the fees that apply to that test. If you pass the road test, you will be authorized to obtain a licence.

Step 5 – Pay the applicable fees to obtain your licence

The fees applicable for exchanging your driver's licence vary depending on the licence class, and are higher if you apply for an additional licence class.

Payment methods

At our service outlets, we accept payment:

  • in cash
  • by Interac (debit card)—not available in some service outlets
  • by one or more pre-authorized debits (a cheque specimen must be provided)
  • by cheque or money order

Payment by credit card is not accepted.

Driving experience

If the SAAQ recognizes that you have fewer than 24 months of experience driving a car, you will obtain a probationary licenceLicence issued to a person driving an automobile or a motorcycle alone for the first time. This licence allows the holder to acquire the driving experience necessary to obtain a driver's licence (24 months). The holder is subject to the zero-alcohol rule and the 4-demerit point bracket. . You will hold this licence until you have accumulated 24 months of driving experience. We determine your experience on the basis of your driver’s licence and driving record.

Last update: March 21, 2022