Foreign Driver's Licence

Your driver's licence was issued in the United States

Step 0 Your driver's licence was issued in the United States

    • Documents to provide

      Licence exchange – Documents required at the time of your first appointment to check your eligibility

      • 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 United States in the state that issued your licence 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 or moped or scooter

You must exchange your foreign licenceLicence exchange allows holders of a licence issued in a Canadian province or territory other than Québec, in the United States or in a country that has entered into an agreement with Québec to obtain an equivalent Québec licence without having to follow a driving course. In some cases, holders may have to pass proficiency examinations before being eligible to exchange their licence. for a Québec licence corresponding to the equivalent class – either Class 5 for a car or Class 6D for a moped or scooter.

For a motorcycle

You must exchange your foreign licenceLicence exchange allows holders of a licence issued in a Canadian province or territory other than Québec, in the United States or in a country that has entered into an agreement with Québec to obtain an equivalent Québec licence without having to follow a driving course. In some cases, holders may have to pass proficiency examinations before being eligible to exchange their licence. to operate a motorcycle for a Québec licence after first passing the Class 6 (motorcycle) 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. .

Licence expired for less than 3 years

You do not have to pass a proficiency examinationProficiency 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. to obtain a licence to drive a car or operate a moped or scooter.

Licence expired for 3 years or more

You must pass 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 exchanging your foreign licence for a Québec licence to drive a car or operate a moped or scooter.

Vehicles that you may not drive with a foreign licence

Even if your 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 exchange your foreign licenceLicence exchange allows holders of a licence issued in a Canadian province or territory other than Québec, in the United States or in a country that has entered into an agreement with Québec to obtain an equivalent Québec licence without having to follow a driving course. In some cases, holders may have to pass proficiency examinations before being eligible to exchange their licence. for a Québec licence corresponding to the equivalent class. To do so, you must:

  • pass the 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. (knowledge test and road tests) to obtain the desired licence class
  • undergo a medical examination

You may begin the application process as soon as you arrive in Québec.

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 in Québec: 1-888-356-6616

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 United States in the state that issued your licence if you obtained your licence within the previous 3 years

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

Step 4 – Pass the proficiency examinations for Class 6 (motorcycle)

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 at driving schools recognized by the SAAQ

Knowledge test

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

Road test

If you pass the knowledge test, you may make an appointment for the road test.

On the day of the road test, you must pay the applicable fees. If you pass the test, you will be allowed to exchange your licence.

Step 5 – Pay the fees applicable to the 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: April 14, 2022