Driving Outside of Québec

Class 5 driver’s licence holders who drive commercial vehicles in the United States

Since April 1, 2016, drivers who hold only a passenger vehicle driver’s licence (Class 5 in Québec) and who drive a commercial vehicle in the United States (US) as part of their employment duties have been required to meet the medical standards for commercial drivers developed by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).

Drivers who do not meet these standards may be liable to fines and the vehicles they are driving may be placed out-of-service by US peace officers.

Affected commercial vehicles

    1. Vehicles with an F licence plate
      • Vehicles with a net weight of less than 3,000 kg and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,500 kg or more
      • Trucks with a tailgate and box, and with a net weight of less than 4,000 kg and a GVWR of 4,500 kg or more
    2. Vehicles with an L licence plate
      • Trucks with a net weight between 3,000 and 4,500 kg, and with a GVWR of 4,500 kg or more
    3. Vehicles with an F or L licence plate
      • Combinations of road vehicles consisting of an automobile or a truck pulling a trailer, with a total loaded mass or gross combination weight rating of 4,500 kg or more 

    Examples of affected vehicles are Hino trucks, Ford F-250 pickup trucks, and pickup trucks pulling a tool trailer (e.g. service vehicles, public utility vehicles—such as those used by Hydro-Québec and telecommunications companies—vehicles used in the construction industry, and vehicles used by electricians, plumbers and door and window suppliers).


    If you hold only a Class 5 passenger vehicle driver’s licence and drive one of the above vehicles in the US, you have two options:

    1. You can obtain a Class 3 Québec driver’s licence, as this professional class of licence meets the CCMTA’s medical standards and is recognized in the US.
    2. You can obtain a medical certificate from a medical examiner certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is the US regulatory body governing the transportation of people and goods.


    If you are pulled over by a peace officer while driving a commercial vehicle with a Class 5 licence, you may be liable to penalties that can vary from one US state to another and may include criminal penalties, and the vehicle you are driving may be placed out-of-service pending compliance.

    If the vehicle is placed out-of-service, the owner or operator will have to send a driver who meets the prescribed medical standards to take over from the non-compliant driver. Such measures can lead to additional costs, result in late delivery, etc.

    Last update: July 21, 2021