To cross a public road with an off-road vehicle (an all-terrain vehicle or a snowmobile), you must hold a valid driver’s licence or probationary licence. It doesn’t matter what class of licence you hold.
1 What qualifies as an off-road vehicle
SnowmobilesA self-propelled winter vehicle that is designed to travel primarily over snow or ice and may or may not be equipped with a ski or steering blade. with a net weightWeight of the vehicle and the equipment permanently attached to it, excluding the weight of its load. of 450 kg or less
The following motorized all-terrain vehicles:
quad bikes, which are four-wheel vehicles equipped with a straddle seat and handlebars (also called four-wheelers)
recreational off-road vehicles, which are four-wheel vehicles equipped with one or more non-straddle seats, a steering wheel, pedals and a protective structure—and all of whose wheels are driving wheels and whose net mass does not exceed 450 kg in the case of single-seat vehicles and 750 kg in the case of multi-seat vehicles (also called side-by-side vehicles (SSV) and utility task vehicles (UTV))
trail bikes, which include dirt bikes, enduro motorcycles and motocross bikes
other motorized all-terrain vehicles that have 3 or more wheels and handlebars, are designed to be straddled and whose net weight does not exceed 600 kg
3 Certificate of competence and knowledge for 16- and 17-year old drivers
If you are 16 or 17 and want to drive a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle, you must have certificate of competenceThis document attests that a person under 18 years of age has the competence and knowledge required to operate an off-road vehicle. and knowledgeThis document attests that a person under 18 years of age has the competence and knowledge required to operate an off-road vehicle..
The certificate is issued after completing the mandatory training that all new drivers should ideally undergo, regardless of their age.
Note that for complementary information on the rules you must follow when riding a trail bike in parks and on trails, you can contact the Fédération québécoise des motos hors route or refer to their website. The Fédération can also let you know which of Québec’s federated trails you can ride on with your trail bike.
For recreational off-highway vehicles
A certificate of competence and knowledge is not required to drive a recreational off-road vehicle because you can only drive that type of vehicle if you are 18 or older.
If you are 16 or 17 and live outside Québec
You do not need to obtain a certificate of competence and knowledge, provided you hold a driver’s licence issued by the appropriate authority in your home jurisdiction (e.g. an Ontario driver’s licence).