COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

We have been providing answers to many of the questions you may have regarding the exceptional situation presented by COVID-19. To help us serve you better, we invite you to read this FAQ before calling us or going to a service outlet.

Warning

GOING TO A SERVICE OUTLET: MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO AVOID WAITING IN LINE

We recommend that you make an appointment where possible to avoid having to wait in line. 

If you prefer going to a service outlet without making an appointment, be sure to check whether this option is available in the service outlet nearest you. Not all service outlets accept walk-ins.

  1. Available Services, Appointments and General Information
  2. Driver’s Licence and Health Insurance Card 
  3. Driving Tests (Knowledge and Road Tests) 
  4. Medical Assessments
  5. Vehicle Registration
  6. Traffic Accidents and Compensation
  7. Mechanical Maintenance and Road Vehicle Inspection
  8. Safety and Transportation of Passengers
  9. Commercial Vehicles
  10. Exemption for Heavy Vehicles
  11. Disabled Parking Permits

Last update: October 22, 2020

1 - Available Services, Appointments and General Information

Which services are offered (in service outlets and online)?

In service outlets

You can make an appointment (online or by phone) or go directly to a service outlet to obtain the following services only. Before going to a service outlet, check whether or not an appointment is required at the service outlet nearest you. Appointments are required at certain service outlets.

The following services are currently offered in service outlets:

Driver’s licence

  • the addition or removal of a licence class
  • the addition or removal of a licence condition
  • the exchange of a licence from outside Québec
  • the issuance of a driver’s licence at the end of a suspension for medical reasons
  • the issuance of a restricted licence
  • the issuance or the renewal of a learner's licence
  • the reissue of a licence further to a penalty
  • the reissue of a licence that was cancelled less than 3 years ago
  • the renewal of a taxi driver’s permit
  • the replacement of a lost or stolen driver’s licence

Knowledge and road tests

Vehicle registration

  • the reactivation of a cancelled licence plate
  • the replacement of a lost or stolen licence plate
  • the replacement of a lost or stolen vehicle registration certificate
  • vehicle registration and transferring ownership of a vehicle (all types of transfer of ownership, including transfers between individuals)
  • winter tire exemption (online only)

Other services

  • the modification of a vehicle’s weight or number of axles

All other services will resume gradually in our service outlets.

Online

All our online services remain available for citizens, businesses (in French only) and external suppliers and partners (in French only).

New this fall: you can replace a damaged or defective licence plate (whose reflective film is peeling off) by making a request online.

How do I make an appointment ?

You can only make an appointment if the service you require is currently offered (refer to the previous question).

Driving tests

To take a knowledge test or a road test, you must reserve your place using our online service or by phone:

Foreign driver’s licence exchange

It is important to note that you must make an appointment by telephone to obtain this service, otherwise you will not be served. See the Foreign Driver’s Licence section to learn what to do depending on your situation and which number to call.

Other services offered in service outlets

For all of the other services currently provided in our service outlets, you can make an appointment either by calling us or, in the case of a number of our service outlets, by using the online form (available in French only).

Here are the steps to follow to check whether a service outlet near you offers the option of making an appointment online:

  1. Go to our Find a Service Outlet
  2. Select a subject and then the type of service you require.
  3. Enter your city or town and then select the exact name from the dropdown list that appears.
  4. Click on “See services offered” for a list of service outlets.
  5. In the box marked “Attention,” click on the “appointment online” link (if this option is available) to be forwarded to the French form.

You can also call us (toll-free) to make an appointment:

Can I go to a service outlet without having to make an appointment first?

Appointments are required at certain service outlets. Here are the steps to follow to check whether or not you need to make an appointment before going to a service outlet near you:

  1. Go to the Find a Service Outlet
  2. Select a subject and then the type of service you require.
  3. Begin entering the name of your town or city and then select it from the dropdown list that appears.
  4. Click on the “See services offered” button.
  5. Read the instructions in the box marked “Attention.”

Please note that in cases where an appointment is not required, during busy periods it may not be possible for everyone who has been waiting in line to be served before the end of the day. We will inform you of the number of people who can be served that day directly at the service outlet. To avoid having to wait in line, we recommend that you make an appointment where possible.

Outside spaces, such as tents, are considered partially covered public spaces. You must therefore wear a face covering that covers both your nose and mouth when waiting in line under a tent.

What hygiene measures have been implemented in service outlets?

Due to the exceptional situation presented by COVID-19, we must ensure that your state of health poses no risk to other clients or to our employees.

Stay home if you:

  • display symptoms related to COVID-19 (such as coughing, a fever, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of smell)
  • are returning from a trip outside the country
  • have been in contact with a person displaying symptoms of COVID-19

The SAAQ wishes to emphasize the importance of complying with all the health and hygiene rules in order to ensure everyone’s safety:

  • No clients with COVID-19 symptoms will be accepted in service outlets, even if they have an appointment.
  • Handwashing is mandatory at service outlet entrances.
  • You must wear a face covering that covers both your nose and mouth inside service outlets and under tents.
  • You must keep a distance of at least 2 metres from other people.
  • Payment by debit card is preferred.

In order to ensure the safety of our employees and clients, Plexiglas panels have been installed in most service centres (SAAQ offices).

Will wait times be longer than usual?

Rest assured that we are making every effort to continue to offer quality services, but your request may take longer than usual to be processed. In order to comply with social distancing, our service centres (SAAQ offices) are operating with reduced staff. In addition, our employees are also subject to government restrictions and may be affected by school and daycare closures, for example. 

We are also doing our very best to answer as many phone calls as possible. However, we are currently receiving a high volume of calls. Wait times may therefore be longer than usual, or you may not be able to get through right away. We thank you for your understanding.

I have received my statement of account and have questions. What should I do?

Send us your questions using secure email. We will reply as soon as possible.

For any questions regarding your statement of account, please do not go to a service outlet nor contact us by phone.

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2 - Driver’s Licence and Health Insurance Card

A new photo needs to be taken to renew my driver’s licence. What must I do?

To avoid having you go out, the SAAQ will reuse your photo currently on file to issue your new driver’s licence. Your new licence will be mailed to you. You will then receive a payment notice. You should make your payment through your financial institution or by mail. Keep your old licence until you receive the new one, even if it has expired. 

A new photo needs to be taken to renew my Health Insurance Card. Do I have to go to an SAAQ service outlet?

For the time being, you do not need to have your photo taken to renew your Health Insurance Card. We therefore request that you not go to any of our service outlets or to a CLSC to receive services related to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). 

If you have any other questions regarding the Health Insurance Card, we invite you to visit the RAMQ’s Questions and answers about our services during the pandemic webpage.

Can I renew my learner’s licence?

Yes. Here are your options:

My probationary licence is about to expire. What should I do?

You will receive a payment notice. You should make your payment as soon as possible through your financial institution or by mail.

The SAAQ will reuse your photo currently on file to issue your new licence. Your new licence will be mailed to you. Keep your old licence until you receive the new one, even if it has expired. 

My driver’s licence has been lost or stolen. Can I get a replacement at a service outlet?

Yes. Here are your options:

I recently moved to Québec. Can I exchange my driver’s licence for a Québec licence?

Yes. This service is offered.

Please note that you must make an appointment by phone to obtain this service; otherwise, we cannot serve you. Visit the Foreign Driver’s Licence webpage to find out how to proceed depending on your situation and which number you should call.

In accordance with section 89 of the Highway Safety Code, new residents are authorized to drive with a licence obtained outside Québec, under certain conditions:

  • they must hold a valid driver’s licence authorizing them to drive a passenger vehicle, motorcycle, moped or scooter;
  • they must only drive one of those types of vehicles;
  • they may drive with this licence only during the six months after settling in Québec.

I have met all the conditions to obtain a new licence further to a penalty. Can I go to a service outlet to obtain my new licence?

Yes. If you are required to take a knowledge test, you must reserve your place by phone:

If you are not required to take a knowledge test, you must make an appointment before going to a service outlet.

Further to a penalty, I must obtain a restricted licence, and my vehicle must be equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock device. Can I obtain a licence authorizing me to drive?

Yes. Here are your options:

Can I pay my driver’s licence online even if the payment due date has passed?

Your driver’s licence can be renewed online. Given the current situation, we recommend that you make your payment through your financial institution even if the payment due date has passed. Keep proof of your payment with your licence. 

What is going to happen with my pre-authorized debits for the payment of my driver’s licence fees?

Pre-authorized debits will continue for anyone who chose to pay their driver’s licence fees using this method. If you do not want your bank account to be debited, please contact your financial institution to have the debits cancelled. 

Should a debit be refused, the SAAQ will not charge the $35 fee that would normally apply. However, the SAAQ is not responsible for any service fees your financial institution may charge you. We therefore suggest that you contact your financial institution for more information.

If you would like to pay your driver’s licence fees in a single instalment, please refer to the page concerning the payment of renewal fees.  

The SAAQ has suspended my driver’s licence because of unpaid fines. Can I go to a municipal court or a courthouse to pay the fines in question in order to have the suspension lifted?

We recommend using a payment method that does not require you to go in person (either online, by phone or by mail).

In the case of statements of offence served by the Sûreté du Québec, Contrôle routier Québec or the Agence métropolitaine des transports (AMT), you can make your payment online at amendes.qc.ca or by phone at 1-877-263-6337.

For any other fines or tickets, refer to the website of the municipal court for details and information on accepted payment methods.

Please note that your licence will remain suspended until you have received written confirmation from the SAAQ that your payment has been received and that the suspension has been lifted.

Can I reobtain a driver’s licence that has been cancelled, a licence class that has been cancelled or a driver’s licence that has been expired for 3 years or less?

Yes. You have up to 3 years to reacquire a cancelled or expired licence, or a licence class that you had relinquished. After that time, you will have to pass a knowledge and a road test.

If you are not required to take a knowledge test, you must make an appointment in a service outlet.

If you are required to take a knowledge test, reserve your place by phone:

  • Québec area: 418-643-5213
  • Montréal area: 514-873-5803
  • Elsewhere (toll-free): 1-888-667-8687

For more information, visit the page Reacquiring a Driver’s Licence – Cancellation or Expiration.

I have to have my photo taken for my driver’s licence. Do I have to remove my face covering?

Yes. You must take off your face covering to have your photo taken. You must put it back on immediately after.

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3 - Driving Tests (Knowledge and Road Tests)

Can I make an appointment to take a knowledge test?

Yes. It is possible to make an appointment to take a knowledge test for all classes of vehicle. Individuals who had appointments in March, April or May have been contacted. If we were unable to contact you, you must make a new appointment.

To take your knowledge test, reserve your place using our online service or by phone:

Please note that you must wear a face covering that covers both your nose and mouth during your knowledge test.

Can I make an appointment to take a road test for Classes 1, 2, 3 (heavy vehicles) and Class 5 (passenger vehicles)?

Yes. It is possible to make an appointment for a road test for all vehicle types.

To take your road test, reserve your spot using our online services or by phone:

In order to ensure your safety and that of our employees, we have implemented some hygiene measures. For example, for a Class 5 driving test:

  • The vehicle used during the test will be disinfected before and after the test.
  • A plastic barrier will be installed on the passenger seat of the vehicle for the SAAQ examiner.
  • The examiner will wear a mask and protective goggles or a visor, which will be changed or washed between each test.

Wearing a mask is required during the road test, as recommended by the government of Québec in public where social distancing of 2 metres is not possible. In addition, if you have any symptoms related to COVID-19, you must reschedule your road test.

Can I take my road test for my motorcycle driver’s licence (Classes 6A, 6B and 6C)?

Yes. It is possible to make an appointment to take a motorcycle road test (Classes 6A, 6B and 6C). 

To take your motorcycle road test, reserve your place using our online service or by phone:

In order to ensure your safety and the safety of our employees, health measures have been put in place, including the disinfection of the vest and earpiece used during the test.

There are no more appointments available for knowledge and road tests. When will I be able to make an appointment?

You can now make an appointment for the months of November and December.

Please note that motorcycle road tests will end on October 30.

If you cannot make it to your appointment, please change or cancel your appointment as soon as possible to allow another person to take your place.

Do I have to pay fees for the cancellation of my driving test appointment (road test)?

If you are unable to go to your appointment for a road test, you must cancel or change it at least 48 hours before the time of the appointment, otherwise you will be charged $23.10. These fees must be paid before your rescheduled appointment.

Can I be accompanied to go to my road test (by a parent, driving school instructor or other)?

Yes. However, the person accompanying you will have to remain outside the SAAQ’s offices and cannot accompany you in the vehicle during your road test. These measures have been put in place to meet the social distancing requirements issued by public health authorities.

I have a test for the reassessment of my abilities. Will I lose my driving privilege if I do not go to my test?

If you had an appointment, the SAAQ will contact you in order to reschedule.

Can I go to the SAAQ to obtain my learner’s licence with my driving course attestation?

Yes. Here are your options:

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4 - Medical Assessments

I received a letter from the SAAQ requesting that I provide a medical report. Do I have to consult with a physician or specialist to have the report completed?

Yes. We are gradually resuming our services, including making requests for medical reports.

Individuals who received a request for a medical report before June 1 will receive a new letter informing them of the new deadline for submission.

Those who received a request for a medical report on or after June 1 can refer to the return date indicated on the report. 

I have already met my physician or specialist and I have the medical report that was requested by the SAAQ. What should I do?

Simply send us the report using the return envelope that was enclosed with the request for a medical report we sent you. Please note that the time required to process your report may be longer than usual.

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5 - Vehicle Registration

I haven’t received the payment notice for my vehicle registration. What must I do?

The delivery of your payment notice may be delayed by several weeks. You should receive it soon. Once you do, you should make your payment through your financial institution or by mail.

How can I put my vehicle into storage, take my vehicle out of storage, or discard my vehicle?

We invite you to use the SAAQ’s online services: 

If you are unable to complete the process online or if you do not have access to our online services, you can call us (toll-free).

Can I pay my vehicle registration online even if the payment due date has passed?

We recommend that you make the payment online through your financial institution even if the payment due date has passed. Keep proof of your payment with your vehicle registration certificate.

Can I replace a lost or stolen licence plate or registration certificate for my vehicle?

Yes. Here are your options:

Can I replace a damaged licence plate, or one whose reflective film is wearing off?

No. At the moment, a damaged licence plate cannot be replaced. We are working to be able to offer this service again as soon as possible.

Can I reactivate a cancelled licence plate for my passenger vehicle or motorcycle?

Yes. Here are your options:

What is going to happen with my pre-authorized debits for the payment of my vehicle registration fees?

Pre-authorized debits will continue for anyone who chose to pay their vehicle registration fees using this method. If you do not want your bank account to be debited, please contact your financial institution to have the debits cancelled. 

Should a debit be refused, the SAAQ will not charge the $35 fee that would normally apply. However, the SAAQ is not responsible for any service fees your financial institution may charge you. We therefore suggest that you contact your financial institution for more information.

If you would like to pay your vehicle registration fees in a single instalment, please refer to the page concerning the payment of renewal fees.   

Can I obtain a temporary registration certificate (transit) for my vehicle?

Temporary registration certificates, or transits, are issued for vehicles that must undergo a mechanical inspection or receive proof of compliance. To obtain a transit, here are your options:

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6 - Traffic Accidents and Compensation

I am an accident victim. Will there be any changes to the indemnities I receive, given the current situation?

Our priority is to continue the payment of income replacement indemnities to accident victims.

Given the current situation, we will also do everything we can to avoid delays in the payment of other types of indemnities, including the reimbursement of expenses (personal home assistance, medical treatments, travel expenses, etc.).

I have just been in a traffic accident. When will I be able to receive an income replacement indemnity?

You must first complete a claim for compensation using our online service Filing a Claim for Compensation (Accident or Death Benefits). If you are eligible to receive an income replacement indemnity, you will receive this indemnity as soon as possible. You may also receive preliminary payments if applicable.

If your accident was minor and does not prevent you from working, you can file a claim for compensation. However, given the current situation, we are prioritizing the processing of claims for compensation for individuals who cannot work (income replacement indemnity).

Please note that you have 3 years from the date of your accident to file a claim for compensation.

Will online consultations and treatments with health care professionals be accepted and reimbursed?

In-person care is encouraged. However, when your situation and condition lend themselves well to this option, we will accept and reimburse online consultations and treatments with health care professionals (up to the maximum amount provided for in the case of in-clinic consultations) so long as they are carried out in accordance with the rules of the relevant professional corporation.

This option applies to the following health care professionals:

  • psychologists and neuropsychologists
  • physiotherapy professionals
  • occupational therapists
  • psychoeducators
  • guidance counsellors
  • chiropractors

What happens if a clinic cancels my medical treatments?

If your clinic has to cancel some of your treatments, it is important that you inform us as soon as possible using secure email. Remember to include your claim number. Given the current situation, this will not affect the payment of your indemnities.

What happens if I am unable to go to an appointment for a medical assessment?

Due to COVID-19, the SAAQ had cancelled all scheduled medical assessments. These appointments will be gradually rescheduled. 

Once your new appointment is scheduled, you will receive a new convocation by mail. You must confirm your presence by contacting your compensation officer or by secure email. Remember to include your claim number when you contact us by secure email. 

If you cannot go to the appointment, you must notify us as soon as possible.

What happens if I am unable to go to my appointment with my attending physician?

Please contact your attending physician to cancel your appointment. Next, inform us of the situation as soon as possible using secure email. Remember to include your claim number. 

If I cancel an appointment with a health care professional, will any cancellation fees related to the care or treatment I was supposed to received be reimbursed?

Cancellation fees will not be reimbursed. Only fees for the treatment or care received qualify for reimbursement.

Will the adaptation of my home or my vehicle be delayed?

At the moment, we are doing everything possible to keep delays to a minimum.

As part of the processing of my compensation file, I have to meet with an SAAQ representative. Will this meeting still take place?

No. Given the current situation, such appointments will be carried out by phone. This will also be the case for the processing of applications for review.

However, in-person meetings are gradually resuming for people who require the adaptation of their home. 

Are applications for an administrative review currently being processed? How can I send documents to the review officer responsible for my claim?

You can send your documents using our Reimbursement of Expenses and Document Submission online service, or fax them to 1-866-349-2759.

Although administrative review activities are still underway, people who are no longer able to work (income replacement indemnity) are being prioritized.

I have a hearing or a conciliation session with the Administrative Tribunal of Québec (TAQ). Do I still have to attend?

On this subject, we invite you to visit the website of the Administrative Tribunal of Québec (TAQ).

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7 - Mechanical Maintenance and Road Vehicle Inspection

Will road vehicle inspection agents remain open?

Road vehicle inspection agents are open and carrying out all types of vehicle inspections. 

Can I get an extension for my vehicle’s preventive maintenance or mandatory periodic mechanical inspection (every 6 or 12 months)?

As of August 1, 2020, no extensions for preventive maintenance or mechanical inspections are granted to owners.

What should I do if the appointment for my mandatory mechanical inspection (required every 6 or 12 months) takes place after the extended deadline?

Contact our customer service using the online form (individuals or businesses (in French only)) or by phone:

Our telephone service is available from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except statutory holidays.

I frequently travel outside the province. Are other jurisdictions taking into account the extension that has been granted in the case of mandatory periodic mechanical inspections that are required every 6 or 12 months?

The SAAQ is in contact with other jurisdictions with regard to the guidelines it adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic so that those guidelines can be taken into consideration.

However, as no further extensions have been granted, carriers must comply with their regular mechanical inspection schedules as of July 31.

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8 - SAFETY AND TRANSPORTATION OF PASSENGERS

Can vehicle owners install partitions to protect passengers from the spread of COVID-19?

Where recommended by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) or any other competent authority, protective partitions may be installed in vehicles in order to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In order to assist the owners of such vehicles, the SAAQ is offering safety tips with regard to the installation of these protective barriers (PDF, 536 KB)This file does not meet Web accessibility standards. (link in French only). The information in this guide is meant as advice only, and not requirements imposed by the SAAQ.

Can bus owners install partitions made of flexible material in their vehicles in order to limit the spread of the virus?

It is possible to install this type of partition to the right of the driver, so long as it permits high visibility on the right side. Drivers must also be able to quickly open or remove the partition in order to see better or to escape an emergency situation. However, drivers are not required to open the partition at each stop if they can see well enough.

For more information on the types of material that can be used, see section 1 of the safety tips with regard to the installation of these protective barriers (PDF, 536 KB)This file does not meet Web accessibility standards. (link in French only).

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9 - COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

Will interest apply to the postponement of the payment of commercial vehicle and taxi registration renewal fees?

No. No interest will be charged during the postponement period.

Are businesses entitled to a reimbursement?

If you are one of the targeted businesses and you have already paid the amounts due, you could still take advantage of this measure. Visit the webpage Report de l’immatriculation commerciale (in French only) to find out the steps to follow.

Why must I store my commercial vehicles that are not in use?

To benefit from maximum storage savings, we recommend that you put your unused vehicles into storage before the registration deadline. Use our online services for businesses (in French only) on our website to store your commercial vehicles and taxis.

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10 - EXEMPTION FOR HEAVY VEHICLES

Is the exemption regarding hours of driving and rest still in effect?

No. This exemption ended at 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2020.

Why did the exemption regarding hours of driving and rest come to an end?

As activity starts to pick up across Québec, the situation on our roads and the services provided by the carrier industry are gradually returning to normal. As a result, in order to avoid fatigue at the wheel and reduce the risk of accidents, the exemption provided for under the Regulation respecting the hours of driving and rest of heavy vehicle drivers in the event of pandemics and disasters no longer applies as of 1 minute after midnight on May 16, 2020.

All heavy vehicle owners, operators and drivers must comply with their regulatory obligations regarding hours of driving and rest, regardless of the cargo they may be transporting.

Do the hours of driving during the exemption period have to be taken into account?

Yes. Any hours of driving not subject to the Regulation respecting the hours of driving and rest of heavy vehicle drivers during the exemption period must be taken into account as of the moment the Regulation comes back into effect. 

It is important that drivers comply with the number of hours of rest required by regulation based on their work cycles. These measures aim to ensure our roads remain safe. 

What should I do if my services are once again required in order to help out during the pandemic?

The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving. Exceptional circumstances may once again lead to certain carriers being requested to help out.  

If you find yourself in this situation and would like more information, we invite you to contact our vehicle safety and legal expertise department:

The SAAQ will monitor the situation closely and remain attentive to industry concerns.  

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11 - Disabled Parking Permits

Can I apply for a disabled parking permit?

Yes. You must fill out the Disabled Parking Permit Application, available on the Obtaining a Disabled Parking Permit webpage, and mail it to us. The form is currently not available in our service outlets.

If you need any help, call us:

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