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

Calling us or going to a service outlet

Please know that we are doing our very best to answer as many telephone 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. 

We ask that you only go to a service outlet if you have an appointment. Otherwise, we will not be able to serve you.

  1. Available Services
  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

Last update: May 27, 2020

1 - Available Services

Which services are offered in service outlets to all our clients?

All our clients can make an appointment to obtain the following services only:

  • vehicle registration and transferring ownership of a vehicle (all types of transfer of ownership, including transfers between individuals)
  • 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
  • the modification of a vehicle’s weight or number of axles
  • the addition or removal of a licence class
  • the replacement of a lost or stolen driver’s licence
  • the addition or removal of a licence condition
  • 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 administration of knowledge tests for all licence classes
  • 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

All other services will resume gradually in our service outlets. Our online services remain available for citizensbusinesses and external suppliers and partners.

How do I make an appointment at a service outlet?

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

Knowledge tests

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

Other services offered in service outlets

For all other services, call us (toll-free) to make an appointment :

To make an appointment by telephone, call (toll-free):

Many of our service outlets now offer the option of making an appointment online. Please note that the online form is available in French only. To find out whether this option is available at a service outlet near you:

  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.

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.
  • You must have scheduled your appointment online or by telephone before going to a service outlet.
  • Handwashing is mandatory at service outlet entrances.
  • 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. 

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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; however, delivery may be delayed by several weeks. You will then receive a payment notice. You should make your payment as soon as possible through your financial institution or by mail. Keep your old licence until you receive the new one, even if it has expired. Given the current situation, police forces have been informed of the SAAQ’s decision in this regard.

If your licence expired before February 8, 2020, call us at 1-855-564-3170 (toll-free) to make an appointment.

I haven’t received the payment notice for my driver’s licence. 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 as soon as possible through your financial institution or by mail. Given the current situation, police forces have been informed of the SAAQ’s decision in this regard.

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

We invite you to visit the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec’s Questions and answers about our services during the pandemic webpage.

Can I renew my learner’s licence?

Yes. You must make an appointment before going to a service outlet. Your request will be processed as soon as possible.

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. Given the current situation, police forces have been informed of the SAAQ’s decision in this regard.

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

Yes. You must make an appointment before going to a service outlet. Your request will be processed as soon as possible.

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

The licence exchange service for people who have recently moved to Québec and hold a driver’s licence from another jurisdiction is not available for the time being.

However, pursuant to section 85 of the Highway Safety Code, holders of a driver’s licence from another jurisdiction who have recently moved to Québec can continue to drive for up to 6 months without having to hold a licence issued by the SAAQ, provided certain conditions are met.

If your licence from another jurisdiction was valid on March 13, 2020, you may continue to drive using that licence. Given the current situation, police forces have been informed of the SAAQ’s decision in this regard. 

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. You must make an appointment before going to a service outlet. Your request will be processed as soon as possible.

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?

In the case of statements of offence served by the Sûreté du Québec, Contrôle routier Québec or the Agence métropolitaine des transports (AMT), please make your payment online, via the website of the Bureau des infractions et amendes, or by calling 1-877-263-6337.

For any other fines or tickets, payment must be made at your local municipal court, either online or by phone. Refer to the website of your local municipal court for more information.

Please note that your licence will remain suspended until you have received written confirmation from the SAAQ that the suspension has been lifted. You will receive confirmation by mail as soon as your payment has been processed. 

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 less than 3 years?

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.

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3 - Driving Tests (Knowledge and Road Tests)

Can I make an appointment to take a knowledge test?

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:

Can I make an appointment to take a road test?

To comply with public health measures that require keeping a social distance of at least 2 metres, we must temporarily suspend all road tests. Options are currently being considered in order to be able to offer this service again as soon as possible. 

Can I take my road test for my motorcycle driver’s licence?

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

Motorcycle road tests are not currently offered. The SAAQ is working to prepare for the upcoming season. Check Section 1 “Available Services” regularly to find out when this service will be offered again.

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

No. No fees will be charged.

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

The deadlines with regard to undergoing your reassessment of driving ability will be extended. 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?

We are not currently issuing learner’s licences.

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4 - Medical Assessments

I received a letter from the SAAQ requesting that I provide a medical report. Given the current situation, do I have to consult with a physician or specialist to have the report completed?

For the moment, we recommend that you wait in order to avoid overwhelming the health care system. Please note that your driver’s licence will remain valid even if the medical report is not submitted.

Once the situation is back to normal, you will receive further instructions.

Will mandatory medical assessments be suspended temporarily?

Yes. The SAAQ is temporarily suspending requests for medical reports in order to avoid overwhelming the health care system. You will be contacted once the situation is back to normal.

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 as soon as possible through your financial institution or by mail.

I want to use my motorcycle or convertible to get around. What do I need to do?

Before using a seasonal vehicle, you must take it out of storage. Given the current situation, it is only possible to do so online, using the Licensing a Stored Vehicle online service. To be authorized to put a vehicle into operation, the vehicle registration fees must be paid.

I don’t plan to use my motorcycle or convertible for the time being. What do I need to do?

If you don’t plan to use a seasonal vehicle that is currently in storage, we suggest that you wait before taking it out of storage. This will allow you to save on your vehicle registration fees. You can take the vehicle out of storage once the situation returns to normal. 

If your seasonal vehicle is not in storage but you wish to put it in storage, please note that this operation must be carried out before the first day of the month if you want to avoid having to pay the vehicle registration fees for the entire month. Given the current situation, it is only possible to store a vehicle using our Storing a Vehicle online service.

I want to register or transfer the ownership of a vehicle. Is it possible?

Yes. You can register or transfer the ownership of a vehicle, regardless of whether you bought it from an individual, a dealer (dealership or other) or a business, or if it was given to you. 

You must call us (toll-free) to submit your request. There are two ways to complete the operation: by making an appointment in a service outlet 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 encourage you to renew your vehicle registration online. Given the current situation, we recommend that you make the payment 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. You must make an appointment before going to a service outlet. Your request will be processed as soon as possible.

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

Yes. You must make an appointment before going to a service outlet. Your request will be processed as soon as possible.

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, you must make an appointment at a service outlet.

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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 (medical treatments, travel expenses, etc.).

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

In that case, you must 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.

I cannot return to work full-time or gradually return to work. Will payment of my income replacement indemnity continue?

Yes. Given the current situation, this will not affect the payment of your indemnity.

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

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?

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?

It is important that you inform us as soon as possible using secure email. Remember to include your claim number. We will take care of cancelling the appointment and rescheduling the assessment on a later date.  Given the current situation, this will not affect the payment of your indemnities.

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. Given the current situation, this will not affect the payment of your indemnities.

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.

As part of my rehabilitation, I am receiving training offered by the education system. Since schools are closed, will payment of my indemnities continue?

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

As part of my rehabilitation, I am currently doing a work placement term, but my employer has closed. Will payment of my indemnities continue?

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

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.

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.

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, even in remote areas, and carrying out all types of vehicle inspections. 

What should I do if my vehicle is due for preventive maintenance or a mandatory periodic mechanical inspection (every 6 or 12 months)?

All preventive maintenance and mandatory periodic mechanical inspections that were due to be carried out in March or April must be carried out by May 31, 2020. 

In the case of preventive maintenance or mandatory mechanical inspections that were due to be carried out in May, owners now have until June 30, 2020 to have these procedures carried out.

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 lenience it is showing due to COVID-19 so that they may take it into consideration.

However, we encourage carriers to print out the document (PDF, 49 KB)This file does not meet Web accessibility standards. issued by the SAAQ that explains the new measures in place. The document is in French and English and can be kept in vehicles and presented to peace officers as necessary.

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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, 535 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, 535 KB)This file does not meet Web accessibility standards. (link in French only).

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9 - COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

Who can postpone the registration of their commercial vehicles until September 1, 2020?

The businesses targeted by this measure are owners of commercial vehicles (F licence plates) and taxis (T licence plates) whose fees to maintain their right to operate are due on March 31, 2020 or April 30, 2020.

If you are a business targeted by this measure, visit the webpage Report de l’immatriculation commerciale (in French only) to find out the steps to follow. Requests will be processed as quickly as possible. Processing may take several weeks.

Please note that your registration will remain valid until September 1, 2020. Police officers and carrier enforcement officers have been informed of the SAAQ’s decision in this regard.

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.

If I receive renewal or late payment notices, do I have to take them into account?

If you are a business targeted by this measure and you have submitted your completed postponement application form, you can disregard the above-mentioned notices. These notices will not be taken into account at the end of the process.

However, keep the final payment notice, which will be sent to you before September 1, 2020 in order to regularize your file further to the postponement period.

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 during the pandemic.  

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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