Vehicle Purchase or Adaptation for a Person With a Mobility Impairment

If you can no longer drive or use a vehicle because of a physical disability, the SAAQ may reimburse certain costs incurred to adapt your vehicle, regardless of whether you are the driver.

Your disability is a result of a traffic accident

Eligibility

If a traffic accident has left you with a permanent physical disability – and you can no longer safely get in or out of or drive a vehicle – you may qualify for the reimbursement of certain expenses incurred to adapt the vehicle on the basis of your situation.

Conditions to adapt a vehicle

  • You can no longer safely get in, get out of or drive a vehicle
  • The vehicle adaptation is recommended by an occupational therapist who is a member of the Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Québec

Only one vehicle can be adapted

  • The vehicle may belong to you, or someone close to you with whom you get around on a regular basis.
  • A vehicle with a long-term lease may also be adapted. In such a case, you will require the written authorization of the lessor (e.g. the dealership) to have the vehicle modified.
  • The vehicle must be 5 years old or less and have fewer than 100,000 kilometres.
  • The vehicle must also be in good mechanical condition.

Type of vehicle that can be adapted

  • The vehicle must be the one you use to get around on a regular basis, namely, a passenger vehicleA motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, a moped and a minibus, owned by a natural person, designed to carry up to 9 occupants at a time, where such transportation does not require a permit from the Commission des transports du Québec, and used mainly for personal purposes., such as:
    • an automobile
    • an SUV
    • a minivan
Useful information
It is important to first obtain our authorization

You must always obtain our authorization before purchasing an adapted vehicle or having the adaptation equipment installed.

Procedure to have a vehicle adapted

Step 1 – Identifying your needs

One of our representatives will guide you through the procedure.

You must consult an occupational therapist who will assess your physical inability:

  • to drive
  • to get in or out of a vehicle

The occupational therapist will send us:

  • his or her recommendations concerning the required alterations to the vehicle
  • his or her report for analysis

If you are applying for a vehicle adaptation as a driver, we will ensure

  • you are capable of driving before we analyze your adaptation needs
  • your driver's licence is valid, as the addition of equipment may change your driver's licence class or attached conditions

Step 2 – Analyzing the solutions

One of our specialists will evaluate whether the alterations recommended by the occupational therapist qualify for the insurance coverage.

To determine the cost of the alterations and before having the work done, you have to obtain bids from suppliers who specialize in adapting vehicles and submit them to us. The number of bids required varies based on the extent of the work to be carried out:

  • 1 bid for adaptation costs under $2,000
  • 2 bids for adaptation costs over $2,000

You will then be informed of the amount that you can be reimbursed. You must submit supporting documents in order to be reimbursed.

Step 3 – Carrying out the alterations

Once you have been informed of the amount that can be reimbursed, you can hire the specialized supplier of your choice to have the vehicle adapted.

The alterations must meet Transport Canada standards and comply with the Highway Safety Code and its regulations.

Step 4 – Inspecting the alterations

Once the work has been completed, the occupational therapist may be required to inspect it to ensure that the adaptations are safe and comply with the authorized specifications.

Warning
A mechanical inspection may be required

The vehicle will have to undergo a mechanical inspection at one of our mechanical inspection centres (PDF, 190 KB)This file does not meet Web accessibility standards. if the alterations concern:

  • the braking or acceleration system
  • the steering system
  • the suspension

Step 5 – Learning how to drive an adapted vehicle

Once the vehicle is adapted, you will have to familiarize yourself with the newly installed equipment and learn to drive the vehicle safely.

The cost of training is covered, provided it is required and recommended by an occupational therapist.

If you have to change vehicles

You may not apply for a new vehicle adaptation for 7 years, unless there is a significant change in your physical condition, which must be assessed by an occupational therapist.

We may also require an assessment of your ability to drive.

Specialized equipment that is transferable and in good condition will be installed in the new vehicle. The cost of reinstalling this equipment is covered.

Expenses covered

The vehicle's adaptation equipment must be required by your physical condition and recommended by an occupational therapist. The equipment must also be part of the most appropriate solution that is the least expensive. We reimburse expenses related to:

  • purchase and installation of the recommended equipment
  • additional equipment if your physical condition has changed
  • repair and replacement of certain authorized equipment, where the equipment is no longer covered by warranty
  • required alterations to the vehicle's body
  • mechanical inspection of the vehicle after the adaptation is carried out

If you choose a more costly solution, you must cover the additional costs.

If your disability was not caused by a traffic accident

We also manage the Program on the Adaptation of Road Vehicles for Persons with Disabilities of the ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l'Électrification des transports  (MTQ) for individuals whose disability is not a result of a traffic accident.

Elegibility conditions

  • Your disability may be from birth or be caused by an illness, an accident other than a traffic accident, aging or another cause.
  • To qualify, you must not already be receiving financial assistance from the government or another organization providing this type of assistance.

Conditions for vehicle adaptation

You intend to use the vehicle for at least 5 years.

  • In the case of a pre-owned vehicle, proof of inspection that the vehicle is in good mechanical condition may be required.

Only one vehicle may be adapted

The vehicle must be your own, or owned by someone close to you with whom you get around on a regular basis, or a be vehicle with a long-term lease. In that case, you must obtain the lessor's authorization (e.g. the dealership) to carry out the alterations.

Type of vehicle that can be adapted

The vehicle must be the one you use to get around on a regular basis, namely, a passenger vehicleA motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, a moped and a minibus, owned by a natural person, designed to carry up to 9 occupants at a time, where such transportation does not require a permit from the Commission des transports du Québec, and used mainly for personal purposes., such as:

  • an automobile
  • an SUV
  • a minivan

Procedure to have the vehicle adapted

Step 1 – Obtaining the form

You must complete the form entitled Demande d'aide financière pour l'adaptation d'un véhicule (in French only).

To obtain the form, phone us:

418 528-3421 (Québec area)
1 800 525-7719 (toll-free)

Documents to enclose with the form
  • A medical certificate
  • A report from an occupational therapist
  • 2 different bids from suppliers specialized in adapting vehicles
  • If you hold a driver's licence, a copy of the occupational therapist's functional assessment report to ensure that your driver's licence is appropriate for the adapted vehicle. The addition of certain equipment may require a change of licence class or attached medical conditions.

Step 2 – Sending us the form along with the required documents

By mail

Service de la gestion des fournisseurs
Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec
Case postale 19600, succursale Terminus
Québec (Québec) G1K 8J6

By fax

418 643-3346

Step 3 – Analyzing the solutions

You will be granted financial assistance to adapt your vehicle if our analysis reveals that the solution recommended by the occupational therapist is appropriate for your needs, meets the Program's criteria and is the least expensive solution.

Step 4 – Carrying out and inspecting the adaptations

Once you have been informed of the financial assistance to which you are entitled, you may hire the supplier of your choice to carry out the adaptations.

The alterations must meet Transport Canada standards and comply with the Highway Safety Code and its regulations.

An inspection by the occupational therapist may be required to ensure that the adaptations are safe and comply with the authorized specifications.

Warning
A mechanical inspection may be required

The vehicle will have to undergo a mechanical inspection at one of our mechanical inspection centres (PDF, 190 KB)This file does not meet Web accessibility standards. if the alterations concern:

  • the braking or acceleration system
  • the steering system
  • the suspension

Step 5 – Learning how to drive an adapted vehicle

Once the vehicle is adapted, you will have to familiarize yourself with the newly installed equipment and learn to drive the vehicle safely.

The cost of training is covered, provided it is required and recommended by an occupational therapist.