Purchasing or Adaptating a vehicle 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 or not 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 be eligible to adapt a vehicle on the basis of your situation and have certain expenses reimbursed.

Conditions for adapting 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

  • You may adapt a vehicle that belongs to you, or to someone close to you who drives you around on a regular basis
  • You may also adapt a vehicle for which a long-term lease has been signed (In such a case, the written authorization of the lessor (e.g. the dealership) is required before you can have the vehicle modified)
  • The vehicle must be 5 years old or less and have fewer than 100,000 kilometres on the odometer
  • The vehicle must also be in good mechanical condition

Types of vehicles that can be adapted

  • You can have a vehicle adapted that you use to get around on a regular basis, namely, a passenger vehicleA motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, a moped and a minibus. This vehicle must be owned by a natural person, carry up to 9 occupants (where such transportation does not require a permit from the Commission des transports du Québec), and be used mainly for personal purposes.. For example, the following vehicles may be adapted:
    • an automobile
    • an SUV
    • a minivan
Useful information
Information

You must obtain the authorization of the SAAQ before purchasing an adapted vehicle or having adaptation equipment installed in a vehicle.

Procedure for having a vehicle adapted

Step 1 – Identify your needs

One of our representatives will guide you through this step.

You must consult an occupational therapist who will assess your physical disability that prevents you from:

  • driving
  • getting 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 verify that:

  • 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 any conditions added to your licence

Step 2 – Obtain bids

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

Before having the work done and in order to determine the cost of the alterations, you must obtain bids from suppliers who specialize in adapting vehicles and submit them to us. The suppliers must be accredited by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). You can find a list of these suppliers on the NMEDA Dealers in Canada webpage.

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 – Have the alterations made

Once you have been informed of the amount that can be reimbursed, you can hire the NMEDA-accredited 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 – Have the alterations inspected

Once the work has been completed, the SAAQ may require the occupational therapist to inspect the vehicle 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 – Learn 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.

In the case of a new adaptation, 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 be 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:

  • the purchase and installation of the recommended equipment
  • any additional equipment if your physical condition has changed
  • the repair and replacement of certain authorized equipment, where the equipment is no longer covered by warranty
  • any required alterations to the vehicle's body
  • the 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 administer the Programme d’adaptation de véhicule pour les personnes handicapées (PAV) for the Ministère des Transports. This program helps individuals adapt a vehicle when their disabilities are not a result of a traffic accident.

Eligibility conditions

  • Your disability must be one you have had since birth or be caused by an illness, an accident other than a traffic accident, aging or another cause
  • You must not already be receiving financial assistance from the government or another organization providing this type of assistance

Conditions for vehicle adaptation

  • You must intend to use the vehicle for at least 5 years
  • In the case of a used vehicle, an inspection certificate attesting to the fact that the vehicle is in good mechanical condition may be required
  • You must not have requested the adaptation of another vehicle
  • The vehicle must be your own or owned by someone close to you who drives you around on a regular basis, or  be vehicle for which a long-term lease has been signed. (In the latter case, you must obtain the authorization of the lessor (e.g. the dealership) before carrying out the alterations)

Type of vehicle that can be adapted

You can have a vehicle adapted that you use to get around on a regular basis, namely, a passenger vehicleA motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, a moped and a minibus. This vehicle must be owned by a natural person, carry up to 9 occupants (where such transportation does not require a permit from the Commission des transports du Québec), and be used mainly for personal purposes.. For example, the following vehicles may be adapted:

  • an automobile
  • an SUV
  • a minivan

Procedure for having the vehicle adapted

Step 1 – Obtain the form Application for Assistance Toward Vehicle Adaptation

To obtain the form, phone us:

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

Step 2 – Fill out the form

Documents to enclose with the form

  • A medical certificate
  • The report from an occupational therapist
  • 2 different bids from suppliers specialized in adapting vehicles. The suppliers must be accredited by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) (You can find a list of these suppliers on the NMEDA Dealers in Canada webpage)
  • A copy of the occupational therapist's functional assessment report, if you hold a driver’s licence (This way, we can ensure that your driver's licence is appropriate for the adapted vehicle, as the addition of certain equipment may require a change of licence class or result in changes to any medical conditions added to your licence)

Step 3 – Send the form to the SAAQ 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 4 – Have the alterations made and inspected

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.

Once you have been informed of the financial assistance to which you are entitled, you may hire the NMEDA-accredited 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.

The SAAQ may require an inspection by the occupational therapist 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 – Learn 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.