When you operate an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), whether a quad bike, a trail bike or a recreational off-road vehicle, you must obey the Act respecting off-highway vehicles, the regulations made under that Act, and some provisions of the Highway Safety Code.
According to the Act respecting off-highway vehicles, a recreational off-highway (or “off-road”) vehicle is a motorized all-terrain vehicle that is:
“equipped with one or more non-straddle seats, a steering wheel, pedals and a protective structure, 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.”
The Act defines a quad bike as a four-wheel vehicle “equipped with a straddle seat and handlebars.”
A trail bike is a light motorcycle whose suspension system and tires are designed for use on all types of terrain.
The certificate of competence is issued upon successful completion of a mandatory course.
Refer to the website of the Fédération québécoise des motos hors route.
Refer to the website of the Fédération québécoise des clubs quads.
No certificate of competence and knowledge is required to operate a recreational off-road vehicle, since this type of vehicle may only be operated by those aged 18 or older.
In order to cross a highway, a road or any other public roadway, you must hold a valid driver's licence or probationary licence of any class.
Driving on public roadways
You can cross a public roadway, or drive on it over a maximum distance of 1 km (except in rare cases provided for by law), provided:
You must register your ATV.
Learn how to register an ATV.
Just because the vehicle is registered does not mean you are covered in the event of an accident
If you have an accident that doesn't involve an automobile (if you run into a tree, for example), you are not covered by the SAAQ for your injuries. The fact that you paid the registration fees for your ATV doesn't change that fact.
However, if you have an accident involving an automobile or any other vehicle operating on a public roadway, you may receive compensation for your injuries. For more information, see the section on the automobile insurance plan).
You must be covered for at least $500,000. Your civil liability policy will provide compensation should you sustain bodily injury or property damage, or should you cause bodily injury or property damage to others.
Proof of insurance may be requested by a police officer, trail patrol officer or provincial officer. You must be able to show such proof; otherwise, you face a $250 fine.
Operating an ATV while impaired by alcohol, drugs or medication is an offence subject to the same penalties as any impaired driving offence involving any other type of vehicle.
When operating an ATV, you must always have the following documents with you:
Unless otherwise indicated, the speed limit is:
It is prohibited to drive within 30 metres of:
In the case of trails created after December 31, 2011, that distance is increased to 100 metres.
Avoid making a lot of noise near populated areas
When you are near populated areas, slow down to make less noise. Be especially careful at night (in areas where driving at night is allowed).