Driving in Québec

Obtaining a Driver's Licence

In order to be authorized to drive in Québec, you must hold a valid driver's licence that bears the appropriate class for the type of vehicle you are driving and abide by any attached conditions.

Non-Residents Visiting Québec

You can drive a road vehicle for 6 consecutive months without exchanging your driver's licence for a Québec driver's licence.

If you are a student, cooperant or trainee, you may drive an automobile, a motorcycle or a moped/scooter for the duration of your studies or traineeship in Québec without having to exchange your driver's licence for a Québec driver's licence.

You must, however, meet the following conditions:

  • hold a valid driver's licence issued by another jurisdiction
  • comply with all the conditions specified on your licence
  • only drive a road vehicle of the category authorized by your licence

If you hold an international driver's permit, you may drive road vehicles authorized by your foreign driver's licence for the entire validity period of your international driver's permit.

You must have both of these licences with you whenever you drive.

New Residents of Québec

During the 6 months that follow your settlement in Québec, you may drive an automobile, a motorcycle or a moped/scooter if you hold a valid driver's licence issued outside of Québec authorizing you to drive the corresponding category of vehicle.

After 6-months, you must obtain a Québec driver's licence to be allowed to continue driving.

If your licence was issued in Canada

You may exchange your licence for a Québec driver's licence of an equivalent class without having to take the proficiency tests.

To exchange a professional class of licence (licence that authorizes its holder to drive an emergency vehicle, a bus, a minibus or a taxi—equivalent to Classes 1 to 4C in Québec), a medical report may be required.

If your licence was issued outside of Canada 

Important: To obtain a Québec driver's licence under the conditions listed below, you must apply for the licence within 12 months of your settlement in Canada.

If your licence was issued in the United States 

You may exchange your licence for an equivalent licence authorizing you to drive an automobile (Class 5) or a moped/scooter (Class 6D) without having to take the proficiency tests.

You will, however, have to pass the proficiency tests to obtain a licence to drive a motorcycle (Classes 6A, 6B or 6C), a truck, an emergency vehicle, a bus, a minibus or a taxi (Classes 1 to 4C).

If your licence was issued in any of the following countries: 

Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Isle of Man, Japan, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan.

You may exchange your licence for an equivalent licence authorizing you to drive an automobile (Class 5) without having to take the proficiency tests.

You will, however, have to pass the proficiency tests to obtain a licence to drive a motorcycle (Classes 6A, 6B or 6C).

If your licence was issued in a country not listed above 

You may obtain an equivalent licence authorizing you to drive an automobile (Class 5) after passing the proficiency tests.

You must, however, have held your licence for at least one year before settling in Québec. 

Driving Experience

If the SAAQ considers that you have fewer than 24 months of experience driving an automobile or a motorcycle, you will be issued a probationary licence.

You will hold this licence until you have accumulated 24 months of driving experience.

Other Situations

If you do not meet the requirements listed above, but wish to obtain a Québec driver's licence, you will have to meet the graduated licensing requirements, which include:

  • passing the driving course given by a recognized driving school
  • holding a learner's licence for a learning period of at least 12 months (accompanied driving)
  • passing the knowledge and road tests
  • holding a probationary licence for 2 years

During the learning phase (learner's licence) and probationary phase (probationary licence), you will be subject to the following restrictions:

  • you are prohibited from driving after consuming alcohol (zero alcohol)
  • you must have fewer than 4 demerit points entered on your driving record

To Reach Us

For more information or to make an appointment to check whether you qualify for a driver's licence, call one of the following telephone numbers:

If you are a Canadian citizen and you hold a driver's licence issued in Canada

or

you do not hold a driver's licence (no appointment is required in this case)

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

If you are a Canadian citizen and you hold a driver's licence issued in a country other than Canada

or

you are not a Canadian citizen (regardless of whether or not you hold a driver's licence)

Montréal area: 514 954-7771
Elsewhere in Québec: 1 888 356-6616 (toll free)

Last update: July 21, 2021