Driving in Québec

Preparing for the Tests

This section provides instructions on how to prepare for the road tests.

Knowledge Test

Preparing for the knowledge test 

The key to passing any test is preparation. To obtain your driver's licence, you must pass all three parts of the knowledge test: 

  • 8 questions on the Highway Safety Code
  • 8 questions on road signs and traffic signals
  • 12 questions on behaviours and passenger vehicle driving techniques

To prepare for this test, you will have to study the three learning guides:

  • Driver's  Handbook, which can be purchased in both French and English from Publications du Québec
  • Driving a Passenger Vehicle, which can be purchased in both French and English from Publications du Québec
  • Road Access Binder, available in both French and English from driving schools recognized by the Association québécoise des transports (AQTr), as well as directly from the AQTr itself

You can also practice using the "Illustrated situation scenarios" category of questions in the Check Your Road Safety Knowledge online quiz. Each question in this category features a situation scenario. 

The three parts of the test are based on the competencies targeted in the Road Safety Education Program (RSEP). To obtain a driver's licence, you must develop the following competencies:

  • Ability to drive safely, cooperatively and responsibly
  • Ability to handle a vehicle
  • Ability to share the road with other road users
  • Ability to use the road network independently and responsibly

The three parts of the test include questions presented as text and illustrated situations. These situations focus on the skills and qualities that are essential to driving: 

  • Scanning the environment
  • Analyzing a situation
  • Exercising judgment
  • Detecting risks
  • Anticipating what can happen
  • Making good decisions 

The OEA (observe, evaluate, act) strategy can help you. As a passenger, practise using this strategy, which is the same exercise that all good drivers actually use on the road. You can do this exercise while riding in a car or a bus.

OEA strategy 

(O) Observe 
  • Traffic lights
  • Traffic lanes and reserved lanes
  • Traffic signs
  • Markings painted on the roadway
  • Arrows painted on the roadway
  • The presence and actions of other road users (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.)
  • Vehicles and their drivers' actions (turn signal lights, brake lights, speed, position, etc.)
  • Safety margins between road users
  • Etc. 
(E) Evaluate 
  • Traffic rules, including those that apply to sharing the road with other users
  • Rules concerning road signs and traffic signals 
  • Rules concerning emergency vehicles
  • Rules concerning buses
  • Etc. 
(A) Act or choose your answer based on the information collected and analyzed
  • Analyze behaviours using the OEA strategy
  • Observe the vehicles in numerical order (e.g. from 1 to 5) in the expanded illustration
  • Select and remember the vehicle numbers that correspond to the situation in the question
  • Check whether the numbers you selected match any of the possible answers
    • If so, select that answer
    • If not, analyze the illustration once again
Screen shot
Format of the illustration after clicking on it
Solution 1, 2, 4, 5
  1. Following another road vehicle at an unsafe or unreasonably close distance is an offence (Driver's Handbook, pp. 302-303).
  2. Passing or driving by a school bus when its flashing lights are in operation is an offence (Driver's Handbook, pp. 302-303, 308-309).
  3. Changing lanes after activating the turn signal light and legally crossing the dotted line is a safe behaviour.
  4. Crossing a solid line marking off lanes is an offence (Driver's Handbook, pp. 308-309).
  5. Crossing a solid line marking off lanes is an offence (Driver's Handbook, pp. 308-309).

Making an appointment 

Once you are prepared, you must make an appointment to check whether you qualify to take the test.

Step 1 – Make sure you meet the following conditions:

  • You are 16 years of age or older (14 years of age to drive a scooter under 50 cc, which requires a Class 6D licence to drive)
  • You hold a licence that is equivalent to the class of licence applied for, for example, a licence to drive a car or a motorcycle
  • You reside in Québec
  • You are authorized to live in Canada

Step 2 – Make the appointment:

  • By telephone with an employee who will analyze your application
    • Montréal area: 514-954-7771
    • Elsewhere (Québec, Canada, United States): 1-888-356-6616
  • Online

Step 3 – Go to the designated SAAQ service centre with the original copies of the documents requested when you made the appointment, namely:

  • your foreign driver's licence
  • proof of Canadian citizenship or the right to stay in Canada
  • proof of residency in Québec
  • proof that you were a resident of the country in which your driver's licence was issued if you obtained your licence within the previous 3 years
  • the translation of your driver's licence, if it is written in a language other than French or English – the international driver's permit is not considered an official translation

In certain situations, other documents may be required. To find out whether this is the case, please contact us.

Depending on your situation, you could take the knowledge test at the service centre, on the same day as your appointment, or you may have to make another appointment.

Step 4 – Pay the applicable fees to obtain your licence

On the day of the knowledge test 

Test taken at a service centre 

It is important that you take your time. Make sure you do not rush through the test.

For questions that include illustrated situations, you can expand the illustration by clicking on it. It will then fill the entire screen.

After expanding the illustration, look at every element and every rule you must consider. Identify any violations of traffic rules, signs or signals. Be sure to:

  • take the time to carefully read the question
  • take the time to decode all the information presented using the OEA strategy
  • use your knowledge regarding:
    • traffic rules, signs and signals that apply to the situation presented, including any offences
    • handling a vehicle 
    • sharing the road
    • using the road network
  • identify the information that will help you make your decision
  • choose the right numbers by:
    • looking at the vehicles in numerical order (1 to 5) in the expanded illustration
    • memorizing the numbers of the vehicles that you intend to include in your answer
  • go back to the question to select your answer
  • if none of the possible answers match your numbers, analyze the illustration once again
Test given in 5 languages

The test can be taken in French, English, Arabic, Spanish or Mandarin.

Test with headphones and an audio track 

French- and English-language audio tracks are also available to candidates via the computer used in the test. This measure is provided to help lighten the reading effort. If you want to take your test with the audio track, you must first ask the clerk at the counter for it, as this service is only available on request.

Test with an interpreter 

The test can also be taken with an interpreter within three years after you settle in Québec. You can find out about the applicable fees and how to request this service in an SAAQ service centre. 

If you fail the test, you must wait at least 28 days before you will be allowed to retake the test. You will have to make another appointment. You will only have to retake the parts of the test that you failed.

Road Test

Before making an appointment for the road test, you must have passed the knowledge test.

Making an appointment 

Online 

Making an appointment for a road test

Using the automated telephone service 

Québec area: 418-643-5213
Montréal area: 514-873-5803
Elsewhere (Québec, Canada, United States): 1-888-667-8687

TTY/TDD

Montréal area: 514-954-7763
Elsewhere in Québec: 1-800 565-7763

Preparing for the road test 

The road test is used to evaluate your ability to drive safely.

If you lack French- or English-language skills, the driving examiner will use hand signals to give you instructions during the road test. 

We do not provide a vehicle for the test. You must report for the test with a vehicle that is in good mechanical condition.

Regardless of the vehicle used for the test, you will not be allowed to carry a passenger or pet. In the case of poor weather, check to make sure your appointment has not been cancelled.

If you fail the test, you must wait at least 28 days before you will be allowed to retake the test. You will have to make another appointment.

Vehicle Registration

All vehicles must be registered (other than rare exceptions) and bear a rear licence plate. If you purchase a vehicle in Québec, you must have the vehicle registered as soon as you take possession of it. You will have to prove to the SAAQ that you are the owner (or long-term lessee) of the vehicle and pay certain fees for the initial registration. 

You will subsequently have to pay the annual vehicle registration fees to be allowed to drive your vehicle. If you do not wish to operate your vehicle for an extended period, you can put it into storage.

If you are a new resident and are coming to Québec with a vehicle (e.g. from another province or the United States), you must have the vehicle registered within 90 days after settling in Québec. 

You must always be prepared to show your vehicle registration certificate and your property damage insurance certificate. You must therefore keep them with you or inside the vehicle. 

Last update: July 21, 2021