Heavy Vehicles

Safety Standards for Road Vehicles

Ensuring that vehicles travelling on Québec roads are in good mechanical condition is one of the means the SAAQ has implemented to protect individuals from the risks inherent in use of the road.

New regulatory amendments to road vehicle safety standards come into force on November 20, 2016.

The coming into force of new road vehicle safety standards involves several changes. Here are the main ones:

1. Circle checks replace pre-trip inspections

Harmonizing the pre-trip inspection with Canadian circle check standards will make interprovincial transportation easier. For more details about the new circle check, visit the Circle Check page.

2. A new specific inspection of the mechanical condition of motor coaches

Due to the particular design of motor coaches, some components are difficult to inspect during a circle check. The implementation of a new mechanical inspection specific to motor coaches will make it possible, among other things, to inspect inaccessible components.

All motor coaches, other than those covered by a recognized preventative maintenance program (PMP), are subject to this new inspection.

3. Better quality control of preventative maintenance programs (PMPs)

The grounds for revoking a vehicle owner’s preventative maintenance program (in French only) certificate of recognition have been adjusted to allow the SAAQ to intervene more quickly and easily when shortcomings are detected.

4. Changes and additions to the list of minor and major defects

Certain minor and major defects have been changed or added to the list of defects. To find out more about the new defects, refer to the Table of New Minor and Major Defects (PDF, 101.3 ko).

For complete information about minor and major mechanical defects, refer to the Road Vehicle Mechanical Inspection Guide (PDF, 7.9 Mo).

Types of defects

Minor defects

A minor defect does not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the driver or other road users, but can deteriorate quickly in certain cases. A vehicle with a minor defect is prohibited from being operated if repairs are not performed and declared compliant by a road vehicle inspection agent within 48 hours. Note that repairs of minor defects detected during a circle check do not need to be declared compliant by a road vehicle inspection agent.

Major defects

A major defect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the driver and other road users. A vehicle with a major defect is prohibited from being operated.

5. Changes in the application of mandatory periodic mechanical inspections

Additional vehicles are now subject to mandatory periodic mechanical inspections, for example, driving school mopeds and scooters (annual mechanical inspection).

Last update: May 17, 2022