Vehicles Exempt from Registration

In Québec, certain vehicles do not have to be registered with the SAAQ. The exemption may be temporary or permanent.

Vehicles that are not authorized to operate on public roads

The following vehicles are permanently exempt from registration because they are not authorized to operate on public roads, except to cross the roadway at a right angle:

  • snowmobiles with a net weight of 55 kg or less and a maximum speed of 15 km/h
  • snowblowers weighing 900 kg or less
  • motorized lawnmowers carrying one person
  • garden tractors, other than farm tractors, carrying one person
  • motorized scooters (can never be used on a public road, even to cross it)
  • road vehicles used exclusively within a building, e.g. fork lifts
  • golf carts

Vehicles allowed to operate on public roads

The following vehicles are exempt from registration, even though they are allowed to operate on public roads:

  • detachable axlesA supplementary axle or combination of axles that can be added to the axles already attached to a motor vehicle or trailer, or be used to temporarily to convert an object which is not essentially a road vehicle into a road vehicle.
  • single-axle tow dollies
  • farm machinery owned by a farmer, other than a farm tractor
  • self-propelled boom lifts other than those mounted on a truck chassis (self-propelled boom lifts are allowed to operate at the work site, but must be pulled or transported to get to or leave the site)

Vehicles that are exempt if not used on public roads

The following vehicles are exempt from registration, only if they do not operate on public roads:

  • vehicles stocked by a manufacturer
  • vehicles delivered by a manufacturer to a dealer
  • vehicles that a dealer holds in stock for sale
  • vehicles entrusted to the Curateur public du Québec (Public Curator)
  • vehicles seized or impounded by a peace officer
  • farm tractors owned by a farmerA person holding a registration card for an agricultural operation issued by the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec, or a person who is a member of an association certified under the Farm Producers Act. or an individual who uses it exclusively for personal purposes
  • vehicles designed mainly for use on snow (e.g. snow-grooming machines at a ski centre), other than snowmobiles whose net weight does not exceed 450 kg and whose width does not exceed 1.28 m, which must be registered

Vehicles registered outside Québec by non-residents

Useful information

Owners of a vehicle must have it registered with the SAAQ within 90 days of their settlement in Québec.

Certain vehicles registered outside Québec are allowed to operate on our road network. The duration of the exemption from registration in Québec varies depending on the type of vehicle and the owner's status.

The following vehicles are exempt from registration if they are registered under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the owner's primary place of residence or place of business is located, and display a valid licence plate from that jurisdiction:

Type of vehicle Status of the owner of the vehicle Duration of the exemption

Passenger vehicleA motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, a moped and a minibus, owned by a natural person, designed to carry up to 9 occupants at a time, where such transportation does not require a permit from the Commission des transports du Québec, and used mainly for personal purposes.

TrailerA road vehicle that is designed to be pulled by another vehicle, whether or not it maintains a horizontal position without outside support.

Semi-trailerA road vehicle the front of which rests on the fifth wheel of the vehicle pulling it.

Non-resident of Québec

6 consecutive months from the vehicle's arrival in Québec

Any road vehicle acquired outside Québec

Student

Trainee

Foreign cooperant

Only for the duration of the studies or traineeship

Snowmobile with a net weight of 450 kg or less

Non-resident of Québec

Permanent

Vehicles registered in another Canadian province or territory

The Canadian Agreement on Vehicle Registration grants registration reciprocity between various jurisdictions. For instance, a small truck with a total loaded weight under 11,794 kg and registered in Québec does not have to be registered in Ontario or anywhere else in Canada to operate in those jurisdictions.

Vehicles to which reciprocity is granted

  • Motor vehicles or combinations of road vehicles consisting of a motor vehicle and a trailer with a total loaded weight of less than 11,794 kg, used or maintained for the transportation of property
  • Farm or fishing industry vehicles
  • Private busesA bus or minibus used to carry passengers free of charge.
  • TrailersA road vehicle that is designed to be pulled by another vehicle, whether or not it maintains a horizontal position without outside support. or semi-trailers
  • Chartered buses
  • Motor vehicles registered as government vehicles
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Vehicles travelling unladen

For more information, consult the Regulation respecting reciprocal commercial vehicle registration agreements between the Gouvernement du Québec and the Canadian provinces and territories, and certain American States.

Vehicles registered in an American state

A commercial vehicle registration agreement between the Québec government and certain American States grants reciprocity with regard to registration.

For instance, a commercial vehicle registered in the state of Maine can travel in Québec without having to be registered in Québec.

For more information, consult the Regulation respecting reciprocal commercial vehicle registration agreements between the Gouvernement du Québec and the Canadian provinces and territories, and certain American States.