Hand-crafted or Modified Vehicle

Trailer converted into a recreational travel trailer


You can change the vehicle registration of a trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,500 kg or more that has been converted into a recreational travel trailer so that it is no longer required to undergo the mandatory annual mechanical inspection. You must apply to the SAAQ to have this change made.

Characteristics of a recreational travel trailer

A travel trailer is a towable vehicle whose interior is principally set up to serve as a mobile dwelling for recreational purposes. The interior must be set up to enable its occupants to carry out daily activities while standing, as they would in a regular dwelling.

To serve as a dwelling, the vehicle must be equipped with at least the following permanently installed equipment:

  • a kitchen that includes a kitchen range, a refrigerator, one or more counters, a sink and a table fixed to the vehicle
  • a place to sleep: either a hide-a-bed, a bed or benches that can also be used as seats on which to eat
  • a bathroom that includes at least a bath or shower and a permanently installed toilet (a portable toilet is not considered a permanently installed toilet, even if it is fixed to the vehicle)
  • an independent electrical system and a propane gas or equivalent system whose installations are compliant and certified
  • a potable water reservoir to supply water to the appropriate mandatory components
  • one or more wastewater reservoirs
  • a water heater
  • a heating system
  • windows in the livable space
  • an emergency exit, other than the main door

The travel trailer may be equipped with a load space, in which case it must also satisfy the following additional conditions:

  • the livable portion must occupy more than 50% of the available floor space (including the space over the coupling system or the space over the wheel wells)
  • the vehicle must include two separate doors that open outward, specifically one door that provides access to the livable space and another door that provides access to the load space
  • the vehicle must be equipped with an airtight bulkhead (that may include an airtight door) between the load space and the livable space

The travel trailer may be manufactured, modified or hand-crafted for either personal or commercial use. No passengers may ride in the travel trailer while it is in motion.

Conditions to change the vehicle registration from a trailer to a travel trailer

You can be authorized to have the licence category changed from that of a trailer with a GVWR of 4,500 kg or more to that of a recreational travel trailer if it complies with the following requirements:

  • its payload is less than 4,500 kg as established by performing the following calculation:
    • GVWR (as indicated on the plate or sticker affixed to the trailer by the manufacturer) minus the vehicle's net weight (according to a weight certificate), which equals the vehicle's payload, or: [GVWR - Net Weight = Payload]
  • All of the mandatory equipment is present on the travel trailer and installed in accordance with the standards specified by the equipment's manufacturer:
    • only equipment designed specifically to be installed in a recreational vehicle will be accepted. To find out which equipment can be installed, other than the mandatory equipment, refer to the equipment offered by the major manufacturers of recreational vehicles. Any unusual or unconventional equipment will be refused

"Tiny homes" or "tiny houses" are not travel trailers. They are not manufactured for use on the road network and are considered as load on a trailer. They are not an integral part of the vehicle and constitute a risk to road safety.

Procedure to apply for a change of vehicle registration

  1. Complete the Change of Vehicle Registration for a Heavy Trailer to Be Recognized as a Travel Trailer (PDF, 503.0 ko) form.

  2. Have a valid mechanical inspection certificate for the trailer that is dated 12 months or less before the date of the application. Otherwise, a mechanical inspection will be required.

    If the mechanical inspection was carried out more than 12 months before the application, a temporary licence plate (transit) will be required for the trailer to be authorized to be used on a public road in order to undergo a new mechanical inspection.

  3. Enclose the following documents:
    • high-quality colour photographs showing each of the mandatory components listed in section 5 of the form, including a photo of the SAAQ inspection sticker
    • a weight certificate
    • payment of the applicable fees
    • Here is an example of a diagram:

  4. Mail the entire file, which includes the duly completed and signed form, the required documents and payment of the applicable fees.

Costs and payment to have the vehicle category changed

The fees to change a vehicle’s registration come to $9.55. These fees are payable by cheque or money order made out to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec.

Last update: July 21, 2021