Posts Tagged ‘driving license’

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of going to the Société d’Assurance Automobile du Québec, the SAAQ, you know how much fun it is to queue. It’s a delightful administrative complex with, well lots of people. You need to go for your drivers licence, car licensing, driving tests etc.

And you spend a lot of time there queuing. Demand is high – it’s like that. There are however other alternatives.

The SAAQ has outsourced some of its activities to “mandataires” – private companies that perform services on behalf of the SAAQ. These are generally much smaller than the main SAAQ office with only a relatively short queue of maybe 20 minutes, or if you go at the right time not at all.

To find your nearest mandataire consult the website of the SAAQ.

Some services are equally available online at SAAQClic.

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Once you arrive in Québec you have three months to change your driving licence to a Québec one. Generally speakingm if you come from a first world country you can just make a stright exchange. For other countries through, you will have to resit a driving test. For more information check out the webpages of the SAAQ.

As with most things in Québec, there is a central authority managing driving licences called the Société d’Assurance Automobile de Québec (SAAQ). This is not to be confused with the Alcohol monopoly called the SAQ!

When you arrive in Québec, or maybe before you arrive, one of the first things you should do is to telephone the SAAQ, to fix a meeting to exchange your licence or take the test. Be aware that there is a long waiting time. It took us about 5 weeks to get an appointment. It’s always busy, don’t bother going just on the off chance. Take a book to read, you may be there a long time. They will reauire from you:

– Your driving licence (both parts for the Brits)

– Your passport

– Your PR confirmation PAPER (not the card)

– $63

Then they take about 20 minutes to enter this information into the computer, after which you pay (cash, cheque, Interac debit card) and then you go back to the waiting room to have your photograph taken. Once this is done, they will send you are licence in about a weeks time through the post.

Any hey presto, you have a Québec licence and you get to keep your original country licence too.

Amongst other things the SAAQ also manages car licensing, driving tests as well as the Québec drivng license.

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