A driver’s licence is required to drive on Québec roads. The SAAQ applies precise rules in issuing a Québec driver's licence or exchanging a driver's licence issued outside Québec.
If you are staying in Québec for a few months, go to the page entitled For Holders of a Foreign Driver's Licence for information on your right to drive.
If you are a new resident and hold a valid licence issued in another jurisdiction, you must apply for a Québec licence as soon as possible. However, for six months after settling in Québec, you may drive a passenger vehicle with your foreign licence. After that period, you may no longer drive with that licence. Otherwise, you face a fine of at least $300, and the vehicle you are driving may be seized and impounded. Other fees may be added to the fine provided under the Highway Safety Code (contribution to the IVAC crime victims compensation program, registry fees, etc.).
Important: If you hold a licence that was issued outside Canada, you must apply for a new licence within twelve months after settling in Québec to qualify for the benefits granted to new residents.
To get a Québec driver's licence or to exchange a driver's licence issued elsewhere for a Québec licence, the first step is to contact the SAAQ by telephone to make an appointment. You cannot make an appointment over the Internet.
The clerk on the telephone will ask you which official documents you have in your possession: birth certificate, Permanent Resident Card, passport, etc. This will help the clerk determine your status.
The clerk will tell you what steps to take based on your situation and give you an appointment.
Bring your driver's licence, if you have one, to the appointment as well as other required documents (always bring the originals of your documents).
Permanent residents must bring the Confirmation of Permanent Residence document. It is impossible to issue a Québec driver's licence or exchange a foreign licence without this document. A Permanent Resident Card is not sufficient.
For new residents who hold a driver's licence issued by: