Driving in Quebec with a foreign license

Did you know that it is possible to drive in Quebec with a foreign license? However, certain conditions need to be met. Here are the 3 conditions that must be respected:

  • The permit must be in French or English;
  • The license must be valid in the country of origin;
  • You can only use this permit for a maximum of 6 months. It is therefore mandatory to obtain a Quebec license or an International license before the expiration of these 6 months to continue driving in the province of Quebec.

The exception to the 6-month rule.

There is an exception to the requirement to obtain a Quebec or an international driver’s license after the 6-month period. In fact, if you are considered a foreign student by the government, you have the right to drive for the duration of your studies or your internship with your foreign driving license. However, the foreign license must be valid for the duration of its use.

4 demerit points with a foreign license.

Like Quebec drivers, drivers with a foreign license are subject to a demerit point system that accumulates when found guilty of an offense. Indeed, holders of a foreign license are entitled to only 4 demerit points, regardless of the rules in your country of origin. This means that if you accumulate 4 demerit points, you will be penalized by the suspension of your driving license.

Given the very limited demerit points, it is important to drive safely and to comply with all laws and regulations in force in Quebec. If you get a ticket, contact a lawyer from SOS Ticket in order to assess the situation and determine the best course of action for your situation.

The exception to the 4 demerit points.

Note that there is an agreement between the SAAQ and the Province of Ontario, the State of Maine, and the State of New York. License holders from these territories are subject to the demerit point system of permit emitting locale. This means that these drivers may be entitled to more than 4 demerit points depending on the special rules in their territory of origin.

However, you must pay attention to demerit points related to infractions. Since these drivers are subject to their own rules, the demerit points associated with an offense may be different than those in Quebec, even if the ticket indicates the loss of a particular number of demerit points on the ticket itself.

For example, a driver with a Quebec license will accumulate 1 demerit point if found guilty of an offense for an excessive speed of 120km / h in a 100km / h zone. On the other hand, if a driver with an Ontario license receives the same ticket, this person will lose 3 demerit points if found guilty of this offense, regardless of the number of demerit points indicated on the traffic ticket.

It is important to be familiar with the demerit point system in your area if you decide to drive in Quebec with a license from Ontario, Maine, or New York. We suggest that you do some research before making a decision on a ticket received in Quebec. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney at SOS ticket to make sure you are fully aware of the real consequences of tickets.