Top 10 Tips for Driving in Quebec

The vibrant province of Québec stands out for its friendly ambiance, fascinating view, and appealing cityscape. However, plying the roads of this magnificent province bags certain guidelines you must adhere to if you must have an interesting driving experience. This post does not only reveal what it takes to own and drive a car in Québec, but it also highlights peculiar tips that can improve your driving and keep you on the good side of the law.


Owning a car in Québec is a fairly easy and straightforward process. The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) is the body responsible for regulating all driving and automotive-related matters. Upon the purchase of your car from a dealer or private individual, you are expected to obtain a driver's license and registration plate from the SAAQ.

Besides the purchase of a vehicle, it is a must to have a driver’s license before you can hit the roads in the province. Getting a driver’s license in Québec could be a little challenging; you must have a full driving record of 24 months with less than 4 demerit points. For more information about licensing and registration, you can visit the SAAQ website.


In the actual sense, driving is a really fun thing to do, especially when you are with your family. However, before you think of getting behind the wheels on Québec roads, you must ensure to possess a valid driver's license or learner's permit, a vehicle registration certificate, and an insurance certificate. In Québec, your driving experience will be hitch-free only if these documents are in place.

Just like other provinces in Canada, Québec has peculiarities in its road design, terrain, and traffic rules.  There are strict rules that guide plying of roads by cars. More so, what might be legal in other Canadian provinces may be highly prohibited in Québec. Additionally, fines and legal implications for rule violations exist to deter intending violators.


If you are a resident of Québec or a visitor in the province, you can steer clear of trouble by strictly following some essential guidelines. Having a full grasp of the road’s dos and don’ts helps you escape the burden of paying needless fines and getting demerit points. Here are ten tips that can get you right on track in Québec. You are also sure to obtain an impeccable driving record by sticking to these important points.

Stay within the Speed Limit

Speed limits are designated with Km/h and vary within different areas in the province. Overspeeding causes fines and demerit points to be imposed on you in proportion to how much above the speed limit at which you were driving. For many areas within Québec, the speed limit is 50 km/h and might be subject to reduction by municipalities due to a school's presence. On secondary roads, the speed limit ranges between 70 and 80 km/h. Highways operate at speed limits of about 100 km/h.

Understand the Traffic Light Rules

It is permissible to turn right on a red light everywhere in Québec except Montreal. However, before making a right turn, you are required to stop at the intersection and pave the way for pedestrians and cyclists.  A flashing green light or green arrow indicates that you are allowed to turn left. The cars on the opposite side of the intersection are not permitted to proceed because their lights are red.

Approach Roundabouts Properly

Roundabouts are established to regulate traffic flow and prevent accidents. When approaching a roundabout, cut down on your current speed, enter through your right, and go in a counterclockwise direction. Be sure to give way for cyclists and pedestrians if you encounter them.

Use your Hazard Lights

Perhaps anything causes you to slow down or stop abruptly while driving, ensure to flick your hazard lights as an indication of the need to go below the stipulated speed limit. Failure to do this is sure to attract at least a $100 fine.

Keep Cell Phones away while behind the Wheel

The use of cellphones to call or text while driving is strictly prohibited in Québec. If there is such a need to receive an incoming call, find a good space to park and pick your call. Alternatively, you can use a hands-free device or a dashboard holster.

Don't Drink and Drive

Québec has a strict zero-alcohol rule for people under the age of 22 and all new drivers irrespective of their age. Older drivers and people above the age of 22 have a blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08. Anything equivalent to, or above this value is prohibited while you are behind the wheels.

Indiscriminate Use of the Horn

The use of horn should only occur when there are reasons that justify its use. Indiscriminate use of your horn is considered a constituted nuisance and could incur a fine of about $100.

Watch out for Cyclists

Cycling is a common activity for Québecers. As such, it only makes sense to expect the presence of cyclists when you drive. Whenever you encounter cyclists, endeavor to keep your distance from them. The highway safety code specifies at least a 1-meter distance kept between your vehicle and cyclists. While crossing an intersection, it is also vital to check for the presence of cyclists before making a turn.

Driving during Winter

Wintertime in Québec comes with layers of snow and ice on the roads. Thus, driving during winter requires extra precautions. Before hitting the road, your vehicle has to be cleared of snow, with more emphasis on the windshield and windows to improve visibility. Your vehicle should also be equipped with complete winter tires to ensure easier plying on the road. Failure to do this is considered an offense. More so, in situations of poor visibility or slippery roads, ensure you slow down while driving.

What to do in an Accident Situation

Compensation is made available by Québec’s public automobile insurance plan for injuries sustained or the loss of an individual. This compensation applies to all residents and tourists. When an accident occurs, ensure to call 911 to make a report, visit the doctor to get checked and treated for Injuries. Afterward, reach out to the SAAQ as soon as possible.

Of course, it’s now obvious that driving in Québec requires a whole lot of attention to vital tips; heavy fines do exist for the violation of traffic rules in this prestigious province. Therefore, it is imperative to adhere strictly to these guidelines to prevent accidents, unnecessary fines, and ultimately, to avoid a bad repute. The tips outlined above are designed to keep you safe and enable you to enjoy the best driving experience in Québec. Remember to drive safely at all times. Cheers!