On the eve of getting your license, you are no longer allowed to ignore what SAAQ is. At Omega Driving School we work to train responsible and educated drivers, and to that end we recap a list of what you need to know.
The Société de l’assurance Automobile du Québec -SAAQ- is the government agency in charge of road administration in Quebec. Its main function is to issue driver’s licenses to drivers.
It is also in charge of providing public automobile insurance. It protects all those involved in an accident, whether they are drivers, passengers or pedestrians.
If you want to get your driver’s license soon, we recommend you to read this section of curiosities of the SAAQ. With this article we want to guide you so you can pass your driving test the first time!
1. Origin of SAAQ
Generally, to obtain a driver’s license, you must go to City Hall. However, unlike in the other states of Canada, in Quebec, SAAQ is the agency in charge of managing these administrative processes.
SAAQ is a Crown corporation. In other words, its administration combines commercial objectives with public policy. How does it do that? We will see in the next two points.
2. For better driving
Have you ever seen a commercial on TV that left you a bit traumatized? Commercials that don’t hold back a bit when it comes to showing graphic accidents and deaths.
Well, SAAQ has been behind these awareness campaigns for years. The government has invested a lot of effort in keeping us in a healthy fear of the roads.
And this strategy is also reflected in the composition of the driving tests. We guarantee that without proper preparation you will not be able to pass them. We will see how they are developed later on.
3. The SAAQ and motorcycles
Due to the climate and the extension of the territory in Quebec, having a vehicle is indispensable. However, we recommend that you always choose a car and now you will understand why.
As mentioned in the previous points, the road administration in Quebec has political interests at stake and these are to keep the streets as safe as possible.
Motorcycles represent a big risk in cold weather. In order to be able to drive them, it is necessary to obtain a registration and the costs vary according to the motorcycle’s cylinder capacity.
These costs range from $200 to $800, provided they are not considered motorcycles at risk, in which case they could cost up to more than $2,000. A fee that does not apply to risky cars, but only to motorcycles.
Taking into account that this registration must be paid once a year and that there are times, such as winter, when it is forbidden to use motorcycles, but at the same time, this time is not deducted from the registration fee…
You can draw your own conclusions. Once again, we recommend you to choose a car as a vehicle to move around in Quebec, because this choice will make your life much easier in all aspects.
4. Driver’s license for immigrants
If you come from another country and plan to drive in Quebec, you should know that your foreign driver’s license will be valid for sixty days only. During this time, you will have to prepare yourself and apply for the SAAQ test.
For immigrants, apart from the regulatory paperwork, one of these documents will be required: The CSQ and the CAQ.
The CSQ is the Quebec Selection Certificate. A document that indicates that you are settling in the country legally, and with it you can apply for your driver’s license without any problems.
The CAQ is the Quebec Certificate of Acceptance. A document that indicates that you are legally and temporarily in the country, either for studies or for work, and with it you can also apply for your driving test.
5. SAAQ driving test
The SAAQ theory test is similar to the one taken in the other states, but it is structured with a unique format.
There are 3 categories of 64 questions. The first category consists of 16 signaling questions; the second category has 16 driving and safety questions; and the last category has 32 regulatory questions.
In the first two categories you are allowed to make up to three mistakes. If you make a mistake a fourth time the program closes and the test is over. In the third part you can be wrong up to eight times.
It is not a time-limited test, you can take as long as you need.
To conclude, you should know that if you fail the test you must wait 28 days to retake it. The best thing you can do is to prepare yourself to pass it the first time.
At Omega Driving School we offer you a list of very useful links to prepare you for the test.
Now that you know what SAAQ is and the complications you are going to face, book your driving course and prepare yourself properly for the practical test.