The SAAQ Mess Is So Bad Right Now Quebec Is Extending Some Licenses & Postponing Fee Deadlines

Some Quebecers will have an extra 90 days to make a payment.😳

Senior Editor
Cars in traffic on a Montreal-area highway.

Cars in traffic on a Montreal-area highway.

What's usually an annual inconvenience has become a bureaucratic hell. A botched transition to online services has left the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) scrambling and forced some Quebecers to wait in unreasonably long lines to complete a transaction. The situation is so bad the government is intervening with three measures aimed at alleviating wait times.

Among them is an extension of some Quebecers' license validity. Any driver who has a license set to expire between March 9 and June 1, 2023, will have an extra 90 days from their birthday to make associated payments.

In addition, the government is extending the validity of foreign driver's licenses to August 29.

Finally, drivers whose vehicles have temporary registration certificates (following a purchase from a car dealer, for example) issued between March 9 and April 8 will see their validity extended from 10 to 60 days.

The transition to the SAAQ's new online platform was supposed to make things easier for Quebecers and eliminate the need to visit SAAQ offices for some services. Instead, it has left the Crown corporation in shambles.

While officials try to figure it out, the SAAQ is also deploying additional employees to high-traffic offices, extending some offices' operating hours and introducing self-service kiosks to speed up visits.

"Quebecers must not be penalized by the current situation," Minister of Transport Geneviève Guilbault said in a press release.

"That is why [...] I have asked that a deferral be granted to permit holders and foreign permits as well as to new vehicle owners who, in the current context, may have difficulty obtaining the necessary services to regularize their situation."

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas is MTL Blog's Senior Editor. He lives in Saint-Henri and loves it so much that he named his cat after it. On weekdays, he's publishing stories, editing and helping to manage MTL Blog's team of amazing writers. His beats include the STM, provincial and municipal politics and Céline Dion. On weekends, you might run into him brunching at Greenspot, walking along the Lachine Canal or walking Henri the cat in Parc Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier.
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