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Getting your license in Montreal

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

Are you looking to obtain a Class 5 passenger vehicle license in Montreal? If so, you're in the right place! In this article, we walk you through the process of obtaining a Class 5 passenger vehicle license, also known as a standard driver's license in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

New drivers can earn their driver's license by enrolling in the Road Safety Education program (RSEP) at a SAAQ recognized driving school. In the program a student will first earn their learner's permit and then their probationary driver's license. After two years of holding the probationary license the student will receive their full driver's license from the SAAQ.

A Class 5 passenger vehicle license allows you to operate a car, van, or light truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,500 kg or less. It's the most common type of driver's license and is required for most everyday driving needs.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to obtain a Class 5 passenger vehicle license in Montreal:

1. Determine your eligibility to enrol for the Road Safety Education program at a recognized driving school.

Before enrolling, you must meet the following:

  • Have your principle residence in Québec

  • Be at least 16 years old

  • Have parental/guardian consent if under 18 years old

  • Complete the medical/health declaration questionnaire

For non-Canadian citizens you must check with the SAAQ if you qualify to obtain a Québec's driver's license. More information can be found here.

2. Provided that you meet the eligibility, you may register for the RSEP program. This course covers the essential principles required to become a safe, cooperative and responsible driver under various environments.

It consists of four phases, i.e. 12 theory classes + 15 in-car road lessons, in which the competencies to acquire are:

  1. Establishing the profile of a safe, cooperative and responsible driver

  2. Handling a passenger vehicle

  3. Sharing the road

  4. Using the road network independently and responsibly

There are three evaluations which you must pass during the program.

Checkpoint 1 - Getting your learner's permit

In the 5th theory class of Phase 1, a theory evaluation will be held in which you must get a passing grade of at least 75%. Upon passing, the driving school will issue an attestation which you must take to the SAAQ to get your learner's permit.

Checkpoint 2 - Passing the knowledge test

After the completion of Phase 3, you may go to the SAAQ to take the knowledge test. You must pass the knowledge test before being able to move on to take the road test.

Some useful resources to help study for the knowledge test includes:

- Take the road safety quiz provided by the SAAQ

Checkpoint 3 - Passing the road test and getting your probationary license

Once you've passed the knowledge test you may proceed to taking the road test where you will be evaluated on your practical driving skills, i.e. respecting road signs, performing various driving manoeuvres such as parking, turning, and merging. A car can be rented at the SAAQ or brought by you as long as it meets their mechanical standards.

It's important to note that Quebec has a graduated licensing system, which means that new drivers are subject to certain restrictions during the first two years of holding a Class 5 passenger vehicle license (a probationary license). These restrictions include not being able to operate a motor vehicle between midnight and 5 a.m. and not being able to have any alcohol in your blood while driving. Adults under the age of 22 holding a driver's license must also respect the zero alcohol rule.

Happy driving!

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