Graduated Licensing

​​​​​​​​​To become fully licensed, new Quebec drivers must pass all stages of the province’s graduated licensing program. It takes approximately 4 years to complete the program.

​Quebec’s graduated licensing program is divided into 6 steps set out by the government:

  1. Complete a mandatory driving course
  2. Get your learner’s licence (duration is 18 months)
  3. Pass the knowledge test
  4. Pass the road test
  5. Get your probationary licence (duration is 24 months)
  6. Get your driver’s license.

You must be at least 16 years old to get started. If you are less than 18 years old, you need consent from your parent or guardian. For more details about each step and the requirements, please refer to the SAAQ website.

What Happens To My Insurance If My Licence is Suspended?

You must report your licence suspension to your insurer immediately. 

All driver’s licence holders are subject to specific demerit point thresholds and penalty calculations up to and including mandatory revocation periods​.  As a novice driver, if you accumulate a number of demerit points equal to or greater than the threshold set by SAAQ, your licence will be revoked. In this situation, you will lose your driving privilege for 3, 6 or 12 months. 

How Long Does It Take to Become a Fully Licensed Driver?

The procedure to complete all steps in the graduated licensing process and obtain a Class 5 driver’s licence takes approximately 4 years. The SAAQ’s mandatory driving course consists of 12 theoretical sessions of 2 hours each and 15 in-car sessions of 55 minutes each.

Why Are There So Many Steps to Get Licensed?

Novice drivers cause many traffic-related deaths and injuries. In response to accident statistics and successful licensing systems used in other countries, Canada’s provincial and territorial governments introduced new driver standards in the mid-2000s.  

Graduated licensing is based on research that clearly demonstrates the safety value of this approach over more conventional ones. Most programs include a multi-stage system with mandatory learner and intermediate stages that take place over set time periods before graduation to a full licence. 

IBC and Best Practices for Graduated Licensing in Canada

In 2005, Insurance Bureau of Canada supported research conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), a national, independent charitable road safety institute. A draft of this report was circulated to all relevant contacts in driver licensing agencies, or their equivalent, in all jurisdictions across Canada. ​