Q1: You have sold your vehicle to a person living outside Québec who will take it to his home jurisdiction. What is the registration procedure?
A: There are two ways to proceed:
- Endorse your registration certificate and give it to the purchaser, who will bring it to his home jurisdiction and use it to register the vehicle. Then go in person to an SAAQ service outlet to advise the SAAQ that the vehicle was purchased by someone living outside Québec. The SAAQ will record the information in the registration file. You will receive credits for your registration fees when applicable. These credits will be calculated from the date you notify the SAAQ of the sale of the vehicle. They may also be calculated from the date the vehicle was registered in the other jurisdiction if you present a photocopy of the registration certificate issued at that time. You remain responsible for the vehicle until it is registered in the name of the new owner. We urge you to keep the vehicle insured until you are certain that the vehicle has been registered under the name of the new owner.
- Go with the purchaser to an SAAQ service outlet to transfer the vehicle to the new owner's name. He will not have to pay registration fees but will have to pay Québec sales tax (QST). He can obtain a temporary registration certificate, valid for four days, to go to his home jurisdiction. The Revenu Québec form entitled Application for a Rebate (or Non-Payment) of the Québec Sales Tax (QST) on a Road Vehicle VD-60-V will also be given to him. You will receive credits for your registration fees if applicable.
The difference between the two methods is as follows:
- With the first method, you are not released from responsibility for the vehicle as long as it is not registered in the new owner's name. Therefore, you remain responsible for any damage caused by the vehicle until it is registered in the purchaser's name;
- With the second method, the purchaser is registered as the new owner of the vehicle and you are therefore released from all responsibility. However, the purchaser must pay QST.
Q2: What must I do to register a vehicle bought from a dealer?
A: You must go to an SAAQ service outlet and show proof of identification, preferably your driver's licence, along with the Attestation de transaction avec un commerçant form properly filled out by the dealer.
If you don't have your driver's licence, please contact us by phone to know what documents are required.
If the vehicle is new, you must also have on hand the Description du véhicule neuf form.
If you have purchased a used vehicle, you will have to provide the former registration certificate, endorsed by the previous owner and the dealer. Finally, don't forget that a buyer who is a minor must provide written consent from his or her parent or legal guardian.
It is worth noting that the SAAQ has set up an online registration service for dealers selling vehicles of 3,000 kg and less. To find the closest dealer offering SAAQ-dealer service, go to SAAQclic-concessionnaires.
Q3: What must I do to register a vehicle bought directly from a private individual?
A: You must go to an SAAQ service outlet with the previous owner. Both of you must show proof of identification, preferably your drivers' licences.
If you don't have your driver's licence, or if someone else represents you, please contact us by phone to know what documents are required.
Finally, if the buyer is a minor, he or she must provide written consent from his or her parent or legal guardian.
Q4: My address is changing. What must I do for my registration?
A: You must notify the SAAQ of your new address.
You can change your address:
- by phone
- by mail
- at an SAAQ service outlet or licencing agent
The change of address will be applied to your registration certificate and your driver's licence. However, this type of service is only available to private individuals and not to companies. Furthermore, if you co-own your vehicle, you must go to an SAAQ service outlet.
IMPORTANT! If you do not receive confirmation of your change of address at your new address within one or two weeks of moving, please contact us by phone to know if the change of address has been completed.
Q5: Can I temporarily cancel my registration (storage)?
A: Yes. You can temporarily cancel your vehicle registration online or by telephone, on the same day or in advance. Afterwards, we will send you a letter of confirmation by mail.
Before contacting the SAAQ, make sure you have the registration certificate of the vehicle you want to store on hand. Don't forget that the licence plate must remain on the vehicle.
Q6: What must I do to renew registration of a vehicle no longer in storage?
A: For a vehicle that has been in storage less than 12 months, you can choose to renew registration using our online service or you can go to one of our service outlets.
For a vehicle stored more than 12 months, you must go to an SAAQ service outlet with the vehicle registration certificate and a certificate of mechanical inspection. For your vehicle inspection, you must make an appointment with an SAAQ-approved mechanical inspection agent.
Q7: Can I definitively cancel my registration (vehicle discarded)?
A: Yes. The SAAQ will cancel registration of your vehicle by phone on the last day of the month, even if you call us ahead of time.
Afterwards, we will send you a letter of confirmation by mail.
You can also cancel your vehicle registration online. We will subsequently send you a letter of confirmation by mail. Discarding a vehicle is a definitive procedure. You cannot put your vehicle back on the road unless you pay to have your vehicle inspected at an SAAQ-accredited garage.
Before contacting the SAAQ, have on hand the registration certificate of the vehicle you wish to discard.
To obtain a new licence plate for a discarded vehicle (except snowmobiles, special mobile equipment, trailers of less than 900 kg, farm tractors, snow-blowers and all-terrain vehicles), a mechanical inspection certificate is required regardless of how much time elapsed between when the vehicle was discarded and when it was put back on the road.
Q8: What is the origin of the motto “Je me souviens” and when did it first appear on Québec licence plates?
When designing the Palais législatif (today the Hôtel du Parlement), Eugène-Étienne Taché, architect and assistant commissioner of the Crown Lands Department, took the initiative to introduce the motto Je me souviens [“I remember”] under the province's coat of arms located above the building's main entrance. The construction contract (to which the building plans were annexed) was signed on February 9, 1883 by virtue of government authorization that was dated January 22 of the same year. Although it gained a certain measure of notoriety, the motto only became official on December 9, 1939 when the government of Québec adopted a new coat of arms.
In the absence of written documentation explaining Eugène-Étienne Taché's intentions, we can only understand the meaning of the motto by placing ourselves in the context of its creation. Taché designed the decorative elements on the façade of the Hôtel du Parlement as a reminder of Québec's history. He made it a veritable Pantheon, with bronze statues representing Amerindians, explorers, missionaries, soldiers and public administrators of the French regime, as well as figures from the English regime, such as Wolfe, Dorchester and Elgin. Other decorative elements evoke characters or episodes from the past and Taché included space for the heroes of future generations. The motto placed above the main entrance summarized the architect's intentions: I remember... everything commemorated by this façade. It is important not to confuse Québec's motto with another, Née dans les lis, je grandis dans les roses [“Born of the fleur de lys, I grew amid roses”], which Taché devised 25 years later. Destined for another project that was never realized (a monument or a work of art paying homage to the Canadian nation), this motto was stamped onto a medallion marking Québec City's tricentennial in 1908. Nothing leads us to believe that these two mottos are from a single source (poem or otherwise) as no such indications have been found in the texts of Taché's contemporaries.
- Time Period
Québec's motto is part of the official coat of arms adopted in Québec by Order in Council on December 9, 1939. It first appeared on licence plates in 1978 when it replaced the slogan La belle province, which had been in use since 1963. Source: Research Department, Bibliothèque de l'Assemblée nationale.
Q9: Can a motorcycle or a passenger vehicle that has been stored be transported or towed on a public road?
A: Yes, these vehicles can be transported or towed on a public road. However:
- The licence plate must be on the vehicle.
- The driver responsible for transporting the vehicle, whether he or she is the owner of the transported vehicle or not, must have the registration certificate of the vehicle being transported.
Q10: Would you like to register a vehicle from a jurisdiction outside Québec?
A: First call the SAAQ to find out what documents are required before going to an SAAQ service outlet.