AMR extends a warm welcome to all newcomers to Quebec, whether international students, permanent residents or immigrants! A new adventure is beginning for you and we hope it will be nothing short of positive. But new adventures mean getting used to new realities, and we’re not just talking about winter!


In fact, every country has a different culture, laws and standards. Because we specialize in general insurance (standard and non-standard), we thought that a short article about automobile insurance in Quebec would clarify the subject and process involved for you! So here’s a little automobile insurance guide for newcomers!


How long can a person drive with a foreign driver’s license in Quebec?

The answer to this question is quite simple: Holders of a foreign licence are allowed to drive on Quebec roads for 6 consecutive months. After that time, they must hold an international driving permit, or, if they take up residence in Quebec, they must obtain a Quebec licence. They may apply for a Quebec licence as soon as they arrive in Quebec.” (SAAQ) Note that this is also valid for non-residents (temporary travellers, tourists, etc.).


International students or interns can drive with their foreign driver’s licence throughout the entire duration of their studies in Quebec, if this licence allows them to drive the type of vehicle used. If this is your situation, you should be aware that, once your studies are over, you have 6 months to apply for a Quebec driver’s licence.


Note: To be eligible to obtain a Quebec driver’s licence, you must provide proof of residence.


Is automobile insurance mandatory in Quebec?

In Quebec, it is mandatory to have a minimum of $50,000 in civil liability insurance (Section A). However, we always advise our clients to opt for $2M of coverage. What is civil liability insurance for?


It protects you:


  • If your vehicle is damaged in a collision in Quebec, and you are NOT held responsible for the accident.
  • If you damage another person’s property (fence, house, walls belonging to the municipality or a business, etc.).

Section B, which covers damage to your vehicle, is not mandatory but strongly recommended. For more information in this regard, we advise that you read one of our previous articles by clicking here!


Can a person with a foreign driver’s license insure their vehicle?

Yes, absolutely. However, you should be aware that the process may be a bit more complicated. For the best possible advice about the type of coverage you need for your particular situation, we recommend that you do business with an independent insurance broker.


An independent insurance broker will collect all of your information, will then take care of finding insurance for you (car and home or business, as needed!) and will advise you about the coverage that best suits you. At Assurances Multi-Risques, for example, we work with many insurance providers in Canada, which allows us to compare several insurance policy options and find the best premium at the best price for our clients, foreigners or not!


Our Best Insurance Advice:

If you decide to do your own insurance research and undertake all the procedures yourself, we strongly recommend that you ask the insurer that you did business with in your country to provide you with a letter of experience.


This letter will confirm your driving experience, which may then be recognized by certain insurance providers in Canada. Your insurance premium may be lower than if you had not provided this proof.


Note that some insurers go back only a certain maximum number of years—there is no rule in this regard. We, of course, recommend that you go with the insurer who takes the greatest number of years of experience into account!


And if you’re having trouble getting insurance?

Don’t hesitate to ask an insurance broker for advice, because they’ll be able to find the insurance provider that best suits you and give you peace of mind. It’s our job and we’re here to help you and guide you step-by-step through your insurance journey!