How to recover a suspended Driver's License?

Having a suspended driver's license can be a major source of stress and uncertainty, especially if you depend on your vehicle for your daily commute. Whether the suspension is due to a suspended license for demerit points, an alcohol-related offense, or other reasons, it is crucial to understand the steps to recover your license and get back on the road legally.

Tecnic, a leader in driving schools in Quebec, explains how to recover a suspended driver's license.


Why can the SAAQ suspend a driver's license?

In Quebec, the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) holds the authority to suspend an individual's driver's license for several reasons, each aimed at ensuring the safety of road users and the enforcement of current laws.

Accumulation of demerit points

In Quebec, the demerit points system plays a crucial role in road safety management. The accumulation of these points usually results from various infractions to the Highway safety code, such as speeding, failing to obey traffic signals, or dangerous driving.

In Quebec, the threshold of demerit points that leads to the suspension of a driver's license varies according to the driver's age and type of license. Here are the applicable thresholds :

For drivers under 23 years old :

  • A driver's license can be suspended when a driver accumulates 4 demerit points or more.

For drivers aged 23 or 24 :

  • Suspension occurs upon the accumulation of 8 demerit points or more.

For drivers aged 25 and over :

  • Suspension is triggered by the accumulation of 15 demerit points or more.

For holders of a probationary license :

Suspension is automatic upon the accumulation of 4 demerit points or more.
Note that the suspension period also varies depending on the number of points accumulated and the driver's record. Initial suspensions are generally three months but can increase in case of recurrence or more serious infractions.

Medical condition

The SAAQ can suspend a license when health issues significantly affect the ability to drive safely. This decision is often made following a medical opinion declaring the driver unfit to drive. 

For example, uncorrected vision problems or neurological conditions impacting driving can lead to such a suspension.

Non-payment of driver's license fees

Failure to pay renewal fees can also result in a suspension. It is imperative to settle these fees within the prescribed deadlines to avoid the administrative suspension of your license.

Unpaid Fines

Unpaid fines, particularly those from traffic violations, can lead to a license suspension if not settled within the allocated time.This includes fines for speeding, illegal parking, and other similar infractions.

This includes fines for speeding, illegal parking, and other similar infractions.

Driving under the influence (alcohol and drugs)

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in Quebec. If convicted of this offense, expect an immediate suspension of your license.

The SAAQ enforces strict rules, especially for probationary licenses, to reduce the risk of recurrence.

How Can You Recover Your Driver's License?

 Recovering a suspended license involves several steps, which vary depending on the reason for the suspension.

1. Check the status of your license

To start the process, it is essential to know if your **driver's license** is suspended. This information is usually communicated by the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ)  through an official letter.

However, you can also check your status online on the SAAQ website or by directly contacting their offices.

2. Understand the Duration and Conditions of the Suspension

The suspension duration can vary depending on the severity of the offense and your driving history.It is crucial to understand not only how long your license will be suspended but also the conditions to be met during this period. For example, in the case of a suspension for alcohol, participation in a rehabilitation program might be required.

3. Attend Required Courses and Assessments

In some cases, recovering a suspended driver's license requires attending defensive driving courses or workshops on the impacts of alcohol and drugs on driving.These courses aim to raise awareness and educate drivers on road safety and responsible driving behaviors.

4. Pay Fines and Reinstatement Fees

Once you have completed the necessary steps such as courses or rehabilitation programs, you will need to settle all fines associated with your infractions.In addition to these fines, there are often administrative fees for the reinstatement of your license. These fees must be paid to the SAAQ before your license can be officially reinstated.

5. Submit a Reinstatement Request

After fulfilling all required conditions and paying the necessary fees, the final step is to submit a reinstatement request for your license to the SAAQ. This request can usually be made online or in person at an SAAQ service center.It is important to provide all necessary documents to prove that you have complied with all imposed directives and conditions.

Did you know? In some cases, it is possible to apply for a restricted license that allows driving in limited circumstances, such as for commuting to work or medical appointments. This option is available for drivers whose suspension was not due to alcohol or drug-related offenses.

6. Pass the Required Tests

Finally, in some cases, especially after a suspension due to alcohol issues or an accumulation of demerit points, it may be necessary to retake certain tests. These tests may include a theoretical re-entry exam to verify your knowledge of the Highway Code, as well as a practical exam to assess your ability to drive safely.

Consider practicing online tests before the re-entry exam to get back into the driving mindset!

Tips to avoid future driver's license suspensions


To avoid any driver's license suspension in Quebec, here are our tips : 

  • Always follow the highway code  :  Avoiding infractions is the safest method to keep your license in order.
  • Be aware of demerit points: Keep track of your points and understand how much each infraction can add to your record.
  • Take regular driving courses: There is nothing wrong with taking refresher driving courses to regain confidence and discipline in your driving, quite the contrary! **Tecnic** offers continuous training that can not only improve your driving skills but also reduce your total demerit points in some cases.
Remember that each situation is unique, and specific requirements may vary. It is always advisable to consult directly with the SAAQ or a legal advisor for personalized advice.

Get back on the road safely with Tecnic!

Recovering a suspended driver's license requires patience, organization, and a commitment to following road safety rules more rigorously than before. Sometimes, taking driving courses again is the best way to resume good driving habits for everyone's safety.

By following our advice and taking advantage of the resources offered by recognized driving schools like Tecnic, you maximize your chances of getting back behind the wheel quickly and safely.

Sign up online now or find the nearest Tecnic driving school in Quebec. Regain confidence in your 


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