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New provisions of the act respecting off-highway vehicles

New provisions of the act respecting off-highway vehicles

New provisions of the act respecting off-highway vehicles

Since September 10, 2021, two provisions of the act respecting off-highway vehicles have come into force, namely:


The obligation for all off-road vehicle drivers to be 16 years of age or older and hold a valid driver’s licence to operate such vehicles on trails, public lands or private land owned by a municipality.

The driver’s license required to drive an off-highway vehicle or maintenance vehicle can be:

  • A driver’s license of any class (e.g.: a class 8 tractor license or a moped license, provided the driver is at least 16 years old)
  • A learner’s or probationary license
  • A driver’s license issued by another province

NB :  The learner’s licence is to be used under the same conditions as those that apply for its use on a roadway for motorcycles. In other words, the permit holder must be accompanied by another snowmobile whose operator possesses, since at least 48 months, a valid automobile or motorcycle licence.


The application of the provisions set out in the Highway Safety Code regarding impaired driving.

The measures related to driving with impaired abilities by alcohol or drugs are now applicable on trails, public lands and private lands owned by municipalities. The suspension and revocation of licenses because of infractions to the Highway Safety Code are now applicable.

According to the interim general manager of the Fédération québécoise des clubs de quads (FQCQ), Mr. Yohan Perron, the new provisions of the act will allow to increase the powers of trail patrol officers who, sometimes, will be able to intervene in the same way as the police.

There are over 1,000 trail agents across Quebec who are part of the FQCQ. They ensure the safety of the practice as well as enforcing regulations.

We remind you that Quebec has more than 208,000 registered snowmobiles and 405,000 registered all-terrain vehicles. Every year we sadly see on average 25 deaths related to snowmobiles and 30 with ATV’s.

The amendment to the Act aims to ensure the safety of the public by better regulating the use of off-road vehicles and their operation on trails.

We invite you to download the “Sortir en toute sécurité” leaflet to find out more, including the applicable fines.

Have a great fall and please drive carefully!

Jackie Beaudoin, Leclerc Insurance and Financial Services
Sources :  SAAQ, Ministère des transports, Fédération québécoise des clubs quads, TVA nouvelles