Certain health or vision problems can make driving less safe. Since December 2021, the way of assessing the state of health of drivers 75 to 79 years old has changed. Here’s what you need to know.
A matter of safety
The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (the SAAQ) is responsible for issuing and renewing driver’s licences. To keep your licence beyond your 75th birthday, you have to provide information about your health. The SAAQ will check to make sure that your state of health allows you to drive safely.
Driving at age 75 and beyond
Six months before you turn 75, you will receive a Self-Declaration of Medical Information Form that you must fill out. This questionnaire that the SAAQ will mail to you replaces the medical exams required in the past.
In the months leading up to your 80th birthday, and every two years after that, you must:
- Undergo a medical examination to assess your general state of health, ease of movement, and cognitive abilities;
- Undergo a vision test to assess your eyesight and detect any problem that could interfere with your safety behind the wheel;
- Have the forms from the SAAQ completed by a health professional.
Has a new health problem cropped up that could interfere with your driving? Whatever your age, you must declare it within 30 days of the change or the diagnosis. The SAAQ will go on to assess your situation.
The SAAQ’s decision
To render a decision, the SAAQ may ask for other assessments, such as a medical report or road test.
In most cases, people get to keep their licence. However, new conditions may be added, for example, the obligation to wear eyeglasses when driving.
If your state of health poses a safety risk, the SAAQ may suspend your licence. Note that if your condition improves, you may be given back a licence that was suspended for medical reasons.
More information is available at the SAAQ’s website.
Do you disagree with a SAAQ decision concerning your licence? You can apply for a review. You can also contest it before the Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ). You have 60 days to do so.
Are you dissatisfied with the SAAQ’s services? File a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman. Our services are free, user-friendly and confidential.