Off-road vehicle drivers—do you have your licence?

  • September 22, 2021
  • Driver’s licence, Transports
Deux personnes conduisant un quatre-roues dans un sentier

Since September 10, 2021, you need a valid driver’s licence in order to operate an off-road vehicle (ORV). Impaired driving is also prohibited. Here’s an overview of the new rules.

What qualifies as an off-road vehicle (ORV)?

Off-road vehicles may also be driven on trails operated by user clubs. They may also be used on private land or property owned by a municipality. ORVs must be registered even if they are used only on designated trails.

Who’s allowed to drive an ORV?

Anyone who is at least 16 years old (18 in the case of recreational ORVs) may drive an ORV if they have:

Are you an ORV excursion guide? Starting on December 31, 2021, you will need training recognized by the Ministère du Tourisme.

Important note: Driver’s licence requirements now apply to driving an ORV. For example, a person with a learner’s licence cannot drive alone but must be accompanied by someone who has had a licence for at least two years and who is driving a separate vehicle.

Another new rule regarding ORVs is that impaired driving (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) is prohibited. For experienced drivers, the limit is an alcohol concentration of 0.08 (80 mg/100 ml of blood). For young drivers, zero tolerance applies.

Mandatory protection!

Existing protection and insurance requirements continue to apply:

If you have an off-road accident, you are not covered by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). The situation is different if the ORV accident involves an automobile or any other vehicle driven on a public road. In such a case, you could be compensated for your injuries.

Questions or problems?

For more information, see the Ministère des Transports or the SAAQ website.

Dissatisfied with the services from the Department or the agency? Contact the Québec Ombudsman. Our services are confidential and free.