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Owners and operators of heavy vehicles

The Act respecting owners, operators and drivers of heavy vehicles has the purpose of increasing the safety of road users on roads open to public vehicular traffic and preserving the integrity of those roads.

The Commission des transports is responsible for registration of the subject persons in the Register of owners and operators of heavy vehicles. It is also responsible for evaluating the record of persons whose conduct presents a risk and imposing conditions on them, as needed, to correct the deficiencies observed. In the most serious cases, it may prohibit such persons from operating heavy vehicles or putting them into operation.

Only owners or operators of heavy vehicles registered in Québec and Americans are required to be registered in the Commission’s register. Other carriers must register with their respective administration and their attestation of registration is sufficient to allow them to put a heavy vehicle into operation in Québec, provided that this registration remains valid.

The register is maintained by the Commission; consultation of the safety rating awarded to the registrants is free, as is the obtaining of an attestation of registration in Québec. Information can also be obtained concerning the safety rating and the penalties imposed on the registrant.

Definitions

Owners :

These are persons whose name appears on the vehicle’s registration certificate issued in Québec or who hold, in respect of the vehicle, a right within the meaning of section 2 of the Highway Safety Code. In particular, these are persons who lease a road vehicle for a period of not less than one year or who have signed a leasing contract.

Persons who lease their service (owner-operator or subcontractor) or their vehicle (lessor) are owners and not operators unless they personally offer services for the transportation of property or services for the transportation of persons.

Operators :

These are persons who offer services for the transportation of persons or property or vehicle assistance services or who operate a heavy vehicle for their own purposes or as a tool or equipment, regardless of whether they are owners or use it under a lease agreement, and regardless of whether the lessor provides the services of a driver or not.

Subject persons

Persons who:

  • are owners of vehicles referred to in the Act and registered in Québec
  • are owners of vehicles referred to in the Act, registered in the United States and operated in Québec
  • are operators of vehicles referred to in the Act and registered in Québec

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Exempted persons

  • Individuals who use a heavy vehicle for personal purposes, i.e. for purposes other than commercial or professional
  • Persons who lease a heavy vehicle who are not subject to an administrative measure of prohibition or restriction imposed by the Commission des transports du Québec and who operate free of charge heavy vehicles rented for a period of less than 15 consecutive days
  • Lessors
  • Owners and operators who use a heavy vehicle required by an emergency service or in the event of disaster
  • Individuals who own or lease house trailers, motor homes or travel trailers used for purposes that are not commercial or professional
  • Owners and operators who use a heavy vehicle only in a municipality or territory mentioned in Schedule 1 of the This link open an external website in a new window.Regulation respecting the Act respecting owners, operators and drivers of heavy vehicles

The municipalities requesting a service do not have to register in the register because they call for tenders to award contracts (garbage collection, snow pickup, etc.) to private contractors.

Subject vehicles

  • All vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,500 kg and over
  • A tow truck
  • A minibus
  • A bus
  • A vehicle subject to the Transportation of Dangerous Substances Regulation

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Exempted vehicles

  • Combination of road vehicles where each vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 4,500 kg, with the exception of vehicles that must display safety marks in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Substances Regulation
  • Road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 4,500 kg that are not required to display safety marks in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Substances Regulation, with the exception of minibuses and tow trucks.
  • Farm tractors, agricultural machinery and farm trailers (owned by a farmer)
  • Tool vehicles corresponding to the following definition: a tool vehicle is a road vehicle of reduced mobility. This vehicle is exempted from the application of the Act if it exhibits the following three conditions:

    • it is not mounted on a truck chassis
    • it is designed to perform a specific job
    • its control station is integrated into the driver’s compartment

    The following vehicles are considered to be tool vehicles: grader, forklift, farm tractor, backloader, freestanding crane, wheeled power shovel, excavator (backhoe), etc.

  • Road vehicles operated by taxi permit holders or passenger vehicles, covered by section 4 of the Highway Safety Code, used to transport people for the purposes of baptisms, weddings, civil unions and funerals; or antique passenger vehicles over 30 years old used to transport people.

How to register?

Fill out the application form "Application for registration as an owner or operator of heavy vehicles", paying special attention to section 7. Return the form to the Commission along with the payment (This link open a pdf file in a new window.List of fees - Owners and operators of heavy vehicles (75 KB)).
For assistance in filling out the form, contact our Customer Service.

The registrant will receive a confirmation of registration by mail and will be assigned a Register Identification Number (RIN) and, with some exceptions, a satisfactory, conditional or unsatisfactory safety rating. Moreover, if the registrant satisfies the obligations stipulated in the Act, he may put into operation or operate a heavy vehicle on roads open to public vehicular traffic.

Evaluation of the conduct of owners and operators

The various police forces and Contrôle routier Québec handle roadside checks and in-company inspections. The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec compiles the offences and the results of the in-company inspections, as well as accidents, to evaluate each carrier’s risk level. The SAAQ then sends the Commission des transports the files of carriers presenting a high risk to evaluate them and, if necessary, impose measures to correct their conduct.

To consult the Conduct Review Policy for Heavy Vehicle Owners and Operators (PDF format), go to the This link open an external website in a new window.SAAQ Web site. You will also find other publications on that site, particularly concerning the obligations of heavy vehicle carriers.

The Commission may also evaluate a carrier’s file on its own initiative when it considers the carrier’s conduct to present a risk.

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