The SAAQ arrives in the 21st century
In a few days, you may have trouble connecting to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) website. A complete overhaul of the platform is planned for January 2023, although no further information can be given.
Obviously, the pause of this platform greatly complicates the work of dealers who can register new vehicles, such as used models. The consumer will not be able to store or re-register a vehicle, and will only have access to a portion of the information currently available. The personalized plate order will also be put on ice.
Nothing too serious, you might say. However, traders who trade several vehicles a day do not see it that way. Indeed, it is more than advantageous for them to be able to register and transfer exchange vehicles in their name, which it will be impossible to do for a few weeks, perhaps even more. We will thus have to bog down the offices of the SAAQ and its agents for innumerable transactions, whereas it would have taken only a few minutes in the dealership.
Once the site has been updated, however, the SAAQ assures us that the SAAQclic platform will offer many more possibilities. A site that will be accessible 24 hours a day, without limitation of transactions. Individuals will first be invited to create an online account, giving access to a complete file. For example, driver's license status, amounts owed or receivable, and vehicle registration. In addition to being able to reprint lost registration certificates, the system will make it possible to carry out transactions between individuals without having to go to the SAAQ. Many other similar transactions can be made online, thereby reducing traffic at agents and official offices.
Do you own a fleet of commercial vehicles? The SAAQ will provide you with a web platform specially designed for this type of management. The same goes for mechanical inspection centers and car dealers, for whom the task will be greatly facilitated. However, be aware that auto dealers, whoever they are, will no longer be able to install license plates on new vehicles, as is currently the case. The same goes for the agents and offices of the SAAQ which, like the dealers, will then give the motorist a temporary registration, separate from a transit (the little yellow paper), which will include the same number as the physical plate which will be sent by post.
In other words, there will no longer be license plate management at the various points of service. The consumer will therefore be given a paper to stick on the bezel, until the plate arrives by post. Considering the reliability and uneven speed at which Canada Post delivers its packages, there is obviously cause for concern… To this, the SAAQ replies that the consumer will always be able to reprint a temporary registration via the website, if the physical plate is slow to arrive.
We must therefore expect a period of adjustments following these changes, which should be beneficial in the long term. A system that will often prevent individuals from traveling, but which could momentarily enrage the automotive industry, which is resistant to change. The good news is that we are assured that the complete overhaul of this site and the new services offered online will not generate any additional costs.
In closing, a word on personalized license plates, which are still very popular in Quebec. A plate sold for $250 and to which the SAAQ adds an annual administrative fee of $37.25. In short, after ten years, such a plate will have cost you $622.50.
Did you know that even if the personalized plate is inactive, the SAAQ continues to bill you the $37.25 annually? Fees that you could therefore pay for the rest of your life, even if you no longer hold a license… The only way out is to bring the plate back to the SAAQ, which will destroy the property for which, remember, you initially paid $250. In my opinion, this is a real scam which obviously has no place in the other provinces or American states where this type of service is offered.