Converting your Philippine Driver's license in Quebec was easier than I originally thought. If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada and are interested or thinking of converting your license to Quebec status then (SAAQ) Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec is the best place to start.
Let me start by narrating my experience. Weeks before arriving in Quebec I have already made some initial research in what the requirements are. There were some requirements that was difficult for me to procure, like the Certificate of Good Standing from the main office of LTO in Quezon city. I did not get this.
Fast forward to the day when I decided to finally start the process of converting my license. It turns out the requirements were pretty inconsistent depending on who you ask. I was asked to prepare for my CSQ, Permanent Residence card and the Philippines Driver's License;while others, in addition may require more from you such as your passport and or PR certificate.
2 EASY STEPS: (1) Make Appointment for Knowledge Exam > (2) Driving Test
(Failed any of the tests? it takes 28 days to retake them)
The first step apply for license in Quebec is to make an knowledge test appointment through SAAQ website (click here of the exact link). Be aware, it might take weeks to a month for a schedule. In this step, you'll be given a list of what documents you need to bring on your scheduled appointment.
I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the traffic rules and regulations of Quebec. Montreal, in particular has different rules than that of Quebec and Canada. For instance, a full green light does not always mean you can turn right.
The exam is computerized. You will be able to see your mistakes and the number of questions you need to get right to pass--it's a nerve-racking ordeal. It's an easy test but many of our kabayans fail. Perhaps because the fact it's easy that one might take it too likely. Preparation and patience (during the exam) is the key to passing the knowledge test in my opinion. Do not underestimate the exam. Even if you have been driving for years. To prepare, I recommend SAAQ's website. It's a wealth of necessary information. Or better yet, go to your local library and borrow a copy of Quebec Driver's Manual.
When your ready take and visit SAAQ's practice test online (click here). Disclaimer: I have been driving in the Philippines for over years. I read the manual for a total of 2 days and crammed the online practice test the day before my scheduled exam. So, in other words it does not need extensive study however it does need preparation and familiarization.
If you passed the knowledge test--congratulations! You will be asked if you want to schedule for the practical driving exam. I opted to call them when I am ready. For the driving test: now that a different story. It needs another preparation. There are a lot of Filipino driving instructors who offer classes under $25/hour.
I find hiring Filipino driving instructors helpful since they can give pointers and even showing you down to the routes where you will drive during the practical exam. And specific cultural tips that differ from us and the Quebecois way of driving.
You may ask yourself, why do I need to convert my license when I can't even afford a car. Well, put this way, by the time you need a car you will need a fully licensed driver to accompany you driving your own car since you will be carrying a learners permit.
Another question you have to ask yourself too is that you need to keep paying yearly to renew your Quebec license. Don't worry though, it's not as inconvenient as it sounds. Most governmental services here are dealt through online and postal mail. Your days at long lines in LTO are over.
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