How long does a driving course last in Quebec?

February 15, 2024

Learning to drive is a significant milestone in many people’s lives, offering freedom and independence. In Quebec, the process of obtaining a driver’s license is structured and regulated, which includes a mandatory driving training. But what exactly is the duration of a driving course in the beautiful province? This article guides you through the essential elements of training to become a driver in Quebec.


Structure of the Quebec driving course

In Quebec, the path to becoming a driver is structured and methodical, requiring completion of a rigorous training program before one can drive independently. The class 5 driving course starts with obtaining the learner’s permit, followed by the probationary license, and ultimately leads to the acquisition of the regular driver’s license. This curriculum is carefully divided into 4 distinct phases, combining theoretical and practical lessons for comprehensive preparation. Students must go through 12 theoretical training modules, each lasting 2 hours for a total of 24 hours, to master traffic rules, signage, and safe driving principles. In addition, 15 practical driving sessions, lasting 55 minutes each, are planned to provide concrete experience on the road under the supervision of an instructor. This mix of classroom learning and practical experience aims to equip new drivers with the skills and confidence necessary to navigate safely on Quebec’s roads.


The theoretical component

The theoretical part of the driving course in Quebec lasts about 24 hours. This section is crucial as it covers road rules, signage, safe driving techniques, and the legal responsibilities of drivers. It is often divided into several sessions, allowing students to gradually assimilate the information.


The practical component

The practical training is the most tangible aspect of learning to drive. In Quebec, it includes at least 15 hours of supervised driving on the road, accompanied by a certified instructor. These hours are spread over several weeks or months, depending on the availability of the student and the driving school. This practical training provides real driving experience and allows students to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired.


Preparation for the SAAQ exam

After completing the theoretical and practical training, students must prepare to take the exams of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). Although the duration of this preparation varies by individual, it is advised to thoroughly review the course material and practice driving as much as possible.


Impact of duration on learning

The total duration of the driving course, combining theoretical and practical elements, is designed to ensure comprehensive and effective training. Adhering to this temporal structure is crucial for developing a thorough understanding of driving principles and acquiring the necessary skills for safe driving.


Frequently asked questions

Is it possible to accelerate the duration of the driving course?

In Quebec, although the driving course structure is designed to extend over several months, some options may offer a certain acceleration of the process while respecting the standards established by the SAAQ. Driving schools sometimes offer intensive courses, allowing students to complete the theoretical and practical modules more quickly than the standard path. By strategically planning practical lessons to reduce intervals between them, it is possible to navigate through the program with a certain efficiency. However, these options are strictly framed to ensure that all drivers acquire the skills and experience necessary for safe driving, without compromising the quality of road education.

What happens if I miss a theoretical or practical course?

If you miss a theoretical or practical course in your driving training in Quebec, you will generally have the opportunity to retake it at a later date, although this may delay your progress in the program. For missed theoretical modules, you will need to wait for the next available session of that module to complete it, while for practical courses, you will need to reschedule your lesson based on the availability of instructors and the driving school’s schedule. It is important to communicate quickly with your school to arrange for the missed course to be retaken, considering that each driving school may have its own policies regarding absences and retakes. This flexibility aims to minimize the impact of absence on your training, but proactive management on your part is essential to ensure smooth progress towards obtaining your driver’s license.

How long after completing the course can I take the SAAQ exam?

Once you have successfully completed your driving course in Quebec, including both the theoretical modules and practical driving sessions, you can register to take the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) exam relatively quickly. Availability to take the exam often depends on the schedules and capacity of SAAQ examination centers, but you are eligible to schedule your theoretical and practical exams as soon as you finish your training. It is advised to check with the SAAQ for examination availabilities and book your spot as soon as possible to avoid long waiting periods. Keep in mind that success in these exams is necessary to obtain your learner’s permit, progress to the probationary license, and ultimately acquire your regular driver’s license.

Is there a maximum time limit to complete the training after registering?

Yes, in Quebec, there is a maximum time limit to complete your driving training after you have registered. If you do not complete the entire training, including theoretical modules and practical sessions, within this time frame, your progress could be considered invalid, and you might have to redo certain elements of the course to progress towards obtaining your driver’s license. This measure is to ensure that the knowledge and skills acquired remain up-to-date and in line with current road safety standards. Therefore, it is important to plan your training to adhere to this deadline to avoid complications or additional delays in obtaining your driver’s license.



The duration of a driving course in Quebec is carefully calculated to provide exhaustive training to future drivers. By following this program, students can expect to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for safe and confident driving. Successfully completing this training is an important step towards obtaining a driver’s license and accessing new freedoms on the road.