Understanding the duration and reason for a temporary license

January 8, 2024
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In the world of driving, a temporary license plays a crucial role, fulfilling specific functions adapted to various situations. Whether it’s for learner drivers, visitors, or in special medical cases, understanding the scope, duration, and reason for obtaining such a license is essential. This article aims to demystify these aspects, thus offering a clear and informative overview.


What is a temporary permit?

A temporary permit is a provisional authorization to drive, issued under specific circumstances and for a limited duration. Unlike a permanent license, it is often subject to specific conditions or restrictions. This type of permit is used for various reasons, ranging from learning to drive to managing temporary or exceptional situations.


The different types of temporary permits

Learner’s Permit: Intended for new drivers, it allows them to practice driving under supervision.
Temporary Medical Permit: Granted in case of temporary health-related restrictions.
Permit for Visitors or Temporary Residents: For those staying in Quebec temporarily.

Duration of a temporary permit

The duration of a temporary permit varies depending on its type. For example, a learner’s permit may be valid until the successful completion of driving exams (between 10 and 12 months), while a medical permit depends on the evaluation of health status. Permits for visitors are generally aligned with the duration of the authorized stay.


Why issue a temporary permit?

Temporary permits meet specific needs.

Safety and Learning:
For new drivers, it’s a period of supervised learning.

Medical or Legal Situations:
Adaptations for changing health conditions or legal situations.

Visitors and Temporary Residents:
Allows driving during a temporary stay.

Holders of Foreign Licenses:
Process of adapting to local driving standards.


Process of obtaining a temporary permit

The process generally involves submitting an application, accompanied by necessary documents like an identity card and, if applicable, a foreign driving license. Exams or assessments may be required, especially for learner’s permits or for medical reasons.


Transition from a temporary to a permanent permit

The transition to a permanent permit depends on meeting the imposed conditions. For learner drivers, this involves passing theoretical and practical exams. In other cases, it may require a medical re-evaluation or adherence to the authorized stay duration.



Temporary permits are an essential element of the driving system, offering flexibility and safety. They meet specific needs and ensure that drivers are fit to drive according to their personal situation. Understanding their scope and duration helps to navigate the world of driving with more confidence and knowledge.