Winter Tire Use in Quebec
Under the Highway Safety Code, all taxis and passenger vehicles registered in Québec must be equipped with tires specifically designed for winter driving from December 15 to March 15. This also applies to passenger vehicles for rent in Québec.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of vehicles have to be equipped with tires specifically designed for winter driving?
Taxis and passenger vehicles registered in Québec, including mopeds or motorized scooters and motorcycles, must be equipped with winter tires. This obligation also applies to passenger vehicles available for rental in Québec.
What is the definition of winter tires?
Starting on December 15, 2014, tires will have to bear the icon or be equipped with studs and be used in accordance with the Regulation respecting the use of non-skid devices on the tires of certain road vehicles.
How many winter tires must be used?
All the tires on the vehicle must be tires specifically designed for winter driving.
Are vehicles from outside of Québec affected by this measure?
No, with the exception of certain rental vehicles. The legislative provision applies to vehicles (taxis and passenger vehicles) registered in Québec, as well as to passenger vehicles that are rented in Québec (regardless of where they are registered).
Are there fines for offenders?
Yes, fines range from $200 to $300.
Are demerit points deducted for such offences?
Who is responsible for enforcing the law?
Enforcement of the law and regulation is the responsibility of police departments.
How many vehicles does this mandatory measure (winter tire) affect?
This measure applies to all passenger vehicles and taxis registered in Québec, as well as all passenger vehicles rented in Québec. Depending on the number of vehicles registered, it can be estimated that approximately 4.5 million vehicles will be affected by this measure.
However, it is important to note that the definition of passenger vehicle specified in the Regulation respecting road vehicle registration differs from that specified in the Highway Safety Code. The latter stipulates that a passenger vehicle is a “motor vehicle designed for the transportation of not more than nine occupants at a time, where such transportation does not require a permit from the Commission des transports du Québec.” It is therefore very difficult to assess with precision the number of vehicles effected. This is all the more true given that some vehicles that are rented in Québec may be registered outside of Québec.
Are passenger vehicles on long-term lease (12 months or more) ending during the period at issue (December 15 to March 15) exempt from the obligation?
No, except in the seven days prior to termination of the lease contract for a passenger vehicle or taxi (see question 6, item 4) or if it meets the criteria for a certificate (see question 7, item 7).
What about retreaded and remoulded tires?
It is stipulated that until December 15, 2014, tires bearing the inscriptions “Alaska”, "TS" or “Ultratraction” will be recognized as tires specifically designed for winter driving. Winter tires that are remoulded in Québec and that do not bear the pictogram bear one of these inscriptions.
What is the definition of a passenger vehicle under the Regulation governing the use of tires specifically designed for winter driving?
In order to determine what constitutes a passenger vehicle within the meaning of the regulation, the definition set out in the Highway Safety Code must first be respected: “a motor vehicle designed for the transportation of not more than nine occupants at a time, where such transportation does not require a permit from the Commission des transports du Québec.”
With some exceptions, vehicles whose gross vehicle weight rating exceeds 4,500 kg are not generally considered passenger vehicles. Therefore, they are not required to have tires specifically designed for winter driving. Under the Act respecting Owners, Operators and Drivers of Heavy Vehicles , “gross vehicle weight rating” means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single vehicle and known as the “gross vehicle weight rating” (GVWR) or “poids nominal brut du véhicule” (PNBV).