Mess up at the SAAQ: truckers worried about not being able to drive outside Quebec | The difficult digital shift of the SAAQ
Their registrations under the International Registration Plan will expire at the end of March.
Truckers' registrations under the International Registration Plan will expire at the end of March.
As motorists continue to face long queues At branches of the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), truckers fear they will not be able to leave the province on April 1.
Richard Pellerin, a self-employed truck driver based in the Mauricie region, says that if he does not get his registration renewed, he will have to leave his vehicle parked. The trucks of drivers transporting goods outside Quebec must be registered under what is called the International Registration Plan.
This problem at the SAAQ concerns us all, but specifically for our industry, it is really the recordings that directly impact us, which expire on March 31 for all of us, argues Mr. Pellerin in an interview.
The new SAAQclic digital platform was to simplify certain operations, in particular the renewal of permits, payment for registration and the reservation of exams. However, this turned into a major mess for the state corporation and for the Coalition avenir Québec government.
The Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, cut short a mission to Europe this week in order to be able to return to Quebec to manage the crisis. She announced a grace period for expired license holders and other measures to reduce waits at service outlets.
Mr. Pellerin, for his part, says he sees no sign that the situation is improving for truckers. I really need to renew my international registration to be able to work after March 31, he pleads. Otherwise, my business will be closed until I get this official document.
Not getting the renewal could cost him $30,000 a month, he says.
Francis Rouleau, general manager of the Quebec Association of Professional Drivers, says that the 150 members of its truckers' association fear being fined if they travel outside Quebec without renewal.
“As long as the problem persists on April 1, we will likely have several drivers with traffic violations and fines who will be very upset, and this is all due to a technical glitch. »
— Francis Rouleau, General Manager of the Association of Professional Drivers of Quebec
The plan announced by Minister Guilbault provides for an extension until June 1 of the validity of driving licenses that expired between January 26 and March 9. Expired registration certificates have been extended for 60 days. Motorists will also have more time to register new cars purchased from a dealer.
In addition, the validity of foreign driving licenses will be maintained until August 29, in order to that newcomers can apply for a Quebec permit later.
On Monday, the SAAQ's board of directors announced that it would recruit 150 additional employees in its service outlets and extend opening hours. Demand is strong, because Quebec motorists must pay each year to renew their license. In New Brunswick, a driver's license is valid for four years. In the other provinces, the frequency is five years.
Ms. Guilbault, who visited an SAAQ branch in Montreal on Friday, admitted to reporters that the organization had poorly planned its digital transition and poorly communicated the consequences of this transition to users.
The planning work, as far as I'm concerned, hasn't been done well, so you end up with queues that look like no one is waiting. #x27;had anticipated, but there is also the work of communication. […] We have probably done too little and we are learning from that, she admitted.
The Crown corporation does not did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday and Friday.
According to Ms. Guilbault, the SAAQ has prioritized the files of truckers and taxi drivers.
“In no case do I I will accept that a truck driver cannot work from March 31 or April 1 because he would not have been able to have his service at the SAAQ. What I am told is that at the moment we are correct in providing service for truckers. We meet them on Monday and if I see there is a problem, we will solve it.
—Geneviève Guilbault, Minister of Transport
However, Mr. Rouleau argues that truckers have seen no evidence of a fast lane for them .
People arriving at branches with their commercial transport papers must line up like everyone else. It's like the message isn't getting through to security or staff.