There are lots of driving jobs you can get with a Class 3 license in Quebec. With this driver’s license, you can drive many different types of heavy equipment and trucks. You usually aren’t doing many long-hauls like you would driving a semi-truck. In this summary we will go over:
- What is a Class 3 license in Quebec
- Air Brake (F) Endorsement and Other Endorsements
- 6 Easy Steps to Get your Class 3 License in Quebec
- Class 3 License Costs in Quebec
- Contacts, Forms and Resources
Let’s show you how to get your Class 3 license in Quebec in 6 Easy Steps. Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Class 3 License in Quebec?
A Class 3 license in Quebec is a driver’s license that allows you to drive many different types of trucks as well as any other vehicle with that requires a license class numerically higher than a Class 3 except for a motorcycle. In Quebec, a Class 3 license is often referred to a heavy vehicle driver’s license, as well as Classes 1 & 3.
What kind of vehicles can you drive with a Class 3 license?
With your Class 3 driver’s license you can drive many different types of heavy vehicles:
- a truck with 2 axles and whose net weight is 4,500 kg or more
- a truck with 3 or more axles
- either of the above vehicles that is:
- hauling a trailer or semi-trailer and which is only used to transport equipment, tools or furnishings as part of its permanent equipment, and whose net weight is greater than 2,000 kg but less than 4,500 kg , or
- hauling a trailer or semi-trailer whose net weight is less than 2,000 kg
You won’t be able to drive combination road vehicles like a semi-truck (Class 1) or buses than seat more than 24 passengers (Class 2).
Examples of vehicles you can drive with a Class 3 license in Quebec are:
- straight body truck, large flatbed and cube
- emergency vehicles
- small bus or minibuses
- crane trucks
- large bucket trucks
- pump, dump and mixer trucks
- heavy construction vehicles
What is an axle? An axle is a shaft on which two or more wheels revolve
What is the difference between a Class 3 and a Class 1 license in Quebec?
A Class 3 license in Quebec is one step below your Class 1 license. A Class 2 license just gives you the ability to drive a large bus. A Class 3 license will let you drive most heavy vehicles, typically used for construction and transportation. They usually have fixed bodies used for cargo hauling or machinery like a mixer or dumper.
A Class 1 license lets you drive basically any large truck and is usually obtained by those who are driving large semi-trucks with trailers attached to them. This license is usually for longer hauls of cargo, though a Class 3 holder can perform the same duties with a smaller truck.
The biggest difference between a Class 1 and a Class 3 license in Quebec is the weight and the number of axles of the vehicles you are allowed to drive. A Class 3 let’s you drive a 2 axle truck that weighs more than 4,500 kg. You can also drive a 3 axle truck that weighs up to 4,500 kg with some exceptions.
Chances are if you are getting your Class 3 it is for a specific transportation job that requires a large fixed body truck or some sort of heavy construction equipment vehicle.
Interested in getting your Class 1 license instead? You can find out all the different types of vehicles you can driver and what the requirements are with our guide to Getting your Quebec Class 1 License in 6 Easy Steps.
Air Brakes and Other Endorsements
Endorsements in Quebec are letters that go beside your class of license. There are many types of endorsements, usually relating to a restriction placed on your license. Others grant extra privileges to drivers. You usually need to complete special courses in order to obtain these endorsements.
What Kind of Endorsements can you get in Quebec?
In Quebec, the relevant endorsements to truck driving are:
- “F” – Air Brakes
- “M” – Manual Transmission
“F” – Air Brakes Endorsement
The F endorsement in Quebec permits you to drive a heavy vehicle with air brakes. Though you don’t need this to obtain your Class 3, many large vehicles are equipped with air brakes and there isn’t too much extra work involved. There is a knowledge and road test to get your air brake endorsement.
“M” – Manual Transmission Endorsement
The M endorsement allows you to drive a heavy vehicle with a manual transmission. Many smaller fixed body trucks like flatbeds or cubes come with an automatic transmission however many vehicles will still be manual. We recommend getting your M endorsement with your Class 3 license to expand your options. There is a road test but no knowledge test for your M endorsement.
6 Steps to Get your Class 3 License in Quebec
We have broken the whole process down into 6 easy steps so you can get an overview of how you can obtain your Class 3 License in Quebec:
- Step 1: Ensure you meet the minimum requirements
- Step 2: Complete the vision test and medical exam
- Step 3: Take the knowledge tests
- Step 4: Begin your on the road training
- Step 5: Complete your road tests
- Step 6: Exchange your license
Step 1: Minimum Requirements
The minimum learning or licensing age is 19 years old for a Class 3 license in Quebec. Sort of.
There is technically no minimum age to get your Class 3 license in Quebec. The earliest age you can get a learners license for your standard automobile (Class 5) is 16 years old. You then must wait 1 year to get your probationary license.
After obtaining your probationary license you have to wait 24 months before going for your Class 3. This is effectively bringing the minimum age to get your Class 3 to 19 years old approximately. The minimum requirements to apply for your Class 3 driver’s licene in Quebec are:
- You must have 24 months of experience as a holder of a Class 5 (automobile) driver’s license or probationary license
- You can not have more than 4 demerit points on your license
- Your driver’s license must not have been suspended or revoked in the previous 2 years as a result of an accumulation of demerit points or a driving-related Criminal Code offence
Step 2: Vision Test and Medical Exam
Before the on-the-road training and tests begin, you need to make sure you are in good shape to drive a heavy vehicle. This all starts with a vision test.
You will need to find a Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (“SAAQ”) service centre to get a vision test done. See our resources section to locate a service outlet near you. You will also sign a Declaration regarding your health status, so if you have any medical conditions that could impair your ability to drive you need to disclose them at that time.
While you are there, you can obtain a medical examination form that you need to give to your doctor to fill out. If you lose it or they didn’t give you one, we have included it in our forms section. You will have to get an examination by your doctor to confirm your hearing, vision, general health and mental state are all in good enough shape to drive a heavy vehicle. Your doctor will complete this examination and the form, which you will then mail back or drop off an SAAQ service outlet. Your doctor will most likely charge you a fee for this service.
Step 3: Class 3 License Knowledge Test
Before you start driving, you are going to need pass knowledge tests on heavy vehicle operation. If you want to get your air brake (F) endorsement there will be a separate knowledge test you have to pass.
In order to get your Class 3 license in Quebec, like any other license type, you need to pass a knowledge test. If you pass, you will be issued a learner’s license.
You must book the test at an SAAQ Service Outlet which you can do online or by the phone. Find the link to book online in our resource section and the contact numbers to book by phone in our contact section.
The test is 32 multiple choice questions and the passing mark is 75%. You have 1 hour to take the test. If you fail the test, you can re-take it after 7 days. You will have to book another appointment and pay the fee again.
The questions test your understanding and knowledge of:
- traffic rules and the skills required to handle a heavy vehicle
- vehicle circle check standards
- the standards for hours of driving and off-duty time
- safe driving behaviours to adopt
To study for the test, you should review the Driver’s Handbook and the Driving a Heavy Vehicle Handbook. As you can drive many different types of vehicles with a Class 3 license, you need to study all the sections. You can order physical copies of these books or online PDF versions by visiting the Publications Quebec online store.
Make sure you bring your current driver’s license to the appointment to take the test.
Air Brake (F) Endorsement Knowledge Test
When you book your Class 3 license knowledge test you should also indicate that you wish to take your air brake (F) endorsement knowledge test. Although it is not necessary for your Class 3 license, you don’t know what types of vehicles you are going to be required to drive so it is not a bad idea to get the endorsement to keep your options open.
The F endorsement knowledge test is specific to the operation of air brakes. All the information you need to know is found in the same Driving a Heavy Vehicle Handbook from the Publications Quebec online store used for your Class 3 knowledge test.
You can take the air brake endorsement test at the same time as your Class 3 knowledge test for no additional charge. If you decide you want to wait to take your F endorsement knowledge test, they will charge you the test cost of $11.20 again. They are separate tests so if you fail one it doesn’t mean you fail both.
Step 4: Schools & Training
You don’t actually have to go to a school or take a training course in order to get your Class 3 license. Perhaps a family member or friend will help you learn. You can learn to drive with them if they have held their Class 3 license for at least 2 years.
If you want to get some experience though, you can sign up for driving lessons to learn how to operate air brakes, manual transmissions and general driving skills required for a Class 3 vehicle.
Air brakes (air to all foundation brakes):
A vehicle with an air brake system has brakes that are initiated by air pressure from an engine-driven compressor. This sends air pressure through a series of hoses, reservoirs and control valves to all the vehicle’s foundation brakes.
If you don’t have any experience behind the wheel, you should take some training before attempting your road test. Another nice thing about signing up for some lessons or a course is that many places will let you use the truck you have been practicing with for your road test as part of the package. You must provide your own vehicle for the road test as we will go over below.
Step 5: Class 3 Road Tests
There are two road tests to get your Class 3 license. One is a circle check test and one is the actual road (driving) test. Before you take your road tests, you need to make sure that you have held your Class 3 learner’s permit for:
- 3 months
- 1 month if you meet any of the following criteria
- 25 years old or older; or
- have 60 months (5 years) cumulative experience as a holder of a Class 5 license
Book Your Test
To book your road tests, you need to schedule them by contacting an SAAQ Service Outlet which you can do online or by the phone. Find the link to book online in our resource section and the contact numbers to book by phone in our contact section.
Circle Check Test
The road test starts with a pre-trip inspection, also know as a circle check test. You must pass this to move on to the road test. The passing mark is 75%.
This test covers the mechanical components that all drivers must inspect when carrying out a circle check before using a heavy vehicle.
During the 15-minute test, you must describe everything you are doing, as well as the defects you are looking for to your examiner. You must carry out your inspection safely and efficiently.
Heavy Vehicle Road Tests: Class 3, F & M Endorsements
Now you are ready to hit the road and get tested on your skills to handle that big truck, maybe even get your manual transmission and air brake endorsements too!
If you plan on getting your manual transmission (M) endorsement and your air brakes (F) endorsement then of course the vehicle must have a manual transmission and be equipped with air brakes. As discussed earlier, you will expand your career options and the number of vehicles you can drive with these endorsements.
The vehicle you provide needs to be free from mechanical issues and have an up to date mechanical inspection sticker. You likely do not have a vehicle of your own yet so you might need to borrower one from a family member of friend in the industry. You may also be able to rent one from the school you attended or they could refer you to a place that rents them for the test. Many schools will often include the truck rental for the test as part of their training package.
The vehicle must be equipped with a flatbed, dumper or box for holding cargo.
Your Class 3 license heavy vehicle road test will cover common “on- and off-highway“ manoeuvres, traffic rules and defensive driving skills. The examiner will look to assess:
- your driving skills doing commonly executed manoeuvres;
- your observance of traffic rules and use of approved driving techniques;
- your driving behaviour;
- your ability to execute the double-clutch technique if you are driving a vehicle with a manual transmission
Remember you must have completed your knowledge test for the air brake (F) endorsement prior to getting assessed on a road test. There is no knowledge test requirement for the manual transmission (M) endorsement.
You must get a 75% to pass the road test, for each component. If you are getting your F and M endorsements, you need to get 75% on those two tests as well, which are done at the same time as your general Class 3 road test. If you fail one of them, you can pay the fee and redo the Class 3 road test or the specific endorsement road test you failed.
Step 6: Exchange your license
You passed your Class 3 road test? Go to a SAAQ office have them add it to your license and hit the road. Don’t forget to have them add the F & M endorsements if you completed the road tests for those too! Now go get to work and keep your wheels on the ground!
Class 3 License in Quebec: Cost
So now you know what the process looks like but how much does it cost to get your Class 3 driver’s license in Quebec? There will be a number of fees, some ranging in price depending on the school you choose for training, medical examinations and truck rentals. Some prices like the knowledge and road tests are set by the government.
The below costs are assuming want to do some training to get experience driving a truck before doing your road test.
Class 3 License in Quebec
Medical Examination & Report $55
Air Brake (F) Endorsement Knowledge Test $0 (if written at the same time as Class 3 knowledge test)
Class 3 Knowledge Test $11.20
Class 3 Learner’s License $58.64
Class 3 Training $1,300 (approximately)
Air Brake (F) & Manual (M) Endorsement Course $0 (typically included in Class 3 Training)
Class 3 Road Test $66.95
Truck Rental $0 (typically included in your Class 3 course)
License Reclassification $15.40
Costs in summary
- Medical Examination & Report: $40 – $70 approximately. Rates are set by the doctor examining you
- Air Brake (F) Endorsement Written Knowledge Test: $0 or $11.20 if you didn’t write it at the same time as your Class 3 Knowledge Test.
- Class 3 License Written Knowledge Test: $11.20
- Class 3 Learner’s License: $58.64
- Class 3 Training (optional):Schools and courses can from driving lessons by the hour or packages with in class and on the road time (around a minimum of 20 hours). The average cost for Class 3 driving courses, depending on the hours on the road and in the class, is between $1,000 – $1,600. Most will include air brake and manual transmission training as well.
- Class 3 License Road Test: $11.20 for the Circle Test and $55.75 for the Driving Test
- Truck Rental Fee for Road Test: $0 (typically included with a course at a driving school)
- Adding the Class 3 & Endorsements to your Driver’s License: $15.40
Average cost to get your Class 3 license in Quebec is $1,807.19 for an inexperienced driver doing some training before going for their road test.
Class 3 Drivers License Contacts
Here are some important contacts that will assist you in getting your Class 3 license in Quebec
Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ)
This is the government agency the manages and regulates transportation Quebec. You will go here to do:
- a vision test
- the knowledge test
- road tests
- Québec area: 418-643-7620
- Montréal area: 514-873-7620
- Elsewhere (Québec, Canada, United States): 1-800-361-7620
Hours of Operation
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Booking Knowledge & Road Tests
Automated telephone service
Québec area: 418 643-5213
Montréal area: 514 873-5803
Elsewhere in Québec: 1 888 667-8687