An IT transformation aimed at offering easy-to-use and secure online services at Quebec's auto insurance bureau (SAAQ) has been underway since last Thursday, and involves the suspension of several current services.

The transformation will last until Feb. 20.

For example, no vehicles can be registered until Feb. 19 inclusive. The service for obtaining a winter tire exemption certificate is suspended, as are the services for storing or retiring a vehicle.

Quebecers who need to replace or renew their health insurance card cannot do so at the SAAQ until Feb. 20. They must therefore contact the Quebec medical insurance board (RAMQ).

Applications for the release of vehicle seizures will not be processed until Feb. 20. If an application cannot wait until that date, the applicant should contact the Court of Quebec.

When a vehicle is purchased, dealers will issue a transaction certificate that will allow the vehicle to be registered at a service point as of Feb. 20. Temporary registration certificates will allow the vehicle to be driven until then.

On the other hand, several services deemed essential by the SAAQ will be maintained during the transition period, including the replacement of a lost or stolen driver's licence, practical exams, mechanical and road vehicle inspections, and technical expertise.

The SAAQ promises that as of Feb. 20, Quebecers will be able to obtain new and improved services online. Until then, more than 10 billion data sets must be converted, but the service centres remain open.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 31., 2023.