Montreal's east end will have a new automobile insurance board centre, Quebec's transport minister announced Tuesday.
Geneviève Guilbault said Tuesday that the sixth Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) service point in Montreal will open at Place Versailles in February 2024.
SAAQ services have been marred by delays following the launch of the online portal SAAQclic in February. Those issues translated to about $40 million in losses for the board, according to SAAQ president and CEO Éric Ducharme.
"What we're announcing today will bring additional capacity by moving appointments from Henri-Bourrassa, Langelier, Dorval or Longueuil here and leaving more space in our service centres for practical exams," Ducharme said. "There will be theory exams here, not practical ones."
Guilbault says the Place Versailles service point will allow the SAAQ to issue twice as many appointments to motorists, especially for newcomers to Quebec.
"It's been a year of movement and challenges because of the whole online services transition," she said. "Not everything is solved, but I think the worst is behind us."
Payment holiday extended
The SAAQ manages Quebec's system of no-fault auto insurance and, with it running a surplus, motorists will once again get a break on the cost of their licences.
Next year, the cost of a class five (passenger vehicle) driver's licence will be reduced from the standard $127 to $25.50 for motorists who do not have any demerit points.
The SAAQ also plans to invest $44 million over five years toward road safety projects and $52 million to improve insurance coverage.
Quebecers whose driver's licence ID photos and health-care card photos expire in 2024 won't need to have a new picture taken since Quebec will be extending their renewal deadline once again.