What is the Fédération Québécoise des Clubs Quads?
The Fédération Québécoise des Clubs Quads (FQCQ) represents the union of different local associations of quad users, called quad clubs. At the moment, there are 115 clubs throughout Québec.
As a non-profit organization, the FQCQ intends to promote and develop the quad industry.
The FQCQ provide different resources to quad clubs such as: preparing and distributing documents and forms, form on field agents and trail wardens (agents fédérés), negotiate preferential rates, publish a magazine for its members, etc.
The FQCQ is composed of quad clubs, which in turn are formed by quad drivers with access rights to trail networks.
What is a quad club?
A quad club is a non-for-profit organization, overseen by an administrative committee of volunteers. The club insure smooth running for ATV and autoquad activities on its territory. Volunteers clear out new trails and maintain the existing network and infrastructures, put up signage or markings, and coordinate activities for their members. Quad clubs also have enlisted vigils assigned to patrol and ensure safety in the trails.
Selling trail access rights to quad drivers is the main source of funding for quad clubs. Profit from these yearly purchases is reinvested in network maintenance, signage, building relays, bridges and footbridges, and more. The club is in fact very much like a cooperative established by members to support the safe practice of quad driving.
To find the contact details of a quad club:
- Consult our directory.
- Select your preferred region.
- Locate the nearest or most convenient club.
Access rights (tag or membership card)
The designations “tag” or “membership card” are used to described the mandatory access rights required to use the quad trails. The trail access is comprised of an auto-adhesive tag which must be placed on the front left wheel well.
Who can use the ATV trails?
Any access right holder with an authorized vehicle* may use the designated trails.
Side-by-Side vehicles and ATVs fitted with tracks are not allowed in certain club trails.
Why purchase a trail access from quad clubs?
Purchasing a trail access is a legal obligation for trail users (see the fines prescribed by law when failure to comply) but doing so from a club is a legitimate gesture to share related expenses amongst drivers.
Purchasing a trail access from a club will grant:
- The right to circulate and use trails from every club affiliated to the FQCQ.
- A yearly subscription to the Sentier Quad Magazine.
- The opportunity to subscribe to a preferential rate insurance plan, offered exclusively to members.
Where can I purchase a trail access?
- From any quad club’s representative. Consult the appropriate website, get in touch with the closest or most conveniently located club to get sale points coordinates;
- From most off-road vehicle dealers;
- In several convenience stores, restaurants and gas stations close to the trails.
The trail access is also available online:
How much is the trail access pass?
Does the trail pass grant access to every club’s network of trails?
Yes; having a trail pass guarantees access to quad trails of every club in the province of Quebec, as long as the specific type of vehicle is allowed* in the specified trails.
* Side-by-Side vehicles or autoquads and ATVs fitted with tracks are not allowed in certain club trails.
Installing Your Tag
Are there any precautions to be taken when placing the tag on my vehicle?
- To make the tag adhere properly, be sure to put the sticker on a clean surface, free of any grease, wax or polish residue.
- Adhesives should not be applied on a surface too cold. Placing your palm on the area for a few minutes should be enough to warm the plastic and allow the tag to stick properly.
- Avoid using pressure washers near your tag to prevent damage; this also valid for any decals on your ATV.
What to do if I have lost or damaged my tag?
If possible, recuperate the tag or what may be left, include your receipt, “copy of the member” and contact your club to obtain a replacement.
Mandatory Equipment (Vehicle and User)
What is the equipment required by the Act respecting off-highway vehicles?
Before leaving for an expedition, make sure your vehicle meets legal requirements as stated in the Act respecting off-highway vehicles, no matter the model or type.
- One white headlight;
- One red tail-light;
- One red stop light at the rear;
- One rear-view mirror firmly attached to the left side of the vehicle;
- An exhaust system;
- A braking system;
- A speedometer;
- Any other equipment determined by regulation.
Subparagraphs 3, 4 and 7 of the first paragraph apply only to vehicles built after 1 January 1998.
In addition of the previously mentioned items, autoquads (Side-by-Side type vehicles) must also have:
- 1° a protective structure to prevent injuries in case of a roll-over, made up of at least two roll bars linked together by at least two struts;
- 2° doors or cargo nets for each access to the cab;
- 3° an assist handle for each passenger;
- 4° a seat belt with three or more anchor points for each occupant of the vehicle;
- 5° a headrest for each occupant of the vehicle;
- 6° an engine with a piston displacement not exceeding 1,000 cm3;
- 7° all-terrain tires that conform to the standards set by government regulation;
- 8° a rear-view mirror inside the vehicle attached at the centre of the front upper part of the protective structure.
No person shall ride in or on an off-highway vehicle or in or on a sleigh or trailer towed by an off-highway vehicle unless the vehicle is fitted with protection gear as stated in the Act respecting off-highway vehicles.
Shoe Attire and Protective Gear
No person shall ride in or on an off-highway vehicle or in or on a sleigh or trailer towed by an off-highway vehicle unless he is wearing footwear and the following equipment:
- a regulation protective helmet;
- safety glasses if the protective helmet has no visor;
- any other equipment prescribed by regulation.
Licence and Registration, Please!
What documents should I carry with me in the trails?
Before departing, be sure to have in hands:
- A valid access pass (see details in: How much is the trail access pass?)
- Vehicle registration issued by the SAAQ;
- Proof of civil liability insurance exceeding 500,000$ (mandatory for all off-road vehicles);
- A valid driver’s licence issued by the SAAQ* for any of the following classes: Passenger Vehicle (Class 5), Moped or Scooter (Class 6D) or Tractor Class 8). Be advised that a Learner’s permit is not recognized in this particular situation;
- Documentation proving your age (driver’s licence, public health insurance card or other);
- A certificate of competence (if you are aged 16 or 17, or if you are 18 and over and carrying a passenger on a properly fitted add-on seat);
- The rental contract or lease agreement if applicable.
*A valid driver’s licence issued by the Société d’assurance automobile du Québec
The Highway Safety Code provides that the driver of an off-road vehicle must possess a valid driver’s license to use any public road, crossings and paths authorized for off-road vehicle circulation. Users must have a driver’s licence, either for mopeds, scooter, passenger car or tractor, to benefit from the SAAQ coverage in case of a collision with moving automobile on the road network.
Authorized Vehicles in the Trails
Which off-road vehicles are allowed in the quad trails?
- Single-seated quads equipped with an add-on seat. (Warning: the driver must be 18 and over and hold a certificate of competence to carry a passenger on a modified off-road vehicle with the appropriate seating. Please refer to the Driving Course section).
- Two-up ATVs
- Autoquads or Side-by-Side vehicles with a maximum width of 64 inches.
*Period of use for studded tires: during the winter, the Highway Safety Code provides the use of studded tires on ATVs and autoquads from October 15 to May 1st, inclusively.
Side-by-Side / Autoquads
Where can Side-by-Sides (autoquads) be used?
Since the summer of 2017, Side-by-Side vehicles of a maximum width of 64 inches (1.6 m) are allowed on every club’s trails in Québec.
Can a track system be used on a Side-by-Side vehicle?
No. Only all-terrain vehicles equipped with handlebars and that may be ridden are permitted.
Is it necessary to wear a helmet when using a Side-by-Side?
Yes. Side-by-Side drivers cannot avoid the obligations provided in the Act respecting off-highway vehicles. Furthermore,the occupants must wear their seatbelt and the vehicle must be equipped with side doors or nets.
What is the minimal age to use a Side-by-Side vehicle?
Any Side-by-Side vehicle driver must be aged 18 and over. See Section 9, Division IV of the Ministerial Order.
What is the require age or height to ride in a Side-by-Side vehicle?
On this matter, the Ministerial Order reads as follows:
10. When seated and wearing the vehicle’s seat belt correctly, every passenger of a side-by-side vehicle must be of such size as to be able to reach and firmly hold the assist handle designed for the place occupied by the passenger.
No restraint system or booster cushion may be used to compensate for a passenger’s inability to comply with the first paragraph.
15. No person may drive a side-by-side vehicle carrying a passenger under 16 years of age who does not fulfil the obligations prescribed by this Division.
Where are track system authorized?
Quads fitted with tracks are only allowed in trails where clubs allow the use. Please refer to the Listing of Quad Clubs that permit use of tracks. (Tracks can only be used from November 15 to April 1).
What type of off-road vehicle fitted with tracks can use the trails?
Only all-terrain vehicles equipped with handlebars and that may be ridden (quads) are allowed to use the trails, only in trails sanctioned by certain quad clubs.
It is also specified that the overall width of a vehicle equipped with tracks cannot exceed 1,524 mm. Some quad models are too wide to be fitted with tracks and used in trails.
Where can I get maps?
Each club issues a map intended for its members. It is also possible to obtain a copy of such map by communicating with the club.
In some regions, maps will regroup and display networks from different clubs at a time. You can get these regional maps from most touristic associations and can also be procured from the FQCQ by mail.
Every year, the FQCQ generates a provincial map of the quad trails. This map is sent out to every member along with the winter edition of the Sentier Quad magazine and can be acquired, if needed, by contacting the offices of the FQCQ.
A mapping service is available online through the FQCQ website, which allows to view the entire network of trails in Québec and to verify trail conditions.
It can be accessed in the “Interactive map” tab in the menu
Trail Conditions Online
The interactive map allows users to consult the latest trail re-surfacing operations. Please be advised that freshly re-surfaced snow should be allowed to harden for a few hours.
Who should take driving lessons according to the law in effect?
- Any driver aged 16 or 17 years old.
- Any user over 18 carrying a passenger in the Federation trails on a quad that has been modified by the addition of an add-on seat.
What are the requirements for young drivers?
- If the operator is aged 16 or 17, he must hold a certificate obtained from an officer authorized by the Government and that attests that the operator has the competence and knowledge required to operate an off-highway vehicle. To operate an off-highway vehicle on a public highway as provided by law, a person must hold a licence authorizing him under the Highway Safety Code to drive a road vehicle on such a highway, either licence for Moped or Scooter (6D), Tractor (class 8) or Passenger Vehicle (class 5).
- A learner’s licence abides by the same conditions as it would on public roads, meaning its holder must be accompanied by another quad driver who has held a valid Passenger Vehicle (Class 5) driver’s licence for at least two years.
- Only a person of full age may carry a passenger on a recreational off-highway vehicle designed to transport a single person, equipped with an add-on seat. (Division IV, section 18.1, Act respecting off-highway vehicles).
- Drivers aged 16 or 17 may however carry a passenger on a quad bike designed to carry 2 people, as specified by the manufacturer. Be advised: drivers aged 16 or 17 must detain a certificate of competence and one of the three previously mentioned driver’s licence required by the SAAQ.
- It is also prohibited for drivers under the age of 18 to operate a Side-by-Side recreational off-highway vehicles (Division IV, section 18.1, Act respecting off-highway vehicles).
How much does the driving course cost?
Cost for the off-road vehicle driver’s course is $85 (plus applicable taxes) per driver.
What is the duration of the course?
The driving course takes place over a period of 4 to 6 hours including theory and practice.
What is the required equipment to take the course?
- An off-road vehicle conforming with the Act Respecting Off-Highway Vehicles;
- A safety approved helmet;
- Ankle-high boots or footwear;
- Eye-protection gear (safety glasses or visor);
- Clothing covering arms and legs;
The instructor will provide additional information when confirming registration to the course.
Where do the courses take place?
The instructor will confirm the location when confirming registration.
- Browse our list of instructors. Find the closest instructor near you and get in touch either by phone or email.
Be advised the instructor must gather a certain number of attendees to confirm that the course will take place as it requires a minimum of participants to complete the required exercises.
What is the waiting period to receive the laminated certificate of competence (official certificate)?
The delay will vary according to the number of courses conducted by the instructors. Moreover, the card issued at the end of the driving course will be acknowledged as attestation until you have received your laminated certificate. Without guarantee, the waiting period is usually around four weeks.
During the course, each attendee will be given two reflective tags (stickers), courtesy of the FQCQ. These tags can be used on the helmet to increase visibility and safety, especially in low lighting. These stickers however do not serve as proof of completion of the course and have no legal significance. Only the certificate of competence (laminated card) constitute proof of a user taking and completing the driving course.
Replacement of the Certificate of Competence
In case of lost or a change of address, you must contact the FQCQ to have another one produced. The $10 fee is payable up front before the certificate can be issued either by money order or credit card.
The use of studded tires is not covered by the Highway Safety Code.
A Pilot project was implemented to help determine the most appropriate regulations and how to amend the Act respecting off-highway vehicles in that matter. This pilot does provide a timeframe in regards to the usage period as it is the case for non-skid devices in the Highway Safety Code.
To learn more, here is the link to the Pilot project:
Sentier Quad Magazine
The Sentier Quad Magazine is sent out to every member of the quad clubs.
For any inquiry you may have in regards to your magazine, please have in hand your trail access number. This number can be found on the tag fasten on your vehicle and on your ‘Member Copy’, on the top right corner.
The magazine is also available to non-members by subscription.
Why I did not receive my issue of Sentier Quad Magazine?
- Problem: The mailing address provided at the time of the purchase is incorrect or incomplete according to Canada Post requirements.
- Solution: Verify the address inscribed on your proof of purchase to ensure the information is complete and exact. Remember to specify the P.O. box number or apartment number if necessary. Contact the FQCQ by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 514-252-5280 or phone: 514-252-3050 to request a change of address. To speed up the process, make sure to indicate your trail access number.
- Problem: You have recently moved and the FQCQ has not be notified of your change of address.
- Solution: Get in touch with the FQCQ by email, fax or phone to request a change of address. To facilitate the process, make sure to indicate your former and new address, as well as your trail access number.
- Problem: You have not yet purchased your access right for the current season.
- Solution: Purchase your access right; your subscription will automatically begin as soon as you have been added to the FQCQ database.
- Problem: The FQCQ has not yet received you proof or purchase or your access right still being processed.
- Solution: Get in touch with the FQCQ to report the issue. By email or fax: describe the problem and join a copy of your proof of purchase on which your trail access number appears. By phone: be sure to have in hand your proof of purchase on which your access trail number appears to speed up the process.
Sleighs and Trailers Towed by an Off-Road Vehicle
Is it necessary to register a sleigh?
Yes, sleighs have to be registered. However, the term “sled” is not a registration category at the SAAQ. The correct term would be “trailer” (R-type plates), even when if it’s a sled built to carry passengers.
What is the mandatory equipment for sleighs?
According to the Act respecting off-highway vehicles
No sleigh or trailer shall be towed by an off-highway vehicle unless it is equipped with the following regulatory equipment:
- One red stop light at the rear;
- Two red reflectors at the rear as far apart as practicable;
- Two red left and right side reflectors situated at an equal distance from the front and the rear;
- A rigid tow bar designed to prevent overturning or swerving, which pivots 90 degrees on either side and allows pitching without compromising the overall stability;
- Any other equipment determined by regulation.
Subparagraph 1 of the first paragraph applies only to a sleigh or trailer towed by an off-highway vehicle built after 1 January 1998.
Security Officers and Trail Wardens
What authority do the security officers have?
Every 1,529 security officer and 35 trail wardens from the FQCQ have been trained, sworn in and empowered to work in collaboration and solidarity with every police force in Québec.
Section 38 of the Act respecting off-road vehicles, these peace officers may benefit from the same powers as police officers in the exercise of their duty in the trails.
Civil Lability Insurance of at least $500,000
Since October 2, 1997, you are required to subscribe to a private liability insurance of no less than $500,000 to ensure compensation for any bodily injury or property damage before using an off-road vehicle. Civil Lability Insurance covers only damage to and to the property of others.
There is no insurance contribution in the case of off-road vehicles when issuing off-road vehicle registrations. Here is a listing of the scenarios where the SAAQ will not compensate:
- Collision between an off-road vehicle and a pedestrian in a quad/snowmobile trail.
- Collision between an off-road vehicle and a parked vehicle on a public road.
- Collision between an off-road vehicle and a pedestrian on a public road.
- Collision between two off-road vehicles on a public road.
- Collision between two off-road vehicles in a marked trail.
- Collision between two off-road vehicles on a public property where there is no trail.
Therefore, you need to subscribe to a liability insurance coverage of your choice to be eligible to a compensation.
In case of an accident, any damage to your clothing is considered a physical injury. Moreover, you will not be compensated by the SAAQ (as it would be the case in case of an automobile driver) if you were to be implicated in any of the previously stated scenarios. The private insurer will handle compensations if needed.
In effect since October 2, 1997, the Act respecting the off-road vehicles provides that any off-highway vehicle owner shall hold a civil liability insurance contract in an amount of not less than $500,000 that covers bodily injury and property damage caused by the vehicle. Failure to fulfill this obligation may expose you to a fine varying from $250 to $500.
Property Damage Insurance
- You can also contract additional insurance coverage for damage to your vehicle. This coverage is not mandatory but if you decide to take out insurance, there are multiple choices:
- All Perils: covers every type of damage to your vehicle.
- Collision or Upset coverage: will cover you against material damages to your vehicle when you hit or are hit by an object or if the said vehicle tips over, and the accident does not implicate other vehicles. This also includes damages as a result of a hit-and-run.
- Comprehensive excluding collision or upset coverage: This section covers you against damages to your vehicle other than collision or upset damage, such as broken windows, theft, fire, lightning, vandalism and other specified perils.
- Specified perils coverage: overs only the perils specified in the contract, such as hail, lightning, etc.
Bodily Injury Insurance
It is also possible for you to contract insurance for Bodily Injury.
Because liability insurance only covers damage caused to others, your own personal injuries will not be covered in the event that responsibility is deemed yours.
Also take note that in the event of an accident, damages to your clothing is considered bodily damage and will therefore be covered accordingly by your insurer.
In accordance with the “Protective Helmets Regulation”, operators and passengers on board any off-road vehicle or riding in a sleigh towed by one is obligated to wear a correctly fastened helmet compliant with safety standards.
Extract from the “Protective Helmets Regulation”
Every person riding on a motorcycle, or moped, in a sidecar, on an off-road vehicle covered by the Act respecting off-highway vehicles (chapter V-1.2) or in a sleigh or trailer being towed by such a vehicle shall wear a protective helmet that complies with one of the following recognized standards of manufacture, sale, installation and use:
- Standard CAN-3-D230 of the Canadian Standards Association;
- Standard DOT FMVSS 218 of the United States Department of Transportation;
- the standard entitled “Specifications for Protective Headgear for Vehicular Users Z90.1” of the American National Standards Institute;
- the Snell Memorial Foundation standard;
- the British Standards Institute standard;
- ECE Regulation 22, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe standard.
A protective helmet must bear, at all times, the label affixed by the manufacturer in compliance with the requirements of the standard of manufacture.
Navigation Lights On at All Times
Navigation Lights On at All Times
The white headlight allows to spot incoming vehicles without difficulty whereas the red taillight renders your quad more visible for following drivers and makes it easier to evaluate your cruising speed.
Make sure to have your navigation lights on at all times while circulating.
Throughout the year, you can use the snowmobile hand signals during your quad expeditions.
The gestures are simple and easy to remember.
It’s a good habit to alert others of your intentions when stopping suddenly, changing directions or to warn incoming or outbound vehicles; it improves every driver’s safety significantly
|Right Turn||Left Turn||Slowing||Last Quad|
Left arm raised at shoulder height, elbow bent and forearm vertical with the palm of the hand flat
Left arm extended straight out from shoulder and pointing in the direction of the turn.
|Left arm extended out and down from the side of the body with a downward flapping motion of hand to signal warning or caution.||Raise forearm from handle bar and show clenched fist at shoulder height.|
|Oncoming Quad||Quads Following||Stop|
|Left arm raised at shoulder height, elbow bent and forearm vertical, wrist bent, move arm from left to right over head, pointing to the right side of trails.||Arm raised, elbow bent with thumb pointing backward, in a hitch-hiking motion move arm forward to backward over your shoulder.||Arm extended straight up over the head with palm of hand flat.|
New Brunswick: Circulation rights for Quebecers
Did you know your trail-permit purchased from a Québec club grants you access to the managed trails of the New Brunswick? And club members from NB are also allowed to use the FQCQ trails free of charge if they own a trail access from their province?
The two federations have indeed reached a reciprocal agreement in 2004, allowing members from the All-Terrain Vehicle Federation (NBATVF) and the Fédération Québécoise des Clubs Quads (FQCQ) to use all trail networks.