Restricted licenses during a global pandemic


A police car patrolling a busy street.

On April 14, 2020, the Court of Quebec issued a unique judgment regarding granting a restricted driving permit amid a health emergency crisis.

In the case of McKenzie v. Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, the defendant, Mr. McKenzie, is requesting a restricted license that would allow him to drive for work purposes. He argues that, given the lack of public transit and the reluctance to carpool during the pandemic, his job is at risk. The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec contends that the plaintiff does not meet the criteria specified in section 121 of the Highway Safety Code.

Judge Kennedy references section 118 of the Highway Safety Code, which allows for the issuance of a restricted license if the person can prove to the judge that driving a motor vehicle is essential for their employment and livelihood. Given the extraordinary circumstances of the ongoing health crisis, the defendant has established the necessity of having this permit to commute to and from work.

In this regard, the circumstances of this case distinguish it from previous decisions where applications for a restricted license were denied based on reasons akin to Mr. McKenzie’s. Consequently, Judge Kennedy partially approves the defendant’s plea and grants him a restricted license. However, this permit is limited to the duration of the health emergency, allowing Mr. McKenzie to commute to and from work using a motor vehicle.

What to do if you receive a notice of suspension of your driver's licence

As soon as you receive a letter from the SAAQ stating that your license will be suspended following the accumulation of demerit points, contact us immediately to obtain a restricted license before the start of your suspension. Our traffic ticket lawyers will be able to assess your file and tell you if you meet the eligibility criteria for this application.

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Portrait professionnel de la stagiaire Mélanie Gosselin.

Mélanie Gosselin


Melanie joined the Riendeau Avocats team in 2023 and is currently doing her Bar internship with the firm. She obtained her law degree from the University of Sherbrooke in 2021. Melanie was excited to join Riendeau Avocats in order to combine her passion for criminal and penal law with that of helping people in difficulty.

Portrait professionnel de l'adjointe Carolia.

Carolia Ranivoharindrano

Accounting Manager
After earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Concordia University, Carolia decided to continue her studies in Paralegal Technology at CDI College. Passionate about criminal law, she decided to join the Riendeau Avocats team to complete her internship. She loves learning more about the field of criminal and penal law from lawyers. In addition, with her many years of experience in customer service, she knows how to help clients with professionalism and rigor, in order to give the best satisfaction to the firm’s clients.
Portrait professionnel de l'avocat Pascal Gilbert.

Pascal Gilbert

Penal and Criminal Lawyer
Me Pascal Gilbert is passionate about law. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Montreal, in addition to a bachelor’s degree in history, Me Gilbert joined the Riendeau Avocats team as a criminal and penal lawyer. Listening to the needs of his clients, he will be able to be creative in order to explore all possible avenues throughout your legal process. Mr. Gilbert has excellent research and writing skills and is a keen learner. He wants to advance the law in the best possible direction.
Portrait professionnel de l'avocate Gabrielle Lauzon.

Gabrielle Lauzon

Criminal and Penal Lawyer
Bachelor of Laws under the COOP regime of the University of Sherbrooke, Me Gabrielle Lauzon joined the Riendeau Avocats team as a criminal lawyer after completed his internship. Me Lauzon shows great compassion towards everyone of its customers and always remains available to help others. Driven by her thirst for knowledge and her dynamism, she devotes herself enormously to each of her causes. to the Safety Code road.
Portrait professionnel de l'avocat Anthoni Daoust.

Me Anthoni Daoust

Penal and Criminal Lawyer
Holder of a minor in criminology from the UdM and a law degree from the UdS, Mr. Daoust is a criminal and penal lawyer, who is deeply interested in the recognition and respect of everyone’s rights. A progressive prosecutor, he engages in a practice aimed at democratizing access to justice. His analytical and negotiation skills allow him to obtain the best possible settlement in order to ensure his clients a full and complete defense.
Portrait professionnel de l'avocat Anthoni Daoust.

Me Chanèle Lecompte

Criminal and Penal Lawyer
A lawyer practicing mainly criminal and penal law, Me Chanèle Lecompte holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sherbrooke. During her university career, she had the chance to do an internship with the judiciary, which allowed her to acquire the many assets that she puts forward during her representations before the courts. Passionate about criminal law, Me Lecompte will accompany you and defend you during the different stages of your case, and will listen to you.