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The Société d’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) requires certain drivers to undergo an assessment to determine if their behaviour with respect to alcohol is compatible with the safe operation of a vehicle. The cost ranges from $231 to $639, depending on the driver’s offence. Citizens who want to undergo the assessment must pay in cash or by certified cheque or money order only.
Many citizens have to wait to have this assessment done because they do not have the money to cover the cost. This adds extra time on to the six to nine months it takes for the comprehensive assessment to be done before their license is re-issued.
The Québec Ombudsman investigated in order to understand why citizens are not allowed to pay by credit card.
Given the extra delays that cash payments can cause, and the fact that credit card technology has made great strides in recent years, the Québec Ombudsman asked the Association des centres de réadaptation en dépendance du Québec to re-consider its position on payment by credit card so as to not penalize citizens who must undergo this assessment.
The Association agreed to act on the Québec Ombudsman’s request. Drivers can now pay by credit card online at the Association website. The Association covers the administrative fees for this payment method.