Quebec fleets frustrated by problems with new SAAQclic platform

Quebec fleets are reporting an array of problems with the Societe de l’assurance automobile du Quebec’s new SAAQclic platform, ranging from denied registration processes, to delays, and active fleets identified as being shelved.

“Things are still complex in some cases,” Quebec Trucking Association (QTA) CEO Marc Cadieux said, referring to the platform launched Feb. 20. His members have complained the system is slow, and that appointments are set far into the future.

But there were also unpleasant surprises for some carriers when they went to consult their file. “With amazement, they saw that their fleet, or part of their fleet, was erroneously identified as being scrapped,” Cadieux said.

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The QTA leader has expressed concerns about the registration renewal processes to Minister of Transport and Sustainable Development Geneviève Guilbault. “We are concerned that we will not be able to complete all registration renewals by March 31 if the situation does not improve, and this makes us fear that there will be a disruption in the supply chain,” he said.

In the case of trucks listed as being scrapped, the SAAQ assured the QTA that police have the authentic registration information in their system. And the association has been working to help members as situations arise.

“The SAAQ asked us to immediately identify problem cases so that it could deal with them manually. All of the files that have been brought to our attention have been handled individually by the SAAQ. We know that it makes daily updates, and that as these updates are made, the files are settled.”

Renewals and delays

Motor carriers have until March 31 to renew their commercial and/or International Registration Plan (IRP) registrations.

“It is absolutely necessary that registrations in Quebec be renewed because they are used to issue American permits. If this is not done by March 31, carriers could have problems obtaining their permits for the American side,” explained Yves Mavais, QTA director – technical and operational files.

The Association of Mechanical Verification Agents of Quebec (ASMAVERMEQ) is also concerned that agents now need to enter information collected by hand over a three week period when SAAQ was establishing the platform.

“It takes a very long time for them to re-enter all the mechanical inspection data into the system. We are talking about 30 minutes per inspection. It takes a lot of time and it is the employees who have to do the work,” said Simon Mercier, CEO of ASMAVERMEQ.

Registering rented trucks

A carrier who preferred to remain anonymous said he felt like he had gone back 30 years in time, citing the example of the process to register a rented truck.

Before the platform was established, such trucks left the rental business with a metal plate attached to the bumper.

“Now they are assigned a temporary registration paper and the metal plate arrives 10 days later at the carrier’s headquarters,” he explained. “But if we cross the border with these trucks without metal license plates, are we at risk of having problems with the American authorities? Everyone is stressed with that,” he said.

“We did not take into account the reality and the needs of the transport companies. Everything was done according to individuals. We did not think of the industry,” the carrier representative added. “I understand that the system had to be modernized and I think they [the SAAQ] will be able to adjust, but in the meantime we are paying the price.”

“The positive note is that when everything is finally in place, it will be much easier to do more transactions online,” Cadieux said.

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