Driving in the United States: instructions for use

Have you decided to drive to the United States, to go on a real road trip to our American neighbors? Here’s what you need to know before you turn the key.

Driving license

Is your Quebec driver’s license valid for driving in the United States? Yes, it is! And now, everywhere across this huge country.

Previously, Georgia required an International Driver’s Permit (IDP), but this rule was abolished in January 2017. However, you must make sure that your license is valid when you drive on American soil. It is also best to always have your passport with you.

If you prefer, and especially if you are going for a long period of time, you can still apply for an international driving license. (Moreover, it costs only $ 25 and it is valid for a period of one year.) To do so, contact CAA, it is the only Canadian authority that can issue it.

Indeed, this permit, translated into several languages, turns out to be a facilitator during a police intervention. But beyond the PCI, the most important thing is to always respect the Highway Code of the places visited.


The importance of private insurance for civil liability

Unlike what happens in other countries, the Quebec automobile insurance system has the particularity of distinguishing between bodily injuries, covered by a public plan administered by the Société assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) , and material damage, covered by private insurers.

It is therefore imperative to know that during an accident, the SAAQ only compensates bodily injury, that is to say that it does not cover the costs for injuries that you may have caused to others or material damage. caused by the accident. Rather, your private insurance will take over to cover these two aspects. Good liability insurance is therefore essential for traveling abroad, as is collision insurance.

In other words, depending on the nature of your accident and the type of damage that you will have caused, it will not be the same insurance that will come into play. Hence the importance of choosing your private insurance carefully before to leave.

Travel insurance in the event of hospitalization following an accident

In the event that you have to be hospitalized following a traffic accident, the Régie de assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ) will reimburse you for the costs incurred. If a long hospital stay is necessary, the SAAQ will take care of your repatriation.

Although the SAAQ and RAMQ offer you good protection when you are in the United States, it is still recommended that you take out travel insurance. This can facilitate interventions in hospitals. Even if our sun card is known to our American neighbors, some hospitals may refuse to treat an individual if they do not have proof, such as travel insurance, that they have the capacity to pay for the necessary care. .

Laws of The road

Each state has different legislation. Regarding the seat belt, for example, it depends on the States. While it’s mandatory in some, it’s just highly recommended in others, and it’s even optional in New Hampshire! However, we advise you to put it across the country.

With regard to the maximum speed of circulation, it is again each state that establishes it. Look at the map below before you start, it can help you avoid fines.

Remember that in the United States, speed limits are stated in miles per hour, not kilometers per hour.

For alcohol, it’s like with us, the limit is set at the famous “zero point eight” (0.08) or 80 mg per 100 ml of blood. But then again, some states may have adjustments. When in doubt, never drink before driving! Do not play with it, you risk in case of infraction, a fine, the withdrawal of your license, and jail!

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