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The new computer system of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) has not finished disappointing us.

Talk to Normand who owns a vehicle in joint ownership with his wife. When he wanted to register for the SAAQclic system, he did not see any vehicle in his name. This is how he discovered that it is no longer possible to register a vehicle in joint ownership, a decision taken to simplify the digital transition.

Motorists who own a vehicle for two find themselves in a cul de… SAAQ. The state-owned company counts 130,000 vehicles registered in joint ownership not only by couples, but also by parents with their child, brothers and sisters, business partners, for example.

What happens to everyone who owned a shared vehicle before January 27, 2023?

They are not obliged to designate a single holder for registration. Except that they will not be able to access online services, unless they go to a service point to designate a single person responsible for registration.

Normand fell from his chair when he learned that. “Being married for 51 years, we feel like we’re stepping back in time, when a woman couldn’t co-own a house,” he said indignantly.

The SAAQ defends itself by saying that the registration certificate is not a title deed.

“Only the sales contract constitutes proof of ownership, for both a new vehicle and a used vehicle, whether the sale is made by an individual or by a merchant,” said spokesperson Anne Marie Dussault Turcotte. .

Agreed, but having only one person responsible for registration can still lead to serious slippages.

You should know that the sole registration holder will now be the only one to receive communications with the SAAQ. Worse: the sole holder will be able to transfer the registration without having to prove the consent of the co-owner to the SAAQ.

In the event of a breakup, the spouse who is not registered in the file therefore risks finding themselves in trouble. “As the purchase of a vehicle is a predominantly men’s affair, without prejudice, it is still women who will bear the brunt of this absurd decision by the government,” Normand worries.

He is right.

The SAAQ explains that the “ex” who was tricked can always bring a civil action in court, because the authorization of all the co-owners listed on the sales contract is still required when selling a vehicle, from a legal point of view, even if the SAAQ no longer checks.

In theory, all of this is true. But in practice, suing your “ex” in court is no easy feat. The process is long and complex. And there is no guarantee of getting your money back in the end, if the person is insolvent.

Prevention is better than cure. Especially since our justice system is completely bogged down. It is better to have a safeguard at the SAAQ than to have to call the tow truck when the car is in the field.