Like the leap year, Medicare renewal comes but once every 4 years

A couple of days ago, I received a letter from the S.A.A.Q informing me that my Medicare and driver’s license were due for renewal. This letter filled me with dread. Other than applying for or renewing a passport, there is no worse administration task than getting your Medicare/driver’s license renewed. The hours for the offices are appalling, the locations are inconvenient and the line ups are grueling. Oh, and the cheerful people that work there make it even more special! I am thankful that this process is required only once every four years. (Please, oh please tell me this hasn’t changed!)

This year I will prepare myself for the experience, I will bring magazines and an iPod, but what I’d like to know is the trick to navigating the experience. Is it better to go in the late afternoon or early morning? I always though early morning was better but the line ups prove otherwise. Is it better to try a weekday or a Saturday? Is there a specific location that is less busy than others? I know this information is like gold, but I ask nonetheless – is there actually a good way of doing this?

6 Comments so far

  1. andre (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 7:07 pm

    Hi hi! I got my notice this week as well. I am SO bringing my iPod.

  2. Frank (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 11:36 pm

    I’m three months past due, so I’ll make a point to take a trip down there tomorrow morning. I had to go in last winter and if I remember correctly, I went in mid-morning and there were only a few of us there. I’ll let you know what happens. I usually go to the one on Maisonneuve on the east side of downtown.

    Being on a temp work visa has been a pain since I have to renew everything once a year. Can’t wait until the permanent residence comes through. But would have figured the card would last more than 4 years.

  3. Frank (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 11:32 am

    Popped in at the RAMQ at 11am and the waiting room was filled. I’ll try again this afternoon. I’m assuming the RAMQ is the same as Medicare.

  4. Frank (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 10:27 am

    Went back this morning to the RAMQ a couple minutes after they openned (8:30). It only took 45 minutes. I asked the guy behind the desk and he said early mornings were the best. Though I didn’t ask if certain days of the week were better than others. My speed through the line may have been because it was a renewal. I think there were some that got there before me and were still there when I left.

  5. mcfeather (unregistered) on September 26th, 2005 @ 1:48 pm

    Luck was on my side…I went Friday afternoon aroun 3.30pm to the location on de Maisonneuve east and it took 15 minutes. I can’t believe how painless it was!

  6. happycamper (unregistered) on December 1st, 2005 @ 3:17 pm

    I just got back from the de maisonneuve location, at 3pm on a thursday, and the whol renewal of driver’s licence and health card took under 10 mins. props to quebec… when did they get EFFICIENT?!

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