Blog G1, G2, G - Ontario’s Graduated Driver's Licensing System Guide

Mar 2, 2020

Learn About Ontario's Graduated G1, G2 and G Driver's Licences Rules And Restrictions

The Ontario graduated driver's licence helps new drivers reduce risk and become safer and more effective drivers. Have questions about getting a G1, G2, or G driver’s licence? You are not alone. The rules and restrictions around Ontario’s graduated licencing are a bit complex.

Father handing his son the keys to the car

All drivers in Ontario must complete the graduated licence system to become a fully licenced driver. This requires you to complete a knowledge test and series of road tests.

The Ultimate Guide To Graduated Licensing

Are you a teenager looking to get your beginners driver’s licence? Perhaps you’re a parent who is unclear about what’s required for your son or daughter to get a licence. You want to know how to progress from a G1 to a G2 to a full G licence. It’s important to know the basics of Ontario’s G licencing system.

This guide will provide you with a good overview of graduated licensing in Ontario. Learn about G1, G2, G driver’s licence rules, requirements and restrictions. Get answers to commonly asked questions.

Just click to go to the various sections of the guide.

G1 Licence
G1 Restrictions
G2 Licence
G2 Restrictions
Full G Licence
Graduated Licensing System FAQs

About The Ontario Graduated Drivers Licence System

Young, new, and novice drivers are most likely to cause accidents. They have the highest driver fatality rate and pose the most risk. The graduated licensing program in Ontario, or GDL, helps to remedy this issue.

The Ontario graduated licensing system helps young drivers gain essential driving experience over a period of time. It creates a protective environment for new drivers and young drivers. This allows them to build driving skills and knowledge while progressing through the graduated drivers licensing system. The graduated licence system has been in effect since 1994.

What Is A Graduated Driver’s Licence?

A graduated driver’s licence is a system in Ontario and throughout Canada to help new drivers gain experience. Most graduated driver’s licences have three stages – learners, probationary, and full driver’s licence.

Ontario Driver’s Licence Rules And Requirements

There are some basic requirements for anyone who drives in Ontario to follow :

  1. Driver's Licence : You must always have your driver’s licence with you. It must be valid.
  2. Valid Permit And Plate : The vehicle you drive must have valid permit and plates.
  3. Insurance : The vehicle must have valid coverage and insurance pink slip.

For full details please go to the Ontario Government website.

How Do You Apply For An Ontario Driver’s Licence?

There are three conditions all drivers must meet to apply for a driver’s licence. You must :

  1. Be at least 16.
  2. Pass an eye test.
  3. Pass a written test about the rules of the road and traffic signs.

You can apply at any DriveTest centre. Find a DriveTest centre.

What Documentation Do I Need To Apply For A Driver’s Licence In Ontario?

You must provide proof of identification to apply. It needs to display your legal name and date of birth. Acceptable documents include :

  • Passport (Canadian or foreign).
  • Canadian Citizenship Card with photo.
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status Card (issued on or after December 15, 2009 by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada).
  • Ontario Photo Card.
  • Permanent Resident (PR) Card.
  • Other documents may also be accepted.

The Ontario Driver's Licence System Has 3 Levels Or Classes

To drive with a full G licence in Ontario, everyone must meet the requirements at each driving level – from G1 to G2 through to the full G licence.

That’s why Ontario’s system for training and licencing drivers is called a graduated licencing program. You must graduate from one level to the next.

The graduated driver’s licence system has three classes :

  • G1 licence
  • G2 licence
  • Full G licence

Ontario G1 Licence

Getting your G1 licence is a milestone moment for many. It is also the first step in the Ontario graduated drivers licensing system. It’s the first step toward becoming a fully licenced driver.

The G1 licence in Ontario is the beginner’s or learner’s permit. It is the first of three classes to complete the graduated licensing system.

You must be at least 16 years old. You’ll need to pass an eye test, and written test about the road rules and traffic signs.

G1 drivers have a number of driving restrictions. These restrictions and rules are in place to help reduce risk and accidents. It helps new drivers learn how to drive in a more controlled environment.

G1 Rules And Restrictions

As a new driver, there are certain G1 road rules you must abide by. G1 licence rules are in place to help new drivers learn how to drive safely and effectively.

The following G1 restrictions apply :

  • Must be accompanied a full G licenced driver : You can only drive when you have an experienced G licence driver in the passenger seat. Accompanying drivers must have a full G licence for at least 4 years. They must have an alcohol level of less than 0.05% if over 21. If under 21 they must have zero blood alcohol level.

  • Zero alcohol : As the driver, you must have a zero blood alcohol level at all times.
  • No cannabis : You cannot have cannabis in your system. No exceptions.
  • Seatbelts : All passengers must wear seatbelts.
  • No driving between 12 am - 5 am : As a G1 driver, you cannot drive between midnight and 5 am.
  • No driving on 400 highways : As a G1 driver, you cannot drive on 400-series highways or expressways including The Gardiner Expressway, Don Valley Parkway and The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW).
  • Vehicles : You can only drive G class vehicles – cars, vans, small trucks.

What If I Break The G1 Rules?

You are subject to the rules of the road just like any other driver. If you violate the conditions of your G1, you will be held accountable :

  • Traffic ticket : You are subject to the same Ontario traffic ticket fines and penalties as fully licenced drivers.
  • Demerit points : You are subject to Demerit points in Ontario. However, as a new driver, you have 9 before you face a licence suspension. Fully licenced drivers have 15 demerits.
  • Licence suspension : You could face a driver’s licence suspension if you violate G1 conditions. This includes having too many demerit points, or a serious traffic violation.
  • Increased insurance costs : Breaking G1 rules can also impact your car insurance. Insurers take into account your driving record and history from day one.

How Do You Get A G1 Licence?

Here’s a summary of the steps drivers need to complete to get a G1 driver’s licence :

  • Get the drivers handbook : Pick up the handbook online or at a DriveTest location.
  • Study for the knowledge test : Read through the driver’s handbook multiple times. Take some online G1 practice tests. When you are ready, plan to take the test.
  • Write and pass the knowledge test : Visit a local DriveTest location to write the knowledge test.
  • Pay the G1 licence package fee : Pays the fees associated with getting your G1.
  • You’re a G1 Driver!

How Long Does It Take To Complete Your G1?

The minimum practice period for G1 drivers before they can take the G1 road test is :

  • 8 months with driver's training : You can move more quickly through the G licencing system if you take drivers ed from a MTO approved driving schools. By taking driver training through one of these schools, you’re eligible to take the G1 road test just 8 months after you passed your written test instead of after a year.
  • 12 months without driver's training : You are not eligible to take the G1 road test until 12 months after you have passed your written test unless you have taken an approved driving course course.

You can book and pay for your road test online. Note VISA debit is not accepted. You can also phone 1-888-570-6110 or 647-776-0331. This is an automated booking line. You can also go in-person to a DriveTest Centre. Most centres are open Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Some are open on Saturday.

Learn more about the G1 test.


Common G1 Licence Questions

The G1 knowledge test and G1 road test are together in the Class G1 licence package. The cost is $159.75. You pay this amount when you pass your G1 written test. The package includes :

  • 1 knowledge test attempt.
  • A Class G2 Road Test.
  • A 5 year driver’s licence.

There are a variety of actions that could lead to a G1 licence suspension. They include :

  • Violations : Violation of graduated licensing conditions for your class.
  • Impaired driving : Driving with alcohol or cannabis in your system.
  • No Insurance : If you get caught driving without insurance your G1 will get suspended.
  • Traffic convictions : You are guilty of a serious driving offense. Suspensions could be 24 hours, 30 days, 60 days, or more depending on the nature of your driving violations.

You can get insurance with a G1. It will not be as the primary driver of a vehicle. A G1 driver cannot be the primary driver on an insurance policy, even if you own the vehicle.

You need a parent or guardian (G2 minimum) to be the primary driver on your policy. Most with a G1 get added to a parent or guardian’s policy.

G1 drivers do not technically need Ontario car insurance. But, any vehicle you drive must be insured. If you drive your parents or guardians vehicle, they will need to notify their provider.

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Ontario G2 Licence

Getting your G2 driver’s licence is your first chance to drive solo. Passing the G1 exit road test allows you to drive without an accompanying driver. It is the second step of three in the graduated licensing process.

You’ll have your G2 licence for a minimum of one year before taking the G2 exit road test.

Getting your G2 gives you a sense of freedom. It’s the first time you will be able to drive alone and you’ll have fewer driving restrictions. You can also get your own insurance.

Learn about the G2 road test.

G2 Restrictions And Driving Rules

What Are The G2 Restrictions in Ontario?

  • 12 month practice period : You may practice with your G2 licence for 12 months, without the need for another experienced driver in the vehicle, on any Ontario roads, at any time.
  • Zero blood alcohol : You must maintain a zero blood alcohol level.
  • All passengers must wear seatbelts : You must carry only as many passengers as there are working seatbelts.

What Are The Additional G2 Restrictions For Drivers 19 And Under?

Teenage girl showing her drivers licence and car keys

If you are 19 years of age and under with a G2, you are subject to additional restrictions. These apply to when you can drive and the number of passengers :

  • Night driving restrictions for first 6 months : You must drive for the first six months with only one passenger who is 19 or under between midnight and 5 AM.
  • Night driving restrictions after 6 months : You may drive after the first six months with up to three passengers 19 or under between midnight and 5 AM.
  • Night driving restrictions exceptions : These conditions do not apply if you have a fully licenced driver in the car (with at least four years driving experience) or if your passengers are all immediate family members such as a parent, brother or sister.

What Happens If I Violate The G2 Restrictions?

If you violate your G2 restrictions you are subject to :

  • Suspension : Violating G2 restrictions could result in a 30 day licence suspension for your first offence.
  • Demerit points : You will receive demerit points for traffic convictions and violations.
  • Traffic convictions and fines : Traffic ticket fines range from $50 to $500 or more.
  • Increased premiums : A violation or traffic ticket can cause an increase in your insurance.

Commong G2 Licence Questions

There are no G2 restrictions for highway driving. With a G2 licence, you can drive on any highway. This includes 400 series highways, 407, QEW, and two lane highways in Ontario.

The expiry date of your G2 is on the front of your driver’s licence. The expiry date is 5 years from the day you received your G1.

You can get your G2 one year from the day you get your G1 licence. You can get your G2 after 8 months if you successfully complete a driver training program.

Yes. You must be on the insurance policy of the vehicle you drive. If you live at home with your parents, they must notify their insurer. Even if you don’t drive the vehicle regularly, you must be on the policy.

Yes. You can borrow another person’s vehicle and drive it without having insurance yourself. The vehicle you borrow must have valid insurance. If you want to drive the vehicle of someone within your household, you must be on their policy.

In general, yes you can drive in the United States with a G2. However, you are subject to the driving laws of the state you visit. Some states may or may not permit you to drive with a G2.

Technically, no. You either need to pass your G road test or retake the G2 road test to renew it for 5 more years.

You can have as many passengers as you have functioning seatbelts in the vehicle.

You cannot get your G2 faster than 8 months after you get your G1. 8 months is the shortest amount of time you will have to wait.

To drive for Uber, you must be 21 years of age or older and have a full G licence.

Yes. You can buy or lease a vehicle with a G2 licence.

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The Full G Licence

The G licence is the final step in the graduated licensing process. Getting a full licence removes most driving restrictions and allows you to drive on all roads at all times. You can finally drive without restrictions.

It also provides you with sense of relief. The process is complete. You have no more road tests to worry about and you’ll pay less for insurance.

What Are Full G Licence Rules And Restrictions?

The G class licence restrictions are very different than the G1 and G2 restrictions. For the most part, there are very few driving restrictions and rules.

G licence restrictions in Ontario limit the type of vehicles you can drive. It also limits the amount of blood alcohol concentration you can have in your system.

  • Vehicle limitations : You can only drive G class vehicles.
  • BAC : Drivers cannot have a blood alcohol concentration of more than 80mg. Drivers with 50mg-80mg in their system are in the warn range. You could receive administrative penalties such as a roadside suspension or an immediate roadside prohibition.
  • 21 years old or younger : Zero BAC if you have a G driver’s licence and are 21 years old or younger.

Tips For Getting A Class G Licence

Getting your G licence can bring a sense of freedom and relief. You still need to apply everything you learned up to this point to remain a safe and effective driver.

  • Don’t develop bad habits : It’s common for new G licence drivers to relax once they get their licence. This can lead to the development of bad habits.
  • Avoid distractions : We all know distracted driving in Ontario is a huge road safety issue. Avoid distractions and avoid being part of the problem.
  • Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking : The laws for alcohol and cannabis consumption have changed recently. Make sure you abide by all impaired driving laws.

How Much Does A G Licence Cost?

A G driver’s licence costs $90. It also costs $90 to renew your driver’s licence upon expiry. These prices are different than the costs for a G road test. One G road test attempt is $91.25. Costs are subject to change.

Learn about the G road test.


Commong G Licence Questions

You can get your G licence by successfully completing the G road test. You must have your G2 for one full year before you can take the G test.

A G2 is still a novice driver’s licence and comes with a number of driving restrictions. Your G licence is the full driver’s licence.

You have 5 years to get your G licence from the day you pass your G1 test. You can get your G in as little as two years. To complete the final phase of the graduate licensing system you must pass the G road test. If you are 21 or younger there are some restrictions.

If you do not get your G licence within 5 years, you will need to re start the graduated licensing process.

You can get your G licence 12 months from the day you get your G2.

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Why Is Graduated Licensing Important?

Gradated licensing in Ontario is important. It allows new drivers to learn how to drive in the right environment. It provides new drivers with the opportunity to get experience behind the wheel while limiting risk exposure.

The graduated licensing system allows new G1 and G2 drivers to ease into driving and traffic conditions. Through driver education, you will have the ability to learn and practice driving skills. As drivers gain more experience, you can increase driving frequency. You can also drive on busier streets and in more demanding conditions.

There are many benefits of having a graduated licensing system :

  1. Develop skills and knowledge over time : Learning to drive safely and effectively takes time. Graduated licensing provides you with the time to develop your skills.
  2. Safer drivers : When you have proper training, you are more likely to be a safer driver.
  3. Reduce accidents : Graduated licensing helps to remove young drivers from situations where they are most likely to cause accidents.
  4. Situational awareness : New drivers can develop situational awareness. You learn how to deal with a variety of different driving conditions.
  5. Build confidence : Young drivers can build confidence and be more prepared to be a full licenced driver.
  6. Learn at your own pace : Some drivers need more time than others to develop their skills. It can take time to build confidence behind the wheel.

Ontario Driver’s Licence FAQs

If you are in Ontario at the time you lose your driver's licence, go to your nearest ServiceOntario for a replacement. Remember to bring personal ID to confirm your name, date of birth and your signature (a passport works well). You’ll be given a temporary driver's licence. You’ll receive your permanent driver's licence with your photo in 4-6 weeks.

If you’re outside of Ontario, you can request a one-time replacement of your licence. Once you return, you will have to go into ServiceOntario to replace your temporary licence.

Call ServiceOntario at 416-235-2999 or (toll-free) 1-800-387-3445 (in Canada) to get more information.

To change your address you must do the following :

  1. Go to your nearest ServiceOntario office. Here’s a handy ServiceOntario location finder.
  2. Bring your licence or your driver’s licence number or registrant identification number and have the date it was issued. Remember to bring along these documents to prove your identity.

Yes you can change your Ontario driver's licence address online. Here's how :

  1. Begin by logging into ServiceOntario.
  2. Follow the prompts.
  3. NOTE : When you change your address at the Ministry of Transportation website, you must also change your address with the Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care. This makes the process a little longer.

Expired Less Than 1 Year

If your driver’s licence has expired for less than a year, you can renew it at any ServiceOntario location. Make sure you bring the proper identification with you.

Expired More Than 1 Year But Less Than 3 Years

If it has expired for over one year but less than 3 years, you must go to a DriveTest Centre. You will have to take a vision test and pay licencing fees.

Expired More Than 3 Years But Less Than 10 Years

If it has been expired for over 3 year but less than 10, you will be considered a new driver. You must go to a DriveTest Centre to renew. Drivers in this category do not have to wait the usual time frames that new drivers do. They will be required to take a vision test, pass the knowledge and road tests and pay the fees.

Switch from another province

In Ontario, you can legally drive with an out-of-province licence for up to 60 days. After 60 days, you will have to apply for or exchange your existing driver's licence for an Ontario licence.

If you have a full, valid licence from another Canadian province or territory, you can exchange it for an Ontario licence. Just go to a DriveTest Centre near you.

Switch from another country

If you have a valid driver's licence from another country, you need to find out if your country has a licence exchange agreement with Ontario. You can find out from this list of eligible countries.

You can exchange your driver's licence if your country is on this list. The exchange process is the same as if you’re from a Canadian province. Some conditions apply to drivers who do not have a full driver's licence or are in a learning program.

Before you can get your suspended licence reinstated and renewed, you need to :

  1. Pay all outstanding fines.
  2. Complete any court-ordered programs.
  3. Compile documents to prove that your suspension has been lifted.

The length of a suspension impacts the steps drivers have to take to have it reinstated.

An Enhanced Driver's Licence (EDL) can serve as a travel document for proof of identity and citizenship. It is valid when travelling between Canada and the United States. You can only use it for land or water travel and is not valid for air travel.

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