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

Jan 24, 2023

Learn about Ontario's Graduated G1, G2 and G driver's licences rules and restrictions

Group of young people outside the car at the beach

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

All drivers in the province must complete the graduated system to become fully licenced drivers. This requires you to fulfill a knowledge assessment and a series of road tests, which are necessary before you can get car insurance in Ontario.

This guide will provide an overview of the Ontario graduated licence system. Learn about G1, G2, and G driver’s licence rules, requirements and restrictions. Get answers to commonly asked questions.

Click below to go to the various sections of the guide.

G1 Licence
G1 Restrictions
G2 Licence
G2 Restrictions
Full G Licence
Common Ontario driver’s licence FAQs

Why is graduated licencing important?

Gradated licencing in Ontario is essential. It allows new drivers to learn how to drive in the right environment and allows them to get experience behind the wheel while limiting risk exposure.

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 licencing program in Ontario, or GDL, helps remedy this issue. Since 1994, the system has helped young drivers gain essential driving experience. It creates a protective environment for new and young drivers. This allows them to build driving skills and knowledge while progressing through the graduated driver's licencing system.

The graduated licencing 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, they can increase driving frequency. You can also drive on busier streets and in more demanding conditions.

Here are many benefits of having a graduated licencing system :

  1. Develop skills and knowledge over time : Learning to drive safely and effectively takes time. Graduated licencing 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 licencing 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 fully 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.

The Ontario driver's licence system has 3 classes

To drive with a full G licence, 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 system has three classes :

  • G1 licence
  • G2 licence
  • Full G licence

Ontario driver’s licence rules and requirements

As you progress through the driving system, you’ll have fewer restrictions on the road, but there are some basic requirements to follow :

  1. Driver's Licence : You must always have your valid licence with you.
  2. Valid Permit And Plate : The vehicle you drive must have valid permit and licence plate.
  3. Insurance : The vehicle must have valid coverage and proof of insurance.

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.

Ontario G1 licence

Getting your G1 licence is a milestone moment for many. It is also the first step in the Ontario driver's licencing system.

The G1 in Ontario is the beginner’s or learner’s permit. It is the first of three classes to complete the graduated licencing system. G1 drivers have many 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.

How to get a G1 licence in Ontario

Getting your G1 licence opens up a world of possibilities and a whole new set of responsibilities. Before you become a fully licenced driver, you need to start the journey with your G1. Here’s a summary of the steps drivers need to complete :

  • Get the driver's 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.
  • Congrats, you’re a G1 Driver!

How long does it take to complete your G1?

Although you passed your written test, there is some time for G1 holders to wait before moving on to the next step. The minimum practice period for G1 drivers before they can take the 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 an MTO approved driving schools. By taking driver training through one of these schools, you’re eligible to take the G1 road test just eight months after you passed your written test.
  • 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.

You can book and pay for your test online at DriveTest.ca. You can also phone 1-888-570-6110 or 647-776-0331. Another option is to go in person to a DriveTest Centre. Most centres are open Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Some are open on Saturday.

How do you apply for a G1 Ontario driver’s licence?

Woman driving with an instructor

Applying for a licence is quite straightforward once you are of age to start learning. Most of the booking can be done online or at DriveTest centre. There are three conditions all drivers must meet to apply, including :

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

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

G1 rules and restrictions

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

  • Must be accompanied by a full G licenced driver : You can only drive when you have an experienced G driver in the passenger seat. Accompanying drivers must have a full G 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 drive with cannabis in your system. No exceptions.
  • Must be of age : You must be at least 16 years old to obtain your G1 permit.
  • Seatbelts : All passengers must wear properly working 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, and 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.
  • 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.

Can you get insurance with a G1 licence?

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

You can get insurance with a G1. You need a parent or guardian (G2 minimum) to be the primary driver on your policy as an occasional driver. Even if they own the vehicle a G1 driver cannot be the primary driver on a policy.


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 Ontario driver’s licence.

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

  • Violations : Violation of 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 drive on a highway with a G1 only if you are with a licenced driving instructor.

You will need to bring identification that includes your legal name, signature, and birth date. Some examples include a passport, Canadian citizenship card, or permanent/temporary immigration documents.

The G1 is valid for five years from the date it is issued.

G1 drivers can drive with as many passengers as seatbelts there are in the vehicle. All passengers must have a 0% BAC.

After 12 months of your G1, you can begin the process of getting your G2. If you have a ministry approved driving course, this can lower down to 8 months.

You do not need to book an appointment to begin the take your G1 test.

You can buy a car with a G1, but you cannot have it on your own Ontario auto insurance until you have a full G.

No, a G1 driver must always be with a fully licenced driver who has 4 or more years of driving experience and a 0% blood alcohol level.

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Ontario G2 licence

Getting your G2 is your first chance to drive solo. Passing the exit road test allows you to drive without an accompanying driver. It is the second step in the process. 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 Ontario auto insurance and start the process of buying or leasing a vehicle.

G2 licence rules and restrictions

Once you have completed a government approved driver education program and passed your G2 driving test, you are permitted to drive independently on any Ontario highway or roadway at any time. However, there are still rules and restrictions you must obey.

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 and cannabis : You must maintain a zero blood alcohol level and have zero cannabis in your system.
  • All passengers must wear seatbelts : You must carry only as many passengers as there are working seatbelts.

What are the G2 restrictions for drivers 19 and under?

If you are 19 years of age and under 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 of 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?

Violating traffic laws and rules of your license can lead to a variety of consequences depending on the fraction. These convictions can have a negative impact on your Ontario car insurance. 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, 90 days for your second, and your licence being revoked after the third.
  • 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.

If you violate any of the zero tolerance conditions for cannabis or alcohol, here’s what will happen immediately :

  • Roadside suspension : Licence will immediately be suspended for 3 days on the first offence, 7 days on the second, and 30 days on the third.
  • Driving home : You will not be allowed to drive home, if you have a sober passenger who has a licence, they will need to drive back. Or you will have to leave your car at the roadside. Another option is for the police to have your vehicle towed and impounded at your expense.
  • Fines : If it is your first offence it will cost $250, second $350, and third will cost $450.

Can you drive on the highway with A G2?

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

Does a G2 driver need insurance?

Yes. You must be on the 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 included as an occasional driver.


Common G2 licence questions

To earn a G2 licence, it will cost $53.75. You may also want to budget for any driving school classes, which cost between $500-$1000.

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 complete a driver training program.

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, have a full G licence, and Uber Insurance.

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Full Ontario G licence

Female driver with thumbs up

The G licence is the final step in the graduated licencing process - you can get it 12 months from the day you get your G2.

Getting a full licence removes most driving restrictions and allows you to drive on all roads at any time. It also provides you with a sense of relief. The process is complete. You have no more road tests to worry about, and you’ll pay less for auto insurance.

How to get a 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, which is different than the costs for the G road test. One G road test attempt is $91.25, and that does not include the cost of driver's education. Costs are subject to change.

What are G licence rules and restrictions?

G licence restrictions in Ontario limit the type of vehicles you can drive and the amount of blood alcohol concentration you can have. Here are other restrictions you should be aware of as a G driver, such as :

  • 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.

Common 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.

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 licencing system you must pass the G road test. If you are 21 or younger there are restrictions. If you do not get your G licence within 5 years, you will need to restart the process.

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Common Ontario driver’s licence FAQs

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.

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 determine 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.