The G1 license is Ontario’s first level in a graduated licensing system that allows new drivers to slowly learn the rules of the road and work their way up to a full driver’s license. During the G1 driving period, there are several rules or conditions that all drivers must adhere to. These rules are in place to allow new drivers to learn and become better drivers, and to avoid some of the more advanced driving conditions that can be dangerous for inexperienced drivers.
G1 License Restrictions
These are the G1 license restrictions in place for all G1 drivers. They must be followed at all times; failure to abide by G1 rules can result in suspension of your learner’s permit as well as a traffic violation. That means it will be a longer period of time before you are able to take the G2 test and move on towards being a fully licensed driver. Follow these rules every time you get behind the wheel.
A Fully Licensed Driver - And No On Else - Must Be in The Passenger Seat
Whenever a G1 driver gets behind the wheel they must be accompanied by a driver who has held their full, unrestricted license for at least four years and who is over the age of 18. In Ontario, this person would be a driver who has held a full G2 license for four years or more.
The driver in the passenger seat must be prepared to take over driving if in becomes necessary. That means they have to maintain a blood alcohol level under the legal limit – in Ontario that limit is 0.05%. There can’t be anyone else in the front seat of the vehicle other than the G1 driver and their fully licensed companion.
A G1 Driver Can’t Drive Between Midnight and 5 a.m.
G1 drivers are required to stay off the road between 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. These hours are statistically the most dangerous time and the most likely time for a new driver to have an accident. Darkness and fatigue are both contributing factors to the higher risk level for all drivers, and thus an even higher risk level for an inexperienced driver.
G1 Drivers Must Have a 0% Blood Alcohol Level
No amount of alcohol is permitted at any time when a G1 driver is getting behind the wheel, even if that driver is of legal drinking age. All G1 drivers must have a 0% blood alcohol level at all times when driving; that means driving completely sober.
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All Passengers Must Have a Seat Belt
The number of passengers in the car can’t be more than the number of seat belts the car has. This is a rule that all drivers should follow, but is made clear in the Ontario G1 License Restrictions to ensure that young drivers don’t have too many people causing a distraction in the car while they are driving.
G1 Drivers Are Not Permitted To Drive on 400 Series Highways
The only time a G1 driver can drive on any 400 series highway is if there is a licensed Ontario driving instructor in the vehicle’s passenger seat. Aside from this one exception, G1 drivers must stay off these highways, where high speeds create a greater risk to an inexperienced driver.
How Long These Rules Apply
These rules are in place until you pass your G2 license test. You can take that test after 12 months without a violation of the G1 rules. That time can be reduced to 6 months if you pass an accredited Ontario driver education program, allowing you to go to the next level sooner and lift the G1 license restrictions.
The Risks of Breaking The Rules
These conditions of your G1 license are part of the process of getting a full license. If you break the rules, you could face suspension and a ticket. Beyond that, you are likely to find that your insurance costs will be higher when you do get that G2 license if you already have violations on your record. New drivers are already subject to some of the highest insurance quotes due to the risk they pose; insurance companies see you as an even higher risk if you already have a ticket.