Obtaining a Driver’s License in Ontario

Ontario uses a graduated licensing system that every driver must pass through in order to become fully licensed. New drivers will start with a G1 license, which is a learner’s permit. They can then, after a certain amount of time, take a road test for a G2 license. This license still comes with restrictions. Once the driver passes a second road test, they will become a fully licensed G2 driver without additional restrictions. The entire process takes on average a little less than two years.

Getting a G1 License

In order to get your G1 license, you must be 16 years of age. You must first pass a written knowledge test as well as a vision test. The written knowledge test is based on information in the Ontario driver’s handbook that all new drivers should study before taking the test. Once you have passed, you will be given the G1 license. This is a learner’s permit, which allows you to practice driving and prepare for the next stage. G1 drivers must follow a set of rules and restrictions designed to help themlearn to drive safely. These restrictions are:

  • You must have a driver in the passenger seat at all times who has been fully licensed for at least 4 years and has a blood alcohol level of 0.05%, and they must be the only person in the front seat
  • You must have a blood alcohol level of 0%
  • You can not have more passengers than there are seatbelts in the car
  • You must not drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
  • You must not drive on 400 series freeways

Failure to abide by these rules can result in a suspension of your G1 license and cause you to have to wait longer to move on the to the G2.

Getting a G2 License

Once you have held a G1 license for at least 12 months, you can take the road test to obtain a G2 license. This time can be shortened if you complete an accredited Ontario driver education program. And by completing a driver's education course by an approved driving school, you may also qualify for a discount when obtaining car insurance quotes.

In order to get the G2 license, you must pass the road test. You will still have to obey a few restrictions even after passing this test. Although you will no longer need a fully licensed driver in the car, you will still be required to have a 0% blood alcohol level and have only as many passengers as there are seatbelts.

Additionally, drivers 19 and under must not carry more than one passenger under 19 during the hours from midnight to 5 a.m. The exception to this is if the passengers are immediate family members or if there is another driver in the car with at least 4 years experience. This restriction is lifted after 6 months.

Completing the Graduated Licensing Program

Once you have had your probationary G2 license for 12 months, you may take another road test. Once you have passed this test, your license will become a full G license with no restrictions. You will be able to drive whenever and wherever you want and with any passengers, as long as you follow all of the rules of the road.

This is the final stage of the graduated licensing program in Ontario, and at the end of this second road test you will be a fully licensed driver.

Obtaining a Driver’s License Upon Moving To Ontario

In most cases, a fully licensed driver moving to Ontario can obtain a license without having to go through the graduated licensing system. Ontario recognizes the driver’s license from all of Canada’s provinces and territories, and will allow you to exchange that license for an Ontario G. Some other countries have a similar equivalency, but some will require testing.

If you hold a learner’s permit when you move to Ontario, you will be required to go through the graduated licensing system just like any new driver in the province.

Ontario has a graduated licensing system to allow new drivers to learn and become good, safe drivers before being given a full license. This system allows new drivers to learn slowly and ensures that everyone on the road is as safe as possible while a student driver hones his or her skills. Obtaining your Ontario driver’s license is a long process, but that process helps to create good drivers for the future.