There are three stages to the Ontario licensing process: G1, G2, and finally, a full, unrestricted, G driver’s licence. In general, when we are not in the midst of a pandemic, G1 drivers need to wait a whole year before they can go for their G2. You can shorten the wait to eight months by taking and passing a government-approved driver’s education course.
Of course, the pandemic threw a wrench into the plans of many would-be G2 drivers. Driver’s training courses were not permitted, and road tests were cancelled. All that has changed now that the province has entered Step 3 of reopening. Now, throngs of G1 drivers are doing their best to take the next step in Ontario’s graduated licensing process.
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- Getting your Ontario G2 licence
- What happens if you fail the road test to get your G2?
- Getting your temporary G2 licence
- Conditions of an Ontario G2 licence
- Passenger restrictions of an Ontario G2 licensed driver (under 20)
- Getting traffic tickets with a G2 licence
- Escalating penalties for G2 licensed drivers
- Getting ready to take your Ontario G2 licence road test
- Do I need auto insurance if I have my G2?
- Do I need to notify my insurance company if someone in my household recently became a G2 licensed driver?
- Can I buy a car if I have my G2?
- Where can I find more information on G2 licence conditions and restrictions?
Getting your Ontario G2 licence
Getting your G2 is different than applying for your G1 because this time around, you’ll have to pass a road test and to do that, you’ll want to:
- Practice. When you have a G1, you’re considered a beginner driver, and you’ll need to gain experience by practising. For that, you must always drive with a fully licensed driver who has had their G licence for a minimum of four years.
- Book your test. Once you feel ready to take the road test, you can schedule it online at DriveTest. If you’ve taken a driver’s training course, your driving school or instructor may do this for you.
- Take your driving test. You’ll take a 20-minute road test, also referred to as the city test, where your driving skills will be assessed on the following:
- Driving situations and rules of the road
- Basic starting, stopping, turning, and passing
- Backing up, three-point turn, and parallel parking
- Driving through intersections that are controlled and uncontrolled
- Safe driving practices including driving the speed limit, steering techniques, and a roadside stop
What happens if you fail the road test to get your G2?
If you’re not successful on your first attempt at getting your G2 licence, you can try the road test again if your G1 licence has not expired at the time of your next try. There is a fee for the second and subsequent road test attempts, and this fee is $54 plus taxes. However, if your G1 licence is due to expire, you will need to start over. You’ll have to retake your knowledge test and pay for the G1 licence package, which costs $160 plus taxes.
Getting your temporary G2 licence
Once you’ve passed the road test to get your G2 licence, you’ll be given a temporary version first. Much like the one you received for your G1, this temporary licence can be used until the province mails your official G2 licence to your home.
Conditions of an Ontario G2 licence
When you pass your G1 exit driving test and get your G2, you’ll have fewer driving conditions you need to follow. With a G2 licence, you can drive anywhere, day or night, alone or with passengers on any road or highway in Ontario. However, there are still conditions that must be honoured. You must only drive when:
- Your blood alcohol level is zero
- Your passengers do not exceed the number of working seatbelts within your vehicle
If you’re a G2 licensed driver aged 19 or under, there are passenger restrictions (listed below) you need to adhere to when driving between midnight and 5 a.m.
Passenger restrictions of an Ontario G2 licensed driver (under 20)
When driving between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., G2 drivers aged 19 and under are permitted just one passenger in the car under the age of 20 within the first six months of having your G2 licence.
After six months, you may have up to three passengers aged 19 or under in your car. This restriction does not apply if there is a full G licensed person with four years of driving experience accompanying the G2 driver sitting in the front seat of the vehicle. It also does not apply if the other passengers are members of your immediate family (brother, sister, or parent).
Getting traffic tickets with a G2 licence
Failure to obey traffic laws will not only result in a ticket — which as a novice driver, can hurt your Ontario auto insurance premium — but may also earn you demerit points. You start with zero points, and if you are convicted of breaking traffic laws, you gain demerit points that go on your driving record.
A G2 licence means you’re still a new driver, so the penalties will differ from that of a G licensed driver. A fully licensed G driver, for example, will have their licence suspended for 30 days if they have 15 or more demerit points, whereas a G2 licensed driver will have their licence suspended for 60 days if they have nine demerit points or more.
Escalating penalties for G2 licensed drivers
Novice drivers also face escalating penalties for breaking specific laws. These are penalties that get harsher after each conviction.
For example, G2 licensed drivers will face escalating penalties for violating any of the graduated licensing conditions. The same is true for Highway Traffic Act offences that result in four or more demerit points. On your first conviction, your licence will be suspended for 30 days; on your second, it will be suspended for 90 days; and, on your third conviction, you will lose your novice licence altogether and have to start over.
If you are required to start the graduated licensing process over, you will need to pay all the fees and take all the tests again. Additionally, none of your time behind the wheel will be credited towards round two.
Getting ready to take your Ontario G2 licence road test
Once you’ve had your G2 licence for at least 12 months, you’ll have gained additional driving experience on roads and highways to prepare you for taking the G road test. Keep in mind that you have five years from when you got your G1 to complete the process of getting your G licence. So, if you’re not ready 12 months after passing your G2 road test, you’ve still got time.
G2 licence frequently asked questions
As a G2 licensed driver, you have been on the road for a minimum of eight to 12 months already. However, there is still a lot of experience to be gained and questions to be answered. Here are the top questions asked by G2 drivers about their driver’s licence and insurance:
Do I need auto insurance if I have my G2?
The sooner you’re listed on an insurance policy, even as an occasional driver, the better. It’s a great way to start building up your insurance history. It may also be required. If you live in a household with a vehicle, even if you don’t own it or drive it frequently, you must be added to the car’s policy.
Do I need to notify my insurance company if someone in my household recently became a G2 licensed driver?
Yes, even if they don’t drive often, they must be listed on your auto insurance policy. All people in the household who hold a G2 or full G licence must be identified on the policy as a potential driver of your vehicle. It’s part of your agreement with your insurer.
The reality is you’ll find that adding a new G2 licensed driver to your policy will likely result in higher premiums. The good news is some insurers will charge you less than others, which is why when it’s time to add a G2 licensed driver to your policy, it’s also a good time to shop your rate.
Can I buy a car if I have my G2?
Yes, nothing is stopping you from buying a car and being listed as the registered owner. Before you hit up the dealerships, though, you’ll want to get an idea of how much insurance will cost because, for a variety of reasons, some cars cost more to insure than others. Compare auto insurance quotes before you spend your hard-earned cash on a car to find out how much it will cost to insure it.
Where can I find more information on G2 licence conditions and restrictions?
Everything you need to know about getting licensed to drive in Ontario can be found on the provincial government's website or in the Official Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Driver’s Handbook.