Want to drive in Ontario? You need to get a driver’s licence first. Getting a driver’s licence is crucial as a government ID, especially for newcomers with limited Canadian paperwork.
Here’s everything you need to know about applying for a driver’s licence in Ontario.
What is Graduated Licensing System in Ontario?
Ontario uses a step-by-step licensing system, this process is called “graduated licensing.” It is designed to give new drivers time to practice and gain driving experience over time.
The progression from G1 to G2, and finally, a full G driver’s licence includes a written test and two road tests. You should complete this within five years or else you’ll have to start over to get driver’s licence.
The G1 licence is the first step, comparable to a learner’s permit.
- You must be at least 16 years old.
- An eye examination and a written test on Ontario’s road rules and traffic signs are mandatory.
After successfully passing the knowledge test, you will receive a G1 licence, which makes you a beginner driver.
Key restrictions with a G1 licence include:
- Complete prohibition of alcohol and cannabis.
- No driving between midnight and 5 a.m.
- Not permitted to drive on 400-series highways.
- Seatbelts are compulsory for all passengers.
- Only G class vehicles can be driven.
Usually, you practice with your G1 licence for 12 months. but if you complete a government-approved driver education course, you can take your first road test after just 8 months.
With a G2 licence, drivers gain increased freedom, allowing them to drive alone and without time restrictions, except if they are under 19 years old.
To apply for G2 Licence:
- Passing a G1 exit road test is required.
- You must hold a G2 licence for at least one year before you can apply for the full G licence.
G2 licence restrictions are as follows:
- Zero tolerance for alcohol and cannabis.
- Seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers.
- The number of passengers should not exceed the number of working seatbelts.
- Mandatory 12-month practice period on all Ontario roads.
Full G Licence:
The full G licence is the last step in Ontario’s graduated licensing system, offering maximum driving freedom. However, a few limitations apply for everyone’s safety.
Here are the G driver’s licence limitations:
- Only G class vehicles are permitted (no motorbikes allowed).
- The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) should not exceed 0.08 percent (or 80mg).
- For drivers aged 21 and below, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must be zero.
You will have to pass two road tests before you can get G Full Licence.
1. G2 Road Test (G1 Exit Test):
This is the first of two tests you need to take as a new driver. You can take your first road test after 12 months with a G1 licence. The test covers:
- Basic driving skills: turning, stopping, parking, lane changes, and more.
- Upon passing, you receive your G2 licence.
- Completing a government-approved driver education course allows you to take the road test in just 8 months.
2. G road test (G2 exit test)
This is the second of two road tests you take as a new driver. you can take the test after 12 months with a G2 licence. The test covers:
- Advanced skills like highway driving.
- Pass to obtain full G licence.
What Happens if You Fail a Road Test?
If you fail a G1 or G2 road test, you can retake it. If your G1 driver’s licence is expired, you’ll need to start over and pay the test fees again.
Acceptable Identity Documents
You will need original identification with your legal name and date of birth. Accepted identity documents for Ontario driver’s licence include:
- Canadian Citizens: Passport, Canadian Citizenship Card with photo, Secure Certificate of Indian Status Card, Ontario Photo Card, etc.
- Permanent Residents: Permanent Resident Card, Record of Landing, Confirmation of Permanent Residence, Ontario Photo Card, etc.
- Temporary Residents: Study Permit, Work Permit, Visitor Record, Refugee Status Claim, Ontario Photo Card, etc.
Steps involved in applying for an Ontario driver’s licence:
- Read Ontario’s Official Driver Handbook to prepare for the test. Available online or at DriveTest or ServiceOntario centers for $14.95 CAD + tax.
- Apply at a DriveTest center or the ServiceOntario Bay and College Street location in Toronto.
- Provide valid original documents proving your name, birth date, and signature.
- Pay the application fee.
- Take an eye test and a written test on road rules and traffic signs.
Driver examination services fees are:
Class G (Cars, Small Trucks, Vans)
|G1 licence package||$159.75|
|Knowledge test (per extra attempt)||$16.00|
|G2 road test||$53.75|
|G road test||$91.25|
Class M (Motorcycles, Mopeds, Scooters)
|M1 licence package||$78.75|
|M2 road test||$53.75|
|M road test||$91.25|
Class A, B, C, D, E, F, Z (Commercial Vehicles)
|Commercial licence package (under 65 years)||$122.75|
|Commercial road test (with or without Z endorsement practical test)||$99.00|
Driver Instructor’s Licences
|Driver instructor’s licence package||$117.25|
|Original driving instructor licensing fee*||Varies ($1.33/month to date of expiry)|
*Fee varies based on the date of application and the applicant’s date of birth.
Note: Please note that the fees are subject to change without notice. Additional fees apply for retests.
Tips for Success
- Study the Official Handbooks: Prepare for the knowledge test by studying the official driver’s handbooks.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: Get comfortable behind the wheel by practicing with a licensed driver.
- Take a Driving Course: Consider enrolling in a driving course to enhance your skills.
- Stay Calm and Confident: During the road test, stay calm, be confident, and apply what you’ve learned.
With this step-by-step guide, you’re well-prepared to take on the challenge of getting your driver’s licence in Ontario. Remember to study, practice, and approach the tests with confidence.
Soon, you’ll be on the road, embracing the freedom and responsibility of being a licensed driver. Drive safe and enjoy the journey!