How to get a G driver’s license: for new drivers
If you are at least 16 years old and a resident of Ontario, you can apply for a driver’s license. With the challenges of operating a vehicle ahead, you will need both practice and the experience that comes with time. Normally, the two-step process of getting a full license takes about 20 months to complete. Continue reading to learn the steps for getting a driver’s license.
Your Ontario driver’s license will be a blue plastic card displaying your name, address, date of birth, photo and signature. In addition, the license has an expiry date giving you the deadline for renewal before the license expires.
Driving in Ontario
Requirements for driving on Ontario roads are:
- always carrying a valid driver’s license
- having a valid owner’s permit, insurance and licence plates with validation stickers
- obeying traffic laws and always driving safely
Types of License
Ontario has 15 types of driver’s licenses, each certifying the bearer to drive a specific type of vehicle. For driving a car, van or small truck, a G class licence is required.
To check the conditions attached to each type of license, see the Government of Ontario’s full list of licences.
How to apply for a driver’s license
To apply for an Ontario driver’s license, you must:
- be at least 16 years old
- pass a vision test, with corrective lenses if necessary
- pass a written test regarding the rules of the road and the meaning of traffic signs
Passing these tests makes you eligible to receive a G1 driver’s license. As a beginner driver, you should practise driving to gain experience over time.
Where to apply:
- Book an appointment for a written driving test
Applications and opportunities to take the required written test are available at:
- DriveTest centres
- the ServiceOntario Bay and College location in downtown Toronto
In case of high volumes of applicants, it is best to book an appointment online to complete a written driver’s licence test.
Original dentification documents to bring with you should show your legal name, date of birth and signature.
Identity documents accepted as valid:
For Canadian Citizens:
- 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
For Permanent Residents
- Permanent Resident (PR) Card
- Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292) accompanied by a valid passport from country of origin
- Ontario Photo Card
For Temporary Residents:
- Study Permit / Student Authorization (IMM 1442)
- Work Permit / Employment Authorization (IMM 1442)
- Visitor Record (IMM 1442)
- Temporary Resident Permit (IMM 1442)
- Refugee Status Claim (IMM 1434)
- Acknowledgement of Intent to Claim Refugee Status (IMM 7703) with photo
- Report Pursuant to the Immigration Act (IMM 1442) with photo
Ontario Photo Card
Before receiving your license, you will have to pay the application fee for a licence and take the written test. See the list of fees.
How to study for the written knowledge test
You can learn about the rules of the road and practical driving tips from Ontario’s Official Driver Handbook. This handbook is available for purchase:
- online through ServiceOntario
- at a DriveTest centre
- from many retail stores
Cost: $14.95 plus taxes
Learning to drive through the graduated licensing program:
Passing your eye and written tests will give you a G1 licence. To get a full G licence, you must:
- successfully finish the G1 and G2 learning levels
- pass two road tests
This “graduated licensing” process is designed to allow new drivers the chance to practise and gain driving experience over an extended period of time.
You have up to five years to finish the whole process from the written test to the full G license. If you have not completed all of the steps by then, you will need to start again from the beginning.
By law, with a G1 licence, you must:
- maintain a zero blood alcohol level (no alcohol in your blood)
- ensure that every passenger riding in the vehicle with you wears a properly working seat belt
- not drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
- not drive on 400-series highways or high-speed expressways (e.g., 401, Queen Elizabeth Way [QEW], Gardiner Expressway)
- be accompanied by a fully licensed driver with:
- at least four years of driving experience
- a blood alcohol level of less than .05 (for a person aged 21 and under, blood alcohol level should be zero)
Your accompanying driver must be the only other person in the front seat. If this person is a driver instructor certified in Ontario, you are allowed to drive on any road.
In most cases, practise with a G1 licence lasts for 12 months.
G1 road test
The G1 road test is the first of two practical exams to assess new drivers.
- you are eligible to take your first road test after 12 months with a G1 licence
- this test deals with basic driving skills, such as turning left and right, stopping and parking
- on successfully completing this test, you get your G2 licence
Taking a government-approved driver education coursecan reduce the time between road tests to eight months.
Ontario driving schools
If you wish to take the G1 road test early, you will need to choose a driving school certified to train new drivers.
The G2 license is the next stage after the G1 road test. The process normally takes twelve months. You are now allowed to drive:
- without an accompanying driver
- on all Ontario roads
- in most cases any time of the day
You must still:
- have a zero blood alcohol level
- carry no more passengers than the number of working seatbelts
For drivers aged 19 and under, some other restrictions still apply.
G2 drivers: 19 and under
- Between midnight and 5 a.m., you may have only one passenger aged 19 or under in the vehicle.
This restriction is valid only for the first six months of the G2 license. After that point, drivers can carry up to three passengers aged 19 or under between midnight and 5 a.m.
Other situations when this condition does not apply are if:
- a fully licensed driver with at least four years’ experience is also in the vehicle
- your passengers are members of your immediate family, such as brothers or sisters
G2 road test
This is the second of two road tests for new drivers.
- you are eligible for this test after 12 months with a G2 licence
- the test includes advanced driving skills such as driving on a highway and parallel parking
- on successfully completing this test, you will receive a full G licence
What happens if I fail either a G1 or a G2 road test?
If your G1 licence is still valid: you can attempt the road test again.
If your G1 licence has expired: you will need to start from the beginning and pay the test fees a second time.
If your G2 licence is close to expiring: you can retake your G1 road test and receive an additional five years as a G2 to complete the process.
Booking a road test
To book a road test appointment, you will need to provide:
- your valid Ontario driver’s licence number
- a preferred location for taking the test
- a second and third choice of location
- a preferred date and time
You can book, cancel or reschedule a road test appointment:
You need to cancel a test at least 48 hours ahead of your appointment to avoid a cancellation fee.