New drivers in Ontario must work their way through Ontario's graduated licensing program. It typically begins with getting a G1 licence, followed by a G2, and finally the full G driver's licence.
The graduated licensing program gives new drivers the time needed to gain valuable driving experience and practice. This process takes most drivers about 20 months to finish; however, you have five years to complete it.
- Related Read: Auto Insurance Tips For First Time Buyers
Ontario G1 driver's licence requirements
To get your G1 licence you must be at least 16 years old, pass a vision test, and pass a written test based on the rules of the road and traffic signs. Once you've got your G1 in hand, the good news is that as far as auto insurance goes there is generally no charge for adding a G1 driver to an auto insurance policy. Even so, households with a newly G1 licensed driver should notify their insurance company that there is now a G1 driver in the home.
- If you're thinking about getting a G1 licence, read up on the Official MTO Driver's Handbook to learn more about the rules of the road and graduated licensing in Ontario.
Practice makes perfect, but make sure you practice when and where you're allowed
A G1 licence is a very restrictive licence. If you're a G1 driver, you can only drive if:
- Your blood alcohol level is zero.
- Passengers wear a properly working seatbelt.
- It is daytime. G1 drivers are not permitted to drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
- You stay off the 400-series highways or high-speed expressways (like the QEW, DVP and the Gardiner)
- Accompanied by a fully licensed G driver, with at least four years of driving experience and a blood alcohol level of less than .05 (if this person is 21 or younger they also must have a blood alcohol level of zero). They must also be seated in the front with you; everyone else must be in the back.
Graduating from G1 to G2
The G1 road test is the first of two you'll need to take on the path to become a fully licensed G driver. You can take your first road test after 12 months (or 8 months if you've taken, and passed, a government-approved driver education course).
- Tip: A driver's training course can save young drivers money on insurance. Read, "4 Easy Ways A Driver Under 20 Can Lower Their Car Insurance Rates" to see how much could be saved.
Ontario G2 licence requirements
Once you pass the G1 road test, you'll get your G2 licence. When you get your G2, it's time to call the auto insurance provider again. Since G2 drivers are able to drive alone, they must be listed as being licensed on the household's auto insurance policy.
- Tip: Some insurers are more teen friendly, and it's worth checking to see if another insurer will give you a better car insurance rate.
G2 licence conditions and restrictions
Having a G2 licence means more freedom behind the wheel. You can now drive solo, at any time of day, and on all Ontario roads. But there are still some conditions and restrictions you need to adhere to when driving like:
- Maintaining a zero blood alcohol level.
- Ensuring all passengers buckle up.
If you are 19 or younger, there are additional restrictions if you're driving between midnight and 5 a.m. For example, for the first six months of having a G2, you can only have one passenger under the age of 20 in the car. If you've had your G2 for longer, you can have up to three passengers under 20 with you.
Graduating from G2 to G licence
In order to obtain your G licence you must pass the second and final road test. You can take the test after 12 months of having your G2 licence. The test covers more advanced driving skills than the G1 road test like highway driving and parallel parking, so make sure to practice.
Full-fledged driver: G licence
Once you pass the G2 road test, you'll have your full G driver's licence. Other than following the law and abiding by the rules of the road, your G licence only restricts what you're allowed to drive. A full G driver's licence allows you to drive any car, van or small truck.
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The road to having a G licence may seem long but once you're finally an independent driver, it all will have been worth it. Once you've got your full licence, compare Ontario car insurance rates with Kanetix. Nothing beats being a new driver and saving some money.
Always refer to the Official Handbook for up-to-date licence requirements, restrictions and conditions.