Getting a driver’s license for cars, vans, and small trucks
With millions of licensed drivers in Ontario, They all had to begin somewhere. Most of these drivers started their licensing process by visiting a DriveTest Centre and applying for a G Class license. This G Class license enables you to drive a car, van, or small truck.
G Class Licences
There are three levels of licenses for driving G Class vehicles:
- G1: This is level 1 of graduated licensing in Ontario. G1 license holders may drive G Class vehicles when accompanied by a fully licensed driver with a minimum of four years of driving experience. Additional conditions also apply. Specific restrictions apply to those up to 21 years of age.
- G2: This is level 2 of graduated licensing in Ontario. G2 license holders may drive G Class vehicles without a fully licensed driver. Additional restrictions apply, especially to drivers up to 19 years of age. Specific conditions apply to those up to 21 years of age.
- G: This full license allows the license holder to drive a car, van, or small truck. Specific conditions apply to those up to 21 years of age.
G Class Requirements for New Drivers
Driving is a privilege. In Ontario, a license application for a G Class license must include the following:
- Applicants must be a minimum of 16 years of age at the time of the application.
- They must meet the minimum vision standards established by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).
- Applicants must pass a knowledge test regarding the rules of the road and traffic signs.
- They must pass the G2 and G road tests to become fully licensed.
Process for Obtaining a G1, G2, and G Class License
Ontario’s graduated licensing program will take approximately 20 to 24 months. You have up to five years to complete the entire graduated licensing process.
If you are nearing the end of five years and you have not obtained your full G license, you may decide to requalify as a G2 driver for another five-year period. To do this, you would have to complete the G2 road test again. A new road test and licensing fee will apply. Once your G1 license expires, you may need to start at the G1 level again.
In order to gain a full G Class license, including the steps for graduated licensing, as follows.
Study for the written knowledge test.
Using Ontario’s Official MTO Driver’s Handbook as a resource is a good idea. Taking a government-approved beginner driver education (BDE) course helps tremendously. Although these courses are recommended but not required, anyone taking them is eligible to take their G2 road test after waiting only eight months instead of the usual 12 months. The MTO provides a listing of approved driving schools on its website.
Apply for a driver’s license at a DriveTest Centre.
When you apply for a driver’s license at the DriveTest Centre, you will be required to show an acceptable ID as you complete several forms at the time of your application. If you are new to Ontario and have a driver’s license from another province or country, apply for an Ontario driver’s license within 60 days of residing in Ontario. You may also be eligible for a driver’s license exchange.
Pass a vision test.
Vision tests will take just a few minutes and are completed by a customer service agent when you apply for a driver’s license. Ensure you bring your corrective lenses with you if you require them.
Pay the applicable fees.
Driver’s license fees are set by MTO and are subject to change and can be paid by cash, debit card, or credit card (including VISA, MasterCard, or American Express). You can use a certified business cheque, a certified personal cheque, a bank draft, or a money order. They must be made payable to Serco Canada Inc. You could even use a traveler’s cheque; Canadian or American is fine. Any retests and subsequent attempts will have additional charges.
Pass a written knowledge test.
The knowledge test will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. No appointment is required to write it as they are on a first-come-first-served basis. Allow sufficient time to write the test, so arrive at least one hour or more prior to DriveTest closing, especially on Saturdays and during school holidays. If you do not pass the knowledge test, you may pay the fee and take the written test again.
Obtain your temporary driver’s license.
Once you have passed the written test, you will receive a temporary driver’s license, which enables you to drive. This paper license is valid for 90 days. If you do not receive your permanent driver’s license photo card before the expiry date on your temporary driver’s license, you should visit a Service Ontario office for an extension.
Practice driving with your G1 license and fully licensed accompanying driver.
The G1 license is the first of two graduated licensing levels used to get a full G license. Graduated licensing allows new drivers to gain driving experience. According to the law, when you have a G1 license, you must follow the following restrictions:
- Must maintain a zero-blood-alcohol level.
- Ensure every passenger wears a seat belt.
- Do not drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
- Do not drive on 400-series highways or high-speed expressways, such as 401, 403, QEW, Gardiner, and the Conestoga Parkway. If with a licensed driving instructor, a G1 driver may drive on any 400-series highway or expressway with a posted speed limit greater than 80 km/h.
- Must drive with a fully licensed driver in the front seat who has at least four years of driving experience, and a blood alcohol level of less than .05. If the licensed driver is 21 and under, their blood alcohol level must be zero.
After waiting long enough, book a G2 road test.
When you take the G2 road test, a driver examiner at a DriveTest Centre will assess your basic driving skills, such as turning left and right, stopping, and parking. By completing a government-approved Beginner Driver Education (BDE) course, you can take your G2 road test after waiting eight months. If you have not completed a BDE course, you must wait for a minimum of 12 months before attempting the G2 road test. If successful, you will be issued another temporary driver’s license at DriveTest. You will receive a plastic G2 license in the mail. If unsuccessful, you can retry the G2 road test, provided your G1 license has not expired. If your G1 license has expired, you will have to begin the licensing process from the beginning, including paying the appropriate fees. Once you’re eligible to book a road test, you can book a road test appointment online, over the phone, or in person at DriveTest.
Practice driving with your G2 license.
The G2 level is the second part of two graduated licensing levels before you can become a G license holder. You must practice with your G2 license for a minimum of 12 months, ensuring every passenger with you wears a seat belt you maintain and that you keep a zero-blood-alcohol. Having a G2 license means you can now drive alone without an experienced driver sitting beside you in the vehicle. You can travel on all Ontario roads, including 400-series highways and high-speed expressways, and at any time of the day. If you are 19 years of age or under, you can have only one passenger who is 19 years of age or under in your vehicle between midnight and 5 a.m. This restriction applies for the first six months of having your G2 license. After six months, or until you reach 20 years of age, you can have up to three passengers who are 19 or under during that time. The condition is waived if you have a fully licensed driver in the vehicle, with four or more years of driving experience, or if your passengers are immediate family members, such as a parent, brother, or sister.
Book a G road test.
While out for the G road test, a driver examiner at a DriveTest Centre will assess more advanced driving skills, such as highway, and parallel parking. If you are successful during this road test, you will be issued another temporary driver’s license. You will receive a full G license in the mail within 90 days. If you are unsuccessful during the road test, you can retry the road test, provided your G2 license has not expired. If your G2 license has expired, you will be required to start the licensing process over, including paying all of the applicable fees.
At Trubicars, we recognize and understand how complex the driver’s license process can be. We are here to help you along the way. It’s important to remember that getting a driver’s license is a privilege and not a right. If you want more information on how to prepare and pass your road test, check out the Trubicars website!