Navigating the Graduated License System in Ontario: A Step-by-Step Guide

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graduated license ontario

Are you a new driver in Ontario looking to get your driver’s license? The Graduated Licensing System (GLS) is designed to help you gain experience and build your skills on the road. This two-step process is divided into three stages—G1, G2, and full G—and takes a minimum of 24 months, during which you’ll need to pass written and road tests and abide by certain restrictions.

When getting a valid driver’s license, it’s important to understand the entire process and be aware of the rules of the road. By following this system, you can gain the experience to drive confidently and safely.

So buckle up! Whether you’re just starting with the written test or gearing up for your road test, our guide has all the information you need to make it through Ontario’s Graduated Licensing System.


G1 License:

  • Obtained at age 16 after passing a written knowledge test and vision test
  • Allows driving with a fully licensed driver in the vehicle, under certain conditions such as daylight hours only and not on 400-series highways, and up to three passengers
  • Zero blood alcohol level is required.
  • Restrictions include a 12 am – 5 am curfew and no driving on 400-series highways.

G2 License:

  • Obtained after holding a G1 license for 12 months and passing a road test (this can be reduced to 8 months if an approved driver education course is completed)
  • Allows driving without a fully licensed driver, but still with restrictions such as a 12 am – 5 am curfew
  • Zero blood alcohol level required

Full G License:

  • Obtained after holding a G2 license for 12 months and passing a road test
  • Allows driving without an accompanying driver
  • Restrictions include only driving G-class vehicles in Ontario (i.e., cars, trucks, minivans), blood alcohol level restrictions for all drivers

The Ontario Graduated Licensing System

The Graduated License System in Ontario is divided into three stages: G1, G2, and full G.

Let’s take a closer look at each stage:

This is the first stage of the Graduated License System. To obtain a G1 license in Ontario, drivers must be 16 years old and have passed both a written knowledge test and a vision test. With this type of license, drivers are restricted to operating their vehicle during daylight hours only, cannot drive on any 400-series highways, must have a blood alcohol level of 0%, and must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver at all times.

G1 knowledge test

To acquire the G1 license, drivers must pass the written knowledge test designed to assess the applicant’s understanding of Ontario traffic laws and regulations. This test is made up of 40 multiple-choice questions and covers the rules of the road and traffic signs. You’ll need a score of 80% or 16/20 to get a passing grade on the test. The cost of the G1 knowledge test is $16.00, and you’ll need to bring two pieces of I.D., money, and your glasses if you need to wear them while driving.

G1 rules and restrictions

  • You must always have someone with at least four years of driving experience and a full, unrestricted license in the passenger seat. This person must also be sober.
  • You are not allowed to drive alone in the vehicle at any time. Additionally, your blood-alcohol level must be zero when driving.
  • Each person in the vehicle must have a working seatbelt.
  • You are restricted from driving between 12 am – 5 am and on 400 highways, such as Highway 401, 404, 416, 412, and 407.
  • You will need to purchase insurance if you plan on getting behind the wheel with your G1 license; however, it is usually cheaper than a standard policy due to its restrictions.

G2 License

A G2 license is the next step for new drivers who have held a G1 for at least 12 months and successfully passed their road test. Once the road test is passed, drivers can operate a motor vehicle without needing a fully licensed driver in the car. However, this license has certain restrictions; most notably, G2 drivers are not permitted to drive between midnight and 5 am. With

G2 road test

The g2 road test typically takes around 20-30 minutes and is conducted on a pre-determined route. During the test, you must demonstrate your ability to safely operate a vehicle while obeying traffic laws, signals, and regulations. You will be evaluated on basic maneuvers such as starting, stopping, turning, reversing, and merging into traffic. More advanced driving maneuvers will also be tested, such as 3-point turns, lane changes, and parallel parking. You may also be asked to demonstrate your ability to safely navigate through intersections and roundabouts. The cost of the road test required to obtain a G2 license is $53.75.

G2 rules and restrictions

With a G2 license, drivers are allowed to drive a vehicle without a fully licensed driver; however, certain restrictions still exist to ensure safety for the driver and other road users. The main restriction is that G2 license holders are not permitted to drive between midnight and 5 am to reduce the risk of accidents involving young, inexperienced drivers who may be more likely to suffer from fatigue or distraction while on the road. Furthermore, all G2 license holders must have a zero blood alcohol level while driving, and all passengers must wear seatbelts at all times.

Additionally, G2 license holders are subject to a demerit point system; if they accumulate six or more demerit points within a given period, they will face a 30 day licence suspension, meaning they cannot legally operate a vehicle until the suspension has been lifted. For this reason, G2 license holders must practice safe driving habits and obey all traffic laws, as failure to abide by these regulations can result in penalties or even revoking their license.

It is worth noting that the requirement to have a fully licensed driver as a passenger no longer applies if the driver is accompanied by a person who holds a full G license and sitting in the front seat or if the passengers are members of the driver’s immediate family.

Full G License

After holding a G2 license for at least 12 months and passing a road test, drivers may receive their full G driver’s license. However, knowing that you’re not off the hook once the full license is acquired is important.

Under Ontario’s Graduated License System (GLS), fully licensed drivers must demonstrate good driving behavior to maintain their license status. This includes adhering to all laws, obeying speed limits, and being cautious when on the roads. If any of these areas are neglected, and a driver accumulates six or more demerit points, their license will be suspended for 30 days. Additionally, any conviction of criminal driving offenses will incur a certain period of suspension depending on the offense committed.

G road test

The G road test is typically 30-40 minutes long and aims to evaluate advanced driving abilities on city streets and highways. The cost of the g road test is $91.25. The cost of the five-year license is $90.00. The test is conducted by an examiner who will give you directions and evaluate your ability to follow them. The examiner can pass or fail the test based on the severity and number of errors made during the test.

Some of the maneuvers that the examiner may test include:

  • Lane changing
  • Merging onto a highway
  • Driving at different speeds
  • Parallel parking (in some cases)
  • Three-point turn
  • Being aware of other drivers in different lanes, such as checking blind spots before making lane changes

G license rules and restrictions

Holding a Full G licence means that most of the restrictions faced by G1 and G2 license holders are lifted. However, there are a few restrictions that Full G license holders should be aware of:

  • Restriction on the type of vehicles you can drive: With a Full G license, you can only operate G-class vehicles in Ontario, which includes cars, minivans, and small trucks.
  • Restrictions on alcohol consumption: If you are 21 years or younger, you are prohibited from having any alcohol in your blood while driving. If you are over 21, you are allowed to have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of up to 0.08% (80mg) while driving.


What is the difference between a G2 and G license?

A G2 license and a G license are two different stages of the Graduated Licensing System in Ontario. A G2 license is the second stage of the system, which is obtained after holding a G1 license for at least 12 months and passing a road test. With a G2 license, new drivers can operate a vehicle without a fully licensed driver but must abide by restrictions. A G license is the final stage of the system, which is obtained after holding a G2 license for at least 12 months and passing a road test. With a G license, drivers can operate a vehicle without any restrictions.

What is a GDL license in Ontario?

A GDL license in Ontario is a type of driver’s license issued to new drivers as part of the Graduated Licensing System (GLS). The GDL system is designed to help new drivers gain experience and build their road skills gradually and safely. It is a two-step process that takes a minimum of 24 months and is divided into three stages: G1, G2, and full G.

Why is GDL a thing?

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a system that allows young drivers to gain driving skills in a safe and controlled environment before they obtain full driving privileges. GDL programs are designed to reduce the risk of crashes among novice drivers by gradually introducing them to more complex driving situations. This is done through several stages, such as requiring supervised practice driving, limiting nighttime driving, and restricting passengers.

What is a five-year license in Ontario?

In Ontario, a 5-year license is a license you receive after passing your G road test. This license is valid for five years and can be renewed upon expiration.

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