Understanding the Requirement and Restrictions of an Ontario G1 License

In order to drive a car, truck or van in Ontario, you will need to have a valid G class license on you at all times. To acquire one the first step is to apply for a G1 license – which is the first grade of the G class license.

Essentially the G1 license is the most basic type of driver’s license in Ontario. To qualify for one you need to be at least 16 years old, pass an eye examination, and pass a written test that covers the road rules and traffic signs in Ontario. That test is commonly known as the G1 test.

Sitting for the G1 Test

To sit for the G1 test you can simply visit the nearest DriveTest center with approved documents proving your identity. However before you do, you should study the Driver’s Handbook so that you are familiar with the road rules and traffic signs that you will be tested on. If you want you can purchase the Driver’s Handbook online through ServiceOntario or obtain one at any DriveTest center as well as many retail shops.

In addition to studying the Driver’s Handbook, it may be helpful to try some of the G1 practice tests that can be found online. Taking practice tests will help you to gauge how familiar you are with the subject matter, so you won’t end up failing and having to re-take the G1 test once more.

Assuming you pass the written test and the eye examination that you can take at the same time, you will be issued with your G1 license. It should be noted however that this license has several restrictions that you should be aware of.

G1 License Restrictions

Seeing as the G1 license is a ‘learner’s permit’ of sorts, it is intended to allow you to practice driving – subject to several conditions. It is important that you abide by these restrictions, until you graduate to a G2 license. The restrictions that you’ll need to follow are:

  • Being accompanied by a licensed driver with at least 4 years of experience and less than 0.05% blood alcohol level (or zero blood alcohol level if less than 21 years old).
  • Making sure the driver accompanying you is the only one in the front passenger seat.
  • Maintaining a zero blood alcohol level at all times when driving (i.e. not drinking).
  • Ensuring all passengers are wearing seatbelts that function properly.
  • No driving between midnight and 5 am.
  • No driving on 400-series highways or high-speed expressways.

Assuming you abide by all those restrictions, after 12 months you will be able to sit for your G1 driving test. It is possible to shorten that timeframe to 8 months by completing one of the approved driver’s education courses.

In any case, once you pass your G1 driving test that will test your basic driving skills, you should obtain your G2 license. That will still have some restrictions, but will be considerably less strict. If all goes well 12 months after you obtain your G2 license you should be able to take your second driving test and get your full G class license.

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