In Ontario, there are twelve different classes of licences, depending on the type of vehicle you wish to drive. Drivers’ licences are issued by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the licensing process will vary depending on whether you are a new or experienced driver.
To drive a car, van or small truck you will need a G class licence. In order to drive in Ontario, you must carry a valid driver’s licence at all times, have a valid owner’s permit and licence plate and above all, your vehicle must be insured.
Ontario’s Graduated licensing System
Ontario’s Graduated Licensing System (G1 to G) was established, to provide new drivers with driving experience and to hone their skills in low-risk environments. Applicants are given a maximum of five years in which to complete the process or begin again. The following steps are required in order to obtain a G licence in Ontario:
Step 1 – Get your G1 licence (also known as Learner’s Permit)
In order to qualify for the G1 driver’s licence, you must be at least 16 years old and pass a vision and written test. Your G1 licence is subject to restrictions. You must not consume alcohol while driving and must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least four year’s driving experience at all times. Restrictions also apply to the usage of highways and you must not drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a. m.
Step 2 – Getting your G2 Licence
Once you pass your first level (G2) road test, you will get your G2 road licence. Wiht this licence, you can drive on all Ontario roads at most times of the day.
The first level road test is taken after 12 months of possessing your G1 licence and tests your basic driving skills. You can take the test after 8 months, if you complete an approved driver education course. Road tests are usually done by appointment and completed at a Drive Test Centre.
The G2 Licence is also subject to certain restrictions. For one, You are also not permitted to consume alcohol, but can drive without an experienced driver.
If you are under the age of 19 and are not accompanied by a fully licensed driver with 4 or more years of driving experience, or an immediate family member, you may not exceed being accompanied by one passenger, 19 or under, between the hours of midnight and 5 am.
However, after having your G2 licence for 6 months, you can drive with up to three passengers below the age of 19 between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.
Step 3 - Getting your G Licence
You are eligible to take the G road test 12 months after possessing a G2 licence and will be tested on more advanced driving skills. When you pass the G road test you will obtain your G licence.
Newcomers to Ontario with a valid driver’s licence from their country
If you are a newcomer to Ontario and have a valid driver’s licence from your country, you can use this licence for up to 60 days. After this you must obtain an Ontario Driver’s Licence. This process however depends on where you were licensed and how long you were driving.
Experienced drivers from another province, state or country
Experienced drivers from another province, state or country may have that experience acknowledged through licence exchange privileges, reduced/waived testing requirements or foreign licence exchange privileges.
Agreements exist for people who are relocating to Ontario from another province, the Canadian Armed Forces or from a U.S. State. You may be able to exchange an out of province licence for a Canadian licence if you are from one of the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Japan, Korea, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland and Tai.
Keeping your driver’s licence active and further considerations
You must keep the information on your driver’s licence up-to-date and renew it when required. If this is not done in time, you may be requested to reapply.
Don’t forget that …..
In order to drive in Ontario, you must carry a valid driver’s licence at all times, have a valid owner’s permit and licence plate and above all, your vehicle must be insured.
Let’s make our streets safer by obeying the traffic laws and driving safely, and don’t forget to visit the Ministry of Transportation for further road closures.