What is Graduated Licensing?

Wednesday April 4, 2018

Category: Auto | Driving Tips


Graduated licensing is a tiered system of licensing that is intended to help new drivers safely build experience over time. At each step in the graduated system, a driver is permitted to drive in a broader range of environments before finally obtaining their full license. Ontario’s system takes approximately 20 months to complete.

Ontario’s graduated system is not just applicable to first-time drivers. Even if you have a G licence that has been expired, cancelled or suspended for more than 3 years, you will be required to complete graduated licensing.

How Does Ontario’s Graduated Licensing System work?

Ontario’s graduated licensing system has three stages; G1, G2 and finally, the full G license. You must complete the entire program in five years. If you do not successfully complete the full program in five years, you will be required to start again from the beginning.

How do I get a G1 license?

To obtain a G1 license, you must pass an eye exam and a written exam at an Ontario DriveTest Centre. To prepare for the written exam, it is recommended that you study Ontario’s Official Driver’s Handbook. You can obtain a copy of the book at retail book stores, online through Service Ontario or at a DriveTest centre.

Once you have successfully completed the eye and written exam, you will be granted a G1 license. This is sometimes called “a learner’s permit”. The G1 license comes with very strict guidelines that are intended to keep you and other drivers safe as you learn to drive.

When do I take my G1 road test?

If you pass a certified Driver’s Education course, you can take your G1 road test in as little as 8 months. If you do not pass a Driver’s Education course, you will be required to wait for 12 months before you can take your G1 road test.   

Upon passing your G1 road test, you will be granted a G2 license. Your G2 license permits you to drive on all Ontario roads, at any time if the day, unless you are under 19 years old. If you are under 19, there are special conditions to which you must adhere. For a complete list of the rules, visit the Ministry of Transportation’s website here.

When do I take my G2 road test?

After 12 months of practice with your G2 license, you are permitted to take your G2 road test. This is the final road test of Ontario’s graduated licensing system. Upon successfully passing this test, you are granted your full G licence.

A G2 road test includes skills such as parallel parking, emergency stops and more. To be sure you are ready for the test, be sure to practice consistently before your test.

How much does graduated licensing cost?

The total costs for graduated licensing is $158.25. This does not include the fees for retaking tests that may have been failed. For a complete list of the fees, visiting DriveTest Ontario’s website here.

What if I fail my tests?

If you fail a test, you will be permitted to retake the test with certain conditions. According to the Ministry of Transportation if your:

Should I go to driving school?

Driving school, also known as Driver’s Education, is the best way to learn to drive. Driving school often includes in-class time and practical time behind the wheel. Your school will help guide you through the graduated licensing system and will provide appropriate learning opportunities based on each stage in the system.

Your driving school can also provide a vehicle for practice and testing if you do not have one available to you. In addition, your driving school can provide you with “brush up” classes to help you practice specific skills prior to your road tests.

Successful completion of a certified driving school program can also lower your insurance rates. To find out more about driving school, click here.


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