Get a G driver’s licence: new drivers

Sample Ontario drivers licenceIf you are at least 16 years old, you can apply for driver’s licence in Ontario. As a new driver, you will need to practice driving and gain experience over time. For most people, the two-step process takes about 20 months to finish. Here’s how you get a driver’s licence.

The Ontario driver's licence is a blue, plastic card that displays your name, address, date of birth, photo and signature. The licence has an expiry date. You have to renew it before it expires.

Driving in Ontario

To drive on Ontario roads, you need to:

  • carry a valid driver’s licence, at all times
  • have a valid owner’s permit, licence plate and insurance
  • obey traffic laws and drive safely

Licence types

Ontario has 15 types of licences. Each licence certifies you to drive a specific type of vehicle.  To drive a car, van or small truck, you will need a G class licence.

All licences come with certain conditions. See Ontario’s full list of licences.

Apply for a driver’s licence

To apply for a driver’s licence in Ontario, you need to:

  • be at least 16 years old
  • pass an eye test
  • pass a written test about the rules of the road and traffic signs

Once you pass these tests, you get a G1 licence. You are considered a beginner driver and need to practice driving and gain experience over time.

Where to apply

To apply and take the required tests, visit:

  • a DriveTest centre or
  • the ServiceOntario College Park location in downtown Toronto

You will need to bring original identification that shows your legal name, date of birth and your signature.

Visit ServiceOntario: Toronto (College Park)

Find a DriveTest centre

Accepted identity documents

Canadian Citizens

  • passport (Canadian or foreign)
  • Canadian Citizenship Card with photo
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status Card (issued on or after December 15, 2009 by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)
  • Ontario Photo Card

Permanent Residents

  • Permanent Resident (PR) Card
  • Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292) accompanied by a valid passport from country of origin
  • Ontario Photo Card

Temporary Residents

  • Study Permit / Student Authorization (IMM 1442)
  • Work Permit / Employment Authorization (IMM 1442)
  • Visitor Record (IMM 1442)
  • Temporary Resident Permit (IMM 1442)
  • Refugee Status Claim (IMM 1434)
  • Acknowledgement of Intent to Claim Refugee Status (IMM 7703) with photo
  • Report Pursuant to the Immigration Act (IMM 1442) with photo
  • Ontario Photo Card

See a full list of accepted documents

Fees

You will need to pay a fee to apply for a licence and take the written test. See the list of fees.

Study for the knowledge test

Ontario’s Official Driver Handbook will help you prepare for your written knowledge test.  It covers rules of the road and practical driving tips. You can buy the handbook:

  • online through ServiceOntario
  • at a DriveTest centre
  • from many retail stores

Cost: $14.95 plus taxes

Preview the Driver’s Handbook

Buy a copy online

Find a ServiceOntario centre or a DriveTest centre

Learning to drive: graduated licensing

Once you pass your eye and written tests, you get a G1 licence. Before you can get a full G licence, you have to:

  • finish two learning levels: G1 and G2.
  • pass two road tests

This process is called “graduated licensing.” It is designed to give new drivers time to practice and gain driving experience over time.

You have up to five years to finish the whole process. After five years, if you do not get your full G licence, you will need to start over.

G1 licence

By law, when you have a G1 licence, you must:

  • maintain a zero blood alcohol level (no alcohol in your blood)
  • make sure every passenger with you wears a properly working seatbelt
  • not drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
  • not drive on 400-series highways or high-speed expressways (e.g., 401, Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), Gardiner Expressway)
  • drive with a fully licensed driver who has:
    • at least four years of driving experience
    • a blood alcohol level of less than .05 (if this person is 21 and under, their blood alcohol level should be zero)

The driver accompanying you must be the only other person in the front seat.  If you are driving with a driver instructor certified in Ontario, you can drive on any road.

In most cases, you practice with your G1 licence for 12 months.

G1 road test

The G1 road test is the first of two you need to take as a new driver.

  • you can take your first road test after 12 months with a G1 licence
  • this exam tests basic driving skills (e.g., turning left and right, stopping, parking)
  • once you pass, you get your G2 licence

If you finish an government-approved driver education course, you can take your first road test after just eight months.

Ontario driving schools

To take the G1 road test sooner, you will need to choose a driving school that is certified to train new drivers.

Approved driving schools offering courses

Unlicensed driving schools to avoid

G2 licence

After passing your G1 road test, you get a G2 licence. You practice with your G2 licence for 12 months. You can now drive:

  • without another experienced driver in the car
  • on all Ontario roads
  • at any time of the day, in most cases

You must still:

  • have a zero blood alcohol level
  • carry only as many passengers as there are working seatbelts

If you are 19 and under, some other restrictions still apply.

G2 drivers: 19 and under

Between midnight and 5 a.m.: you can only drive with one passenger who is 19 or under in your car.

This condition applies for the first six months of G2. After six months, you can drive with up to three passengers 19 or under between midnight and 5 a.m.

This condition does not apply, if:

  • you have a fully licensed driver in the car (with four years plus experience driving)
  • your passengers are immediate family members (e.g., a parent, brother or sister)

G2 road test

This is the second of two road tests you take as a new driver.

  • you can take the test after 12 months with a G2 licence
  • the test covers more advanced driving skills (e.g., driving on a highway, parallel parking)
  • once you pass, you get a full G licence

What happens if I fail a G1 or G2 road test?

Booking a road test

To book a road test appointment, you will need to provide:

  • your valid Ontario driver's licence number
  • a preferred location for taking the test
  • a second and third choice of location
  • a preferred date and time

You can book, cancel or reschedule a road test appointment:

  • online
  • by phone at 416-325-8580 or 1-888-570-6110
  • at any DriveTest Centre

You need to cancel a test at least 48 hours ahead of your appointment to avoid a cancellation fee.

Book a road test online

Find a DriveTest Centre

Road Test Fact Sheet & Checklist

Videos

Getting your Ontario driver’s licence (Episode 1: get started)

Getting your Ontario’s driver’s licence (Episode 2: life in G1)

Getting your Ontario driver’s licence (Episode 3: get your G2)

Getting your Ontario’s driver’s licence (Episode 4: the G2 road test and getting your full licence)

More topics: new drivers

Who is considered a “novice” driver? 

Penalties for new drivers who break traffic laws

“Escalating” penalties for new drivers

Penalties for drinking and driving as a new driver

Updated: February 26, 2014