Driving in Ontario

To ride on Ontario roads, you need to:

  • carry a valid driver’s licence at all times
  • wear an approved helmet (an exemption to Ontario’s mandatory helmet law applies for Sikh operators and passengers who meet the requirements outlined in Regulation 610 (6))
  • have a valid owner’s permit, licence plate and insurance
  • obey traffic laws and drive safely

Motorcycle licence types

To drive a motorcycle, you will need an M Class licence. The type of licence you get will depend on the type of motorcycle you want to drive. The three main types are:

M (includes M1 and M2): for full-speed motorcycles.

M with condition L (includes M1 and M2-L): for mopeds and motorized scooters (also called “limited-speed” motorcycles).

M with condition M (includes M1 and M2-M): for three-wheeled motorcycles.

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

Apply for a motorcycle licence

To apply for a motorcycle 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 an M1 licence. You are considered a beginner rider and need to practice riding and gain experience over time.

Where to apply

To apply and take the required tests, visit a DriveTest centre.

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

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)
  • 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 written test

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

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

Cost: $14.95 plus taxes

Preview the Motorcycle Handbook

Buy a print copy of the Motorcycle Handbook online

Visit ServiceOntario Bay and College (Toronto) or a DriveTest centre

Learn to drive: graduated licensing

After you pass your eye and written tests, you get an M1 licence. Before you get a full M licence, you have to:

  • finish two learning levels:
    • M1 and M2 (for full-speed motorcycles)
    • M1 and M2-L (for mopeds and motorized scooters)
    • M1 and M2-M (for three-wheeled motorcycles)
  • pass two road tests

Once you get your M2 licence, you have up to five years to finish the learning process. After five years, if you do not get your full licence, you will need to start over.

You are considered a novice driver if you have an M1, M2, M2-L or M2-M licence. If you hold one of these licences, you are still learning to drive and gaining important driving experience before you get a full licence.

Certain conditions apply to you while you are considered a novice driver.

M1 licence

By law, if you have an M1 licence, you must:

  • maintain a zero blood alcohol level (no alcohol in your blood)
  • ride only during daylight hours (½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset)
  • wear an approved helmet (an exemption to Ontario’s mandatory helmet law applies for Sikh operators and passengers who meet the requirements outlined in Regulation 610 (6))
  • not drive on roads with speed limits over 80 km/hour — except highways 11, 17, 61, 69, 71, 101, 102, 144 and 655
  • always drive alone - you may not carry passengers

You need to wait at least 60 days before you can take your first road test. Your M1 licence is valid for 90 days. If the licence expires, you will need to start over.

M2 licence

After you pass the M1 road test, you get an M2 licence. You can now ride at night and on any road. You must still wear a helmet unless you meet the requirements for exemption outlined in Regulation 610 (6) and maintain a zero blood alcohol level.

After 22 months, you can take the second road test. If you pass, you get a full M licence.

If you take a recognized Motorcycle Safety Course, you can take the test after just 18 months.

M2 with condition L licence

All the conditions of a standard M2 licence apply to you. But with this licence, you can only ride a moped or motorized scooter:

  • that does not go faster than 70 km/hour
  • on roads with a maximum speed limit of 80 km/hour

M2 with condition M licence

All the conditions of a standard M2 licence apply to you. But with this licence, you can only ride a three-wheeled motorcycle – or motor tricycle.

If your M2, M2-L or M2-M is set to expire

If your M2, M2-L or M2-M licence expires before you take your final road test, taking your level-one road test (M1) again will give you another five years as an M2 to finish the learning process. If you fail the M1 this time, you will lose your M2 licence and you will need to re-apply for your M1 licence. To get back to M2, you will need to pass your M1 knowledge test and M1 road test before that licence expires.

Motorcycle safety courses

After you successfully complete a motorcycle safety course, you will need to apply for your upgraded class of licence within six months at a DriveTest centre. You do not need to take a road test — you move directly to the next level. After completing the level one safety course, you will be able to take the second road test in 18 months.

See a list of approved motorcycle safety courses

Accelerated three-wheeled motorcycle safety courses

If you hold a class A, B, C, D, E, F or G licence, you can enrol in a three-wheeled motorcycle safety course. After you successfully complete the course, you will need to apply for your full M(M) licence at a DriveTest Centre within six months. You do not need to take a road test – you move directly to a full M(M) licence.
 

Limited-speed and three-wheeled motorcycles

Limited-speed motorcycles are also known as mopeds or motorized scooters.

Limited-speed motorcycles manufactured after 1988 have a label on the steering column or under the seat. Beside the “type of vehicle” – you should see the letters “LSM/MVL”. This confirms it is a limited-speed vehicle.

Without a label, you can identify a limited-speed vehicle, if it is electric or gas powered and has:

  • a maximum speed of 70 km/hour
  • an automatic transmission
  • an engine size of 50 cubic centimetres or less
  • a “step through” design between the seat and the handlebars

Three-wheeled motorcycles – also called motor tricycles - are designed with either a single front wheel and two rear wheels, or two front wheels and a single rear wheel.

If you take a road test on a three-wheeled motorcycle, you will get a class ‘M’ licence with an ‘M’ condition. With this licence, you will only be able to drive a three-wheeled motorcycle.

Motor tricycles must:

  • travel on three wheels, which are in contact with the ground
  • have straddled seating for the driver
  • use a handle bar for steering controls
  • have no more than four seats
  • have a gross vehicle weight of 1,000 kg or less
  • not have a structure partly or fully enclosing the driver and passenger except in front of the driver and the seat backrest

Some vehicles with three wheels, because of the close spacing of its front wheels, are considered to be a two-wheeled open motorcycle by Transport Canada. If you take a road test with one of these vehicles, you can get a full, rather than limited, M class driver’s licence.

Upgrading your M(L) or M(M) licence to a full M licence

If you want to get your unrestricted M licence, you need to pass both the M1 and M2 road tests for full-speed motorcycles.

You will need to bring a full-speed motorcycle with you to each test. You will be tested on your riding skills on this specific type of vehicle.

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:

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

If you fail a motorcycle road test, and your licence is not expired, you can try the road test again. If your licence is expired, you will need to start all over and pay the fees again.

Book a road test

Find a DriveTest Centre

Road Test Fact Sheet & Checklist

Updated: June 02, 2021
Published: September 13, 2012