Getting a G1, G2, G Driver's License Test in Ontario: Beginner's Guide

Posted on February 22, 2021

Did you know that in Canada, more than 100,000 to 170,000 new vehicles get sold each month? In fact, year-over-year vehicle sales in the Great White North exceeded 1.5 million in November 2020! Of these, 313,475, or one in five, were passenger cars.

All in all, there are more than 35.7 million vehicles registered nationwide. Most of those are in none other than Ontario. In 2019 alone, the province processed over 12.8 million new registrations.

With those many vehicles, it's no wonder that there’s a mandatory G Test in Ontario. After all, this exam gauges how much driving knowledge, skills, and experience you have. Passing it is the only way to obtain a full driver's license.

To that end, we created this guide detailing everything you need to know about the G driving test. Read on to discover what it is, what exactly it tests for, and how to raise your odds of passing it.

A Quick Background on Ontario's Graduated Licensing Process

Ontario issues 15 different license types, three of which fall under the "G" class. These include the G1, G2, and G licenses. You need to start with G1 before you can get to G2 and then pass the G2 test to obtain the G license.

Note that anyone who wishes to drive a car, van, or small truck in Ontario needs to apply for a G driver's license. This is the law under the graduated driver's licensing system (GDL) for new drivers. The GDL has been in place in Ontario since 1994.

One of the primary goals of the GDL is to reduce accidents that new drivers may cause. After all, studies have proven age and experience to be factors in road accidents in Canada. This is especially true for younger drivers who lack both age and experience.

The GDL system helps new drivers (be it young or old) gain essential driving experience. Its restrictions provide those without driving experience to learn in a protected environment. This then gives new drivers enough time to acquire driving knowledge and skills.

Research backs up the effectiveness of GDL programs in reducing crash risks. For instance, Canada's use of GDL led to 20% -  40% reductions in crash risks among new and young drivers. Even just basic GDL systems helped reduce fatal crashes involving drivers ages 16 to 17.

What Makes G1, G2, and G Licenses Different from Each Other?

In Ontario, anyone who drives must have a valid driver's license on their person at all times. They must also meet at least the minimum required auto insurance coverage in Ontario.

Those who drive personal vehicles usually have a G-class driver's license.

G1 Driver's License

The G1 driver's license is the starting point for most new, non-commercial drivers. Most G1 license holders keep this license for 12 months.

G1 license holders can't go driving alone just yet though, as a fully-licensed driver must be with them at all times. Moreover, the fully-licensed driver must have four years of driving experience.

G1 license holders are also not allowed to drive from midnight to 5 AM. Neither can they drive on high-speed expressways or 400-series highways. All their passengers must also wear a fully-functional seatbelt.

No G1 license holder can operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of more than zero. Note that even just one standard alcoholic drink can already raise this concentration to about 0.02 to 0.04.

However, auto insurance isn't mandatory for G1 license holders yet. That's because they usually get coverage from their parents' policies.

G2 Driver's License

Some of the G1 restrictions no longer apply to G2 license holders. For example, a G2 license already lets you drive on all Ontario roads. You can also drive your way to that ultimate travel workcation by yourself. 

The "curfew" also no longer applies, but you can only have one other minor passenger if you drive between 12 and 5 AM. Minor here means anyone aged 19 or younger.

One exception is if you're with a fully-licensed driver. The accompanying driver must have four years of driving experience, too.

Another exception is if the other people in your car are immediate family members. They may be your mom, dad, brother, or sister. If they're friends, then that's against the law.

The blood alcohol limit of zero still applies to G2-class drivers. The same goes for having passengers wearing seatbelts at all times. Moreover, G2 license holders must already obtain their own auto insurance coverage.

Full G Driver's License

Most G1 and G2 limits get lifted once you obtain your full G driver's license. For example, there are no more curfews you need to worry about.

What's more, your successful "graduation" may help you secure better auto insurance rates. After all, passing the test indicates that you're a skilled, prudent, low-risk driver.

The blood alcohol restriction also goes up to 0.08 once you have full G driver's privileges. However, it's still not a smart idea to drink and drive, as any amount of alcohol can impair your driving skills. In fact, BAC ranges of 0.05 to 0.079 can raise fatal car crash risks by 7 to 21 times.

So, What Exactly Is the G Test in Ontario?

The Ontario, Canada G test is the final exam you need to take and pass to get a G license. Passing the G driving test is the only way to "graduate" from the GDL system. You can only get the full G driver's license upon successful completion of the G test.

Examination for G2 vs. G Driving Test: How Do They Differ?

The G1 road test is the driving exam you need to take to get a G2 license. This is why it's also known as the "level one road test" or the "G1 exit test." You're "exiting" the G1 level to become a G2-level driver.

You can expect the G1 exit test in Ontario to last for about 15 minutes. It only tests for basic driving knowledge and skills, including starting and stopping. It also covers proper turning, changing lanes, parallel parking, and perpendicular parking.

On the other hand, the G driving test is also known as the "level two road test" or the "G2 exit test." It tests for advanced knowledge and skills often gained only from experience. With more exam components, you can expect this to last for 30 to 40 minutes.

The G driving test includes all that the G1 exit exam also tests for. However, it has the added component of testing expressway driving knowledge and skills. This allows examiners to see if a G2 license holder has what it takes to drive on highways at high speeds.

Who Can Take the Ontario, Canada G Driving Test?

Anyone who has had a G2 license for at least 12 months can apply to take the G driving test. To get a G2 license, in turn, means to pass the G1 road test successfully. Those who haven't had the G1 test can take the exam after practicing for 12 months with their G1 license.

However, special exceptions apply to those who took a government-approved driver education course. If you're one of these drivers, you can take the G1 test after practicing for only eight months with your G1 license.

Where Do You Book a G Driving Test?

You can book a G road test online via the official DriveTest website. DriveTest is the government-authorized driver testing services provider in Ontario.

There are also 56 DriveTest Centres in Ontario you can visit, as they accommodate walk-ins. You can head straight to one of these to pay for and book a road test.

The third option is to call DriveTest at 647-776-0331 or 1-888-570-6110 to schedule an exam.

All three methods also allow for existing appointment cancellation, rebooking, or rescheduling. If you need to cancel, be sure to do so for no less than 48 hours before the actual test. Otherwise, you'll have to pay a cancellation fee.

What Do You Need to Schedule a G Test?

You need to provide your valid Ontario G2 driver's license number to the DriveTest Centre. You must also tell them your top preferred test location, plus two alternatives. Lastly, let them know the exact date and time you want to take the road test.

What to Expect in a G Driving Test?

The G test assesses how you operate a vehicle in expressways in which the speed limit goes beyond 80 km/hr. Here, you'd showcase your skills in entering, merging, driving, and exiting expressways.

For this reason, you must fill out and sign a "Declaration of Highway Driving Experience." This form consists of questions about driving on freeways and highways at speeds of no less than 80 km/h. You need to indicate how many times you've driven on such roads within the last three months before your G test.

You must also state the average distance you've travelled based on those conditions. You can indicate "more than 15 kilometers" or "between 5 and 15 kilometers."

From there, the examiner gauges if you have enough highway driving experience. If you do, you can proceed with the road test. If not, the examiner has to cancel your road test by declaring it "out-of-order."

In any case, the bulk of the G driving test is on highway driving, but it still covers basic driving skills. So, don't forget proper signaling, passing through intersections, and blind spot checking. You can also expect the examiner to gauge your defensive driving skills and mirror use.

What Happens to a G Test Declared "Out-of-Order"?

Half of what you paid for to book the road test will become "null." You then need to pay that half again once you want to reschedule another G driving test. Be sure you've gained more highway driving experience before you schedule another exam.

What Happens if You Fail the G Test?

You can take the G test as soon as you can book another test, which could be after 10 days from your first one. However, you need to make sure your G2 license is still valid by that time. Otherwise, you'd have to take the G1 exit test once again to get a new G2 license that's valid for another five years.

What Can You Do to Raise Your Odds of Passing the G Test?

Practice highway driving as much as you can, and if possible, with a veteran driver. A G2 license lets you drive alone, but a seasoned driver can give you valuable insights. You can also ask them to point out bad driving habits or things you do that make them feel a little nervous.

Remember, a G test examiner will be a passenger, so those inputs can be handy.

You should also consider booking lessons with a qualified driving instructor. They can give you a refresher course on G1 while also helping you master G2 driving skills. Your instructor will also likely go over the driver's handbook with you.

Be sure to prepare the vehicle you'll use during the test, too. Have a mechanic give your vehicle a thorough inspection to ensure all its parts are working right. On the day of the test itself, inspect your brake lights, tire pressure, gas tank, and turn signals.

Lastly, remove all driving distractions, especially your phone, before you start the test. Inform everyone who usually contacts you that you're about to take the test so that they won't disturb you.

Drive Like a Pro to Pass the G Test on Your First Try

As you can see, the G test in Ontario is the ticket to getting full driving privileges. That's why you should pass this final road test on your first attempt. Besides, you don't want to pay more than $89.25 for the exam, so, as much as possible, ace it from the get-go.

Once you get your G driver's license, you'd want to start looking for better auto insurance rates. That's where we here at Insurdinary can come to your aid. Let us know, and we can help you snag some of the best car insurance quotes and offers in Canada!

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