A G1 licence is the first step to getting your driver’s licence – a rite of passage – your world opens up to new possibilities, but you’re also faced with a whole new set of responsibilities. With Ontario’s graduated licensing system, it’ll take a bit of time before you can enjoy all the privileges that come with having your licence.
Getting a G1 licence represents the first step on your road to becoming a fully licenced driver. But what, exactly, does it mean to have a G1? What type of privileges and restrictions do you have?
Ontario G1 licence requirements and restrictions
First, the basics- you’re at least sixteen years of age, you’ve studied the Official MTO Driver’s Handbook, paid the initial fees, and have just passed your written driver’s knowledge test. Congratulations! You now have your G1 licence and are ready to hit the open road – maybe you want to look for student car insurance first.
The G1 licence is intended to provide you with the driving experience required to be a safe and responsible driver. With a G1 licence, you can drive so long as you have a fully licenced driver accompanying you in the passenger seat. This driver must have at least four years of driving experience, must have a blood alcohol level of less than .05 if he is over 21. If your accompanying driver is under 21, his blood alcohol level must be zero.
G1 licence driving restrictions:
- you must maintain a blood alcohol level of zero while driving
- every passenger in your car must be wearing a properly working seatbelt
- you cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 5 AM
- you cannot drive on a 400 series highway or a high-speed expressway like the Don Valley Parkway or QEW.
With the graduated licensing program, you have up to five years to complete the process of obtaining your full licence. After 12 months of driving with a G1 licence, you’re able to take the G1 road test. If you’ve completed a government-approved driver’s education program, you’re able to take this test after 8 months. This test ensures you understand the basics of the road and are able to operate a motor vehicle safely and responsibly. Once you’ve passed this, you graduate to your G2 licence, and will then have a little more freedom on the road.
Do I need car insurance with a G1 licence?
Remember: a G1 licence is only a learner’s permit. While an individual with a G1 licence can go out and purchase a car, they cannot be listed as the primary driver on the insurance agreement. The G1 permit holder is covered under the main driver’s policy.
As a G1 licence holder, you can’t be listed as the primary driver on a car. You’ll want to talk with whoever’s car you’ll be driving, as their insurance premiums may be affected. Because of your lack of experience, you’re viewed as being more susceptible to accidents. If you’re insured under someone else’s policy, their insurance premiums could rise. It’s a good idea to have the person who will be insuring you talk to their insurance provider. Having a G1 licenced driver operating their car could affect their premium, so they’ll want to know what types of fees they’ll be facing. They might consider shopping around for car insurance quotes as well to see what various companies offer when covering G1 drivers.
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Can I rent a car with a G1 licence?
While you may have dreams of doing a road-trip in a rented car, if you only have a G1 licence, that won’t be possible. Rental companies won’t rent to individuals who only have a learner’s permit, and you may not even be allowed to operate a rental vehicle under the terms of the rental agreement – even with an accompanying driver.
If you want to rent a vehicle for the purposes of your G1 road test, you must have a friend or parent with a full licence rent the vehicle under their name, and accompany you to the driver’s test. Remember, with a G1, it’s illegal to operate a vehicle without an accompanying fully licenced driver. You’ll want to make sure that whoever goes with you to the road test has the appropriate car insurance. It could be worth their while to compare Ontario car insurance quotes to make sure they’ve got the most affordable coverage in place.
What do I need to do to get my G2?
If you have completed a government-approved driver education program, you can take the test after only 8-months of having your G1. If you haven’t taken such a program, you’ll need to wait 12-months before you can take your G2 road test at an Ontario Drive Test Centre. The G2 road test tests your basic driving skills, ensuring you have a comprehension of the rules of the road and can safely operate a vehicle.
The Ontario class G2 road test costs of $53.75 as of 2023. Alternatively, when you apply for your G1 learner’s permit, you can purchase a Class G1 licence package for $159.75 which includes the knowledge test required to get your G1, a class G2 road test, and the five-year licence – and saves you the hassle of having to remember to pay these fees at a future date.
When you show up for your road test, be sure to bring any corrective eyewear you require, your current driver’s licence, a print-out of your road test confirmation email, a way of paying the associated fees, and of course, the vehicle you’ll be using to perform the test.
Make sure your vehicle has enough gas for the test and is in good working order when you show up at the test centre. The last thing you want when taking your test is something going wrong – there’s enough pressure already. And don’t forget – you’ll still need to drive to the test centre with someone that has their full G driver’s licence, as per the terms of your G1 licence.
Once you’ve passed the G2 road test and paid the $90 licensing fees, you’re now the proud owner of a G2 driver’s licence. Of course, if you fail the test, you still only have your G1, and can only drive home if a fully licenced driver accompanies you in the passenger seat.
What can I do with my G2 licence?
Now that you have your G2, if you are 19 years of age or older, you are permitted to drive independently on any Ontario roadway including highways and at any time of day.
Know that If you’re under 19, you can only have one passenger who is under 19 between the hours of midnight and 5AM.
The only restriction in having a G2 is that you must maintain a blood alcohol level of zero, and that every passenger wears a seatbelt.
After you have your G2 licence for 12 months, you can take your Class G Road Test, which, if you pass, will mean that you now have your full driver’s licence.
Learn more about Ontario's G2 licensing restrictions.
What can I do with my G licence?
With a full G licence, most of the driving restrictions you’ve faced will be lifted. If you’re under 21 years of age, you’ll still need to maintain a blood alcohol level (or B.A.C.) of zero. If you’re over 21, you’re B.A.C. must be under .08. Of course, regardless of your age, you need to ensure you’re properly following the rules of the road – but these are things that you’ve been practicing as you’ve made your way through Ontario’s Graduated Licence program.
So when can I buy a car?
Now that you have your G2 licence, you’re able to go out and purchase the car of your dreams. Buying a car is a major responsibility, and costs quite a bit of money. And of course, you need to be sure that you must have car insurance before you do that. Remember: not only is operating an uninsured vehicle illegal (and comes with fines and possible jail time), it’s also extremely dangerous. If you’re in the market to buy a car, consider comparing auto insurance quotes to make sure you’re getting the coverage you require at the best rate possible.
IMAGE: Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash