Drivers’ Licences – Cars, Vans, & Small Trucks

There are millions of licensed drivers in Ontario. Most of these drivers started by visiting a DriveTest Centre and applying for a Class G licence. A Class G licence enables you to drive a car, van, or small truck.

Class G Licences

There are three types of licences for driving Class G vehicles (cars, vans, small trucks): 

  • Class G1: Level 1 of graduated licensing. G1 holders may drive Class G vehicles when accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least four years of driving experience. Additional conditions apply.
  • Class G2: Level 2 of graduated licensing. Holders may drive Class G vehicles without an accompanying driver. Additional conditions apply, particularly to those 21 years of age or under.
  • Class G: A full licence to drive a car, van, or small truck. Additional conditions apply to those 21 years of age or under.
New Driver and Driver Examiner Before a Road Test

Class G Requirements for New Drivers

In Ontario, driving is a privilege that must be earned. An applicant for a Class G licence must:

New Licensed Driver Smiling
  • Be at least 16 years old at the time of application.
  • Meet the vision standards established by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).
  • Pass a knowledge test about the rules of the road and traffic signs.
  • Pass two road tests (classes G2 and G) to become fully licensed.

Process for Obtaining a Class G1, Class G2, and Then a Full Class G Licence

For most people, the graduated licensing program takes approximately 20 to 24 months; however, you have up to five years to finish the entire process.

If you are approaching five years and you have not yet obtained your full Class G licence, you may choose to requalify as a Class G2 driver for an additional five years by successfully completing the Class G2 road test again (road test and licensing fees will apply). Once your novice licence has expired, you may need to start over at the Class G1 level.

The process for obtaining a full Class G licence, including the graduated licensing steps, is as follows.

  1. Study for the written knowledge test.
    Ontario’s Official MTO Driver’s Handbook is a great resource. In addition, many new drivers choose to take a government-approved beginner driver education (BDE) course. These courses are recommended but not required; however, those taking them are eligible to take their Class G2 road test after waiting only 8 months (instead of the usual 12 months). MTO maintains a listing of approved driving schools on their website.
  2. Apply for a driver’s licence at a DriveTest Centre.
    At the DriveTest Centre, you will be required to present acceptable ID and complete several forms at the time of your application.

    A newcomer to Ontario who holds a driver’s licence from another province or country is required to apply for an Ontario driver's licence within 60 days of residency in the province and may be eligible for a licence exchange.
  3. Take a vision test at the DriveTest Centre.
    The test takes only a few minutes and is completed by a customer service agent when you apply. Bring your corrective lenses with you, if required.
  4. Pay the applicable fees at a DriveTest Centre.
    Fees are set by MTO and are subject to change. Fees can be paid by cash, credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express), debit card, certified business cheque, certified personal cheque, bank draft or money order (each made payable to the DriveTest Centre), or travellers cheque (Canadian or American).

    Please note that, if required, retests and subsequent attempts will incur additional charges.
  5. Complete and pass a written knowledge test at a DriveTest Centre.
    The knowledge test takes approximately 30 minutes. There is no appointment required. Knowledge tests are available on a first-come-first-served basis. To allow sufficient time, it is highly recommended that you arrive at least one hour or more prior to office close, especially on Saturdays and school holidays. If you are not successful with your knowledge test, you may pay the fee and take the test again.
  6. Obtain your temporary driver’s licence from a customer service agent at a DriveTest Centre. 
    The temporary driver’s licence enables you to drive, is made of paper, and is valid for 90 days. If you do not receive your permanent, plastic driver’s licence photo card before the expiry date on your temporary driver’s licence, please visit your local ServiceOntario office for an extension.
  7. Practise, practise, practise your driving with your Class G1 licence and fully licensed accompanying driver
    The Class G1 licence is the first of two graduated licensing learning levels prior to getting a full Class G licence. Graduated licensing is designed to allow new drivers to gain experience over time. By law, when you have a Class G1 licence, you must: 
    • Maintain a zero-blood-alcohol level.
    • Make sure every passenger with you wears a seat belt.
    • Not drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
    • Not drive on 400-series highways or high-speed expressways (e.g., 401, 403, QEW, Gardiner, Conestoga Parkway). If the accompanying driver is a driving instructor licensed in Ontario, a Class G1 driver may drive on any 400-series highway or expressway with a posted speed limit greater than 80 km/h.
    • Drive with a fully licensed driver with at least four years of experience and a blood alcohol level of less than .05 (if this person is 21 and under, the blood alcohol level must be zero).
  8. After 8 or 12 months with a Class G1 licence, book a road test and then take your Class G2 road test.
    For the Class G2 road test, a driver examiner at a DriveTest Centre will assess basic driving skills (e.g., turning left and right, stopping, parking).

    If you complete a government-approved Beginner Driver Education course, you can take your Class G2 road test after just 8 months. If you do not complete one of these courses, you must practice with your G1 for a minimum of 12 months.

    If you are successful, you will be issued another temporary driver’s licence and will receive a Class G2 licence in the mail. If you are unsuccessful, you can try the road test again as long as your G1 licence has not expired. If your G1 licence has expired, you will have to start all over, including paying the fees.

    Eligible driver's licence applicants can book a road test appointment online, over the phone, or in person. If required, please see the Online Road Test Booking Application Instructions page for step-by-step help in making bookings using this website.
  9. Practise, practise, practise your driving with your Class G2 licence. 
    The G2 is the second of two graduated licensing learning levels prior to getting a full Class G licence.

    You must practise with your G2 for 12 months, ensuring that you maintain a zero-blood-alcohol level and that every passenger with you wears a seat belt.

    With a G2 licence, you can now drive independently, without an experienced driver in the car,  on all Ontario roads (including 400-series highways and high-speed expressways), and at any time of the day, unless you are 19 or under. If you are 19 years of age or under, you can drive with only one passenger who is 19 years of age or under in your car between midnight and 5 a.m. This condition applies for the first six months of having your G2. After six months, you can have up to three passengers who are 19 or under at that time of night. The condition is waived if you have a fully licensed driver in the car (four or more years of driving experience) or if your passengers are immediate family members (e.g., parent, brother, sister).
  10. Book a road test and then take your Class G road test.
    For the Class G road test, a driver examiner at a DriveTest Centre will assess more advanced driving skills (e.g., highway driving, parallel parking). If you are successful, you will be issued a temporary driver’s licence and will receive a full Class G licence in the mail.

    If you are unsuccessful, you can try the road test again as long as your Class G2 licence has not expired. If your G2 licence has expired, you are required to start over, including payment of applicable fees.
  11. Enjoy your Class G licence. Drive safely.