Writing Your Driver's Test

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Obtaining a G1 driver's licence in Ontario is not particularly difficult, although as with any bureaucracy there are rules and regulations to follow, and certain performance standards you must meet. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) governs everything to do with driving in the province, and everything you will need to know can be found here. But here is a quick primer of the basics:

The Graduated Licencing System

Ontario uses a graduated driver's licencing system. At age 16, you can apply for a G1, or beginner's licence. You will drive with this licence for 12 months before taking a road test. If you attend an approved driving school in Ontario, you can take the road test at eight months.

If you pass this initial road test, you will upgrade to a G2 licence. After another 12-month waiting period, you can take a final road test. If passed, you will be awarded a G-class licence, and be a fully-qualified driver in Ontario. You will be expected to obey specific restrictions and maintain certain standards throughout the graduated licencing process.

The G1 Written Knowledge Test

To obtain your learner's permit or G1 licence, you must pass a written knowledge test. This is the first step in getting your licence. Here's what you need to know:

  • Where to write the test – There are many different locations for Drive Test Centres throughout the province where you can write the test, almost certainly one will be convenient to you.
  • What to study – The Written Knowledge Test consists of multiple-choice questions dealing with the basic rules of the road, traffic signs and signals, safety, and practical driving techniques. All the questions are based on information from the Official Driver's Handbook.
  • How long is the test – The test takes most people about 30 minutes to complete. No appointment is needed, but sometimes there is a long-wait to take the test.
  • How much does it cost – The fee to obtain your G1 is $159.75. This fee includes your knowledge test, Class G2 road test, and a 5-year licence. If you need to retake the Written Knowledge Test the cost is $16.00. In addition to the test fees, the Official Driver's Handbook, costs $16.00 per copy.
  • Should you take Driver's Ed before the test? – If you plan on attending a driving school, it would be an excellent idea to do so before you write the test, as you'll learn some of the information you need to know to pass the test in the classroom portion of your training.

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How to get your G1 Driver's licence

You can apply for an Ontario G1 driver's licence at any DriveTest Centre. You do not need an appointment.

The Process:

  1. Study for the G1 Knowledge Test before you go to write the test Use the Official MTO Driver's Handbook or take a beginner driver education course
  2. Apply for an Ontario Driver's licence at a DriveTest Centre You will need valid ID and your driver's licence from another province or country (if applicable)
  3. Take a Vision Test The test is administered by a customer service agent at the DriveTest Centre. Bring your corrective lenses with you.
  4. Pay the Fees Fees can be paid by cash, credit card, debit, cheque, bank draft & money order
  5. Write & Pass the G1 Written Knowledge Test The test is a multiple-choice exam that takes most people about 30 minutes to complete. It is available in 20 languages.
  6. Obtain your G1 Temporary Driver's licence from the Service Agent Once you pass your written test, you will immediately be issued a temporary driving permit. You can know drive in Ontario with conditions**. Your plastic licence card will be mailed to you within 90 days.

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Conditions of G1 licences
  • You must be accompanied by a fully licenced driver with at least 4 years driving experience and a blood-alcohol level of less than 0.05
  • You must maintain a zero blood-alcohol level
  • You may not drive between midnight and 5 am
  • You may not drive on 400-series highways or high-speed expressways unless accompanied by a licenced driving instructor
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