We follow high standards of editorial integrity on this website to help you make informed decisions. This article may include links to services and products from our partners. We may receive compensation when you sign up, at no cost to you. It does not change our unbiased reviews, evaluations or advice. Please take a look at our disclosure.

From Learner To Driver: An Introduction To Mastering The G1 License In Ontario


driving instructor writing down results exam
Reading Time: 5 Min

The first step to being able to legally drive a car in Ontario is to get a G1 license. The G1 license helps brand-new drivers gain the experience and skills needed to drive a motor vehicle safely and is the first step in becoming fully licensed. 


This article provides a comprehensive look at the requirements and restrictions for getting your G1 license in Ontario, guiding you through each step. The following is a brief overview of what this article covers: 


  • What is the G1 license?
  • What do you need to qualify for the G1 license? 
  • The process of getting your G1 license. 
  • How to prepare for the G1 written test.
  • What to expect for the G1 road test?
  • What can you NOT do with a G1 license?

An Overview Of The G1 License

Ontario’s G1 licensing system is part of a ranked licensing program introduced by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. This system allows new drivers to safely practice and gain driving experience with specific restrictions until they can qualify for full driving privileges. 


In Ontario, there are 15 types of driver’s licenses, each with restrictions on the type of vehicle and driver certifications needed to operate a vehicle. The G1 license is the lowest rank of license, issued to first-time learners. The G1 license is followed by the G2, and finally, a full G license which allows for individual, unsupervised driving. 


The G1 license comes with the most restrictions on driving conditions, such as drivers only being allowed to practice with supervision. For a full list of all the G1 driving restrictions, see [Restrictions For G1 Drivers In Ontario]. By understanding and complying with these restrictions, you’ll be better prepared to navigate the licensing system in Ontario. 

The Essential Requirements To Qualify For The G1 In Ontario

There are several essential requirements for getting your G1 in Ontario, including a written test, an eye test, and a minimum age requirement. These are briefly outlined below.


  1. Age: Be at least 16 years old.

  2. Pass an eye test: If you wear glasses or contact, bring them with you for the test. 

  3. Pass a written test: This includes 40 multiple-choice questions on road rules and signage. There are two sections with 20 questions each. You need to get 16 out of 20 questions correct for each section to pass. 


If you are confident you will meet all three basic requirements, then read on to find out how to prepare for and get your G1 license. 

The Process Of Getting Your G1 License In Ontario


Once you are certain you will meet all the necessary G1 license requirements, there are several steps to start the process of getting your license. 


  1. Study for the written test. While road rules and signs may seem easy to understand, it’s best to show up to the test prepared. You can do this by studying the Official MTO Driver’s Handbook, which provides detailed driving rules and regulations for Ontario. Other online resources are also readily available. 

  2. Go to your nearest Drive Test Centre. You do not need to book a test in advance, but you do need to remember to bring proof of identification and a form of payment. 

  3. Complete the written test. This is available in multiple languages, and if you struggle to read or write, an oral test is also available. 

  4. Receive your temporary license. Once you pass the written test and pay the fee, you will receive a temporary G1 license immediately. 


After this point, you are free to practice driving for a minimum of 12 months, after which you may attempt your G1 road test, which allows you to move on to your G2 license. You may also attempt your G2 license after 8 months if you are enrolled in a driver’s education course. 

Remember, during this period, you must adhere to the G1 restrictions and gain as much driving practice as possible. This will help you build the skills and confidence needed to pass the G1 road test. 

Tips On How To Prepare For The G1 Written Test

Preparing for the G1 test requires serious study and practice. As mentioned above, you will need to study the Official MTO Driver’s Handbook thoroughly. However, there are several things you can do to prepare for the test to ensure you have the best chance of passing it on the first attempt.

  1. Online practice tests. There are several free online G1 practice tests available online. These are very helpful for getting a feel for the kind of questions that will be on the test. 

  2. Get enough sleep. The night before the test you should aim to get enough sleep so you have your wits about you for the knowledge test. 

  3. Don’t rush the test. Make sure to read every question carefully to avoid making silly mistakes.


Stay calm. You can always retake it if you fail, there is no limit on how many times you can attempt the G1 license test.

Remember, the aim is not just to pass the test but to understand and internalize the rules of the road so that you can be a safe and responsible driver. 

Navigating The G1 Road Test: What To Expect

Now that you’ve passed the G1 written test and practiced driving for a minimum of 12 months, what happens next? Most G1 drivers take the G1 exit test at the end of their 12-month driving trial period. The road test is an opportunity for G1 drivers to apply what they learned and demonstrate that they have the necessary skills to operate a vehicle safely under various driving conditions.

The G1 Exit Test Checks A Driver’s Knowledge On:


  • Turning and turn signals.

  • How to come to a stop.

  • Parallel parking.

  • One-way streets.

  • How to change lanes.

  • How to complete a 3-point turn.

  • How to drive in a residential neighborhood. 

  • How to navigate traffic lights, stop signs, and yield signs.


The test usually lasts about 20 minutes, and once you complete your G1 exit test, you hold a G2 license which comes with fewer restrictions. At the end of your G2 license, you will need to complete a second road test to qualify for your final driver’s license. 


Remember, the aim of the test is not just to show that you can operate the vehicle, but that you can do so safely and responsibly. 

Restrictions For G1 Drivers In Ontario

While you hold a G1 license, you will be subject to several restrictions on how and where to drive. All the restrictions on a G1 driver are listed below:


  • You must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least four years of driving experience. The accompanying driver must sit in the front passenger seat and have a blood alcohol level of less than 0.05% if they are over 21. If they are under 21, their blood alcohol level must be zero

  • You cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m.

  • You cannot drive on a 400-series highway or high-speed expressways unless accompanied by a driving instructor. 

  • You cannot have any alcohol in your blood while driving. 

  • Every passenger driving with you must wear a seatbelt. 


These restrictions may seem limiting, but they are designed to provide a safe environment in which new drivers can gain driving experience. Moreover, violating restrictions comes with a hefty fine, possible demerit points, and even license suspension. Therefore, it’s crucial to stick to these restrictions until you pass your G1 exit test. 

Conclusion: Your Journey To G1 Driving In Ontario

Navigating the path to your G1 license in Ontario can seem daunting, but with the right preparation and understanding, it can be a smooth and educational process. The requirements and restrictions for getting your G1 in Ontario are designed to ensure you become a safe and responsible driver. 

Remember, the journey doesn’t end with getting your G1 license – it is just the first step to becoming a fully licensed driver. So, study hard, practice often, respect the restrictions, and embrace the journey to becoming a licensed driver in Ontario.

Author Bio

Mohamed Konate

Mohamed Konate is a personal finance expert, blogger, and marketing consultant based out of Toronto. He is a former financial services professional who worked for many years at major Canadian financial institutions where he managed the marketing strategy around various financial products ranging from credit cards to lines of credit. Mohamed is passionate about personal finance and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Quebec (Montreal) and a Master in International Business from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec).He is also the author of the Canadian Credit Card Guidebook. Read his full author bio

Credit Card Deals

Tangerine World Mastercard® Review
Apply for a Tangerine World Mastercard® by October 31, 2024 and earn an extra 10% back* (up to $100)
Ends Oct 31, 2024
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Review
Apply for a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card by October 31, 2024 and earn an extra 10% back (up to $100)
Ends Oct 31, 2024
Neo Card Review
Get $25 cash back when you sign up for the Neo Credit Mastercard.
Neo CardTM (Secured) Review
$25 welcome bonus for new cardholders