Many things change when your child hits the age of 16; one of the most jarring changes is seeing them behind the wheel of a car for the first time!
This may be a scary sight at first, but thanks to the Ontario graduated license process, you can be confident in your child's driving abilities.
If it's been a while since you got your own driver's license in Ontario, you may not be familiar with how the process works nowadays. That's why our team has taken the time to put together this thorough guide!
After reading this article, you'll know everything you need to know about the graduated licensing Ontario rules and regulations.
Want to save on car insurance in Ontario?
Have you ever taken the time to compare each Canadian province's average car insurance rates? If you have, you likely know that car insurance in Ontario is amongst the highest in Canada. This means that most drivers have to do their best to find a balance between price and protection.
That's where our team at Surex steps in — our team of licensed insurance advisors knows a thing or two about saving on car insurance. So, when you come to one of our advisors with questions or concerns, you know that we've got you "covered" (just a little insurance humor).
Not to mention, our team works lightning fast — we can supply you with upwards of ten personalized (and affordable) car insurance quotes that are guaranteed to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
Reach out to a Surex insurance advisor today to learn how we can help you save upwards of 25% by bundling your car insurance policy with your home coverage.
What is a graduated licensing program and how does it work in Ontario?
A graduated licensing system requires drivers to obtain a series of licenses at different stages of the process. These licenses come in different levels (or tiers), and give drivers access to various privileges.
In Ontario, driver's are required to earn the following licenses:
- G1 class driver's license
- G2 class driver's license
- G-class driver's license
Bonus — Check out this blog if you'd like to learn how to renew your driver's license in Ontario.
Ontario graduated licensing rules and regulations that drivers need to know
Each level of driver's license has various rules and restrictions that drivers need to respect.
Here's a brief look at some of the most important rules (separated by license level):
G1 driver's license rules and restrictions
Drivers can obtain a G1 driver's license after reaching the age of 16 and passing the G1 written test. The G1 written test is meant to assess your general driving knowledge.
Once you've passed the G1 test, you are able to legally drive on Ontario roadways (excluding major highways and expressways) as long as you are accompanied by a fully-licensed driver with a minimum of four years' worth of driving experience. Said fully-licensed driver must have a blood-alcohol content of less than 0.05%.
Here are some of the rules that G1 drivers in Ontario have to abide by:
Passenger limit — The G1 driver is responsible for making sure the passenger limit doesn't exceed the number of seatbelts in the vehicle.
Time frame — G1 drivers cannot legally drive between 12:00 a.m. (midnight) and 5:00 a.m.
Blood-alcohol content — As a G1 driver, you must maintain a blood-alcohol content of 0% while on the road.
If you’re a G1 driver, you do not need to purchase your own car insurance policy; most G1 drivers are covered by their parent or guardian's policy, giving them the ability to learn without paying a hefty price. If you are the parent of a G1 driver, we suggest that you inform your car insurance provider as soon as possible.
G2 driver's license rules and restrictions
Ontarians can obtain a G2 driver's license 12 months after they've passed the G1 written test (or eight months if they have taken a driving school course) and pass the G2 road test. The G2 road test is meant to assess the driver's practical skills on the road. Similarly, the test further assesses the curriculum from the G1 written test, which ensures that the driver really knows their stuff.
Here are some of the rules and restrictions that G2 drivers in Ontario have to abide by:
Age restrictions of passengers — For the first six months, G2 drivers in Ontario can only have one passenger aged 19 or younger. After the first six months (or until you're the age of 20 or have a G-class license), you may have a maximum of three passengers under the age of 19.
*Please note that this rule does not apply if the G2 driver is accompanied by a fully-licensed driver with four years of on-road experience*
Passenger limit — The G2 driver is responsible for making sure the passenger limit doesn't exceed the number of seatbelts in the vehicle.
Blood-alcohol content — As a G2 driver, you must maintain a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0% while on the road.
You can get car insurance as a G2 driver, but, we'll be honest, it's rather expensive. That's why most parents and guardians choose to list their child as a secondary driver. Doing this allows them to use the vehicle without obtaining a separate policy.
G-class driver license rules and restrictions
Drivers can obtain a G-class driver's license 12 months after they've earned their G2 driver's license. If you've earned your G-class license, you're officially a fully-licensed driver! This comes with a number of perks, like driving at any time of day or night.
However, there are some restrictions G-class drivers should be aware of:
Vehicle options — If you have a G-class license, you have the ability to drive G-class vehicles, like cars, minivans and pick-up trucks. You do not have the ability to drive vehicles like motorcycles or trucks with air brakes. These vehicles require separate licenses in Ontario.
Blood-alcohol content — If you're a G-class driver over the age of 21, you may not operate a vehicle if you have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08%. Getting caught with an illegal blood-alcohol content will likely result in a DUI. G-class drivers under the age of 21 must maintain a blood-alcohol content of 0% in order to operate a vehicle.
Once you've earned your G-class license, you'll likely notice a decrease in your risk level, which means that you'll pay less for car insurance. Contact a Surex insurance advisor if you'd like help comparing car insurance quotes.
Do you have questions about the Ontario graduated licensing system?
If you have unanswered questions about the graduated license program in Ontario, don't hesitate to reach out to your Surex insurance advisor. A quick chat with one of our advisors can give you a better idea of what types of coverage you need and how much you can expect to pay.