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The Difference Between G1, G2, and G Tests in Ontario

The Difference Between G1, G2, and G Tests in Ontario


Understanding the graduated licensing system in Ontario, which includes the G1, G2, and G license stages, is crucial for new drivers. Each stage of the licensing process is designed to ensure drivers develop their skills and experience progressively. Let's delve deeper into the differences between the tests and the privileges each license confers.


G1 License: The Starting Point

  • Test Format: The G1 test is a written knowledge exam that assesses the applicant’s understanding of traffic laws and road signs. The test also includes a vision test to ensure the driver can see well enough to operate a vehicle safely.
  • Privileges and Limitations: G1 license holders are the most restricted. They must always drive under the supervision of a fully licensed driver who has at least four years of experience. This supervising driver’s blood alcohol level must be below the legal limit. G1 drivers cannot drive on Ontario's 400-series highways or high-speed expressways. They are also prohibited from driving between midnight and 5 AM. The primary goal during this phase is to gain basic driving experience in a controlled and supervised environment.
  • Purpose: The G1 phase is about learning the basics of driving. It's a period for new drivers to practice and understand fundamental driving skills and road safety.


G2 License: Increased Independence

  • Test Format: The G2 test is a practical road exam that evaluates a driver's ability to handle a vehicle in everyday driving conditions. This test includes assessing the driver's skills in controlling the vehicle, obeying traffic laws, and reacting appropriately to common road situations.
  • Privileges and Limitations: Once a driver has their G2 license, they can drive without an accompanying driver. However, G2 drivers under 19 have restrictions on the number of young passengers they can carry during nighttime hours. Specifically, for the first six months, they are allowed only one passenger aged 19 or under between midnight and 5 AM. After six months, this limit increases to three passengers.
  • Purpose: The G2 phase is about gaining experience. Drivers can now practice independently, navigating a broader range of driving situations, including driving at night and on different types of roads.


Full G License: Full Driving Privileges

  • Test Format: The G test is more comprehensive and challenging than the G2 test. It includes highway driving, where drivers must demonstrate their ability to merge onto and exit from highways, change lanes, and maintain appropriate speeds. The test also evaluates advanced driving skills in more complex driving environments.
  • Privileges: A full G license lifts all the restrictions of the graduated licensing system. Drivers can operate any car, van, or small truck. This license is also a prerequisite for learning to drive other types of vehicles, such as buses and large trucks.
  • Purpose: The full G license represents the culmination of the graduated licensing process. It indicates that the driver has developed the skills and confidence to navigate all types of road conditions and traffic scenarios independently.



Ontario's graduated licensing system is designed to ensure that new drivers are adequately prepared for the responsibilities of the road. Each stage - G1, G2, and G - is tailored to develop driving skills progressively, enhancing road safety for everyone. As drivers advance through each stage, they gain not only greater driving privileges but also the vital experience and knowledge needed to be safe and responsible drivers. This system ultimately benefits all road users by promoting a safer driving environment in Ontario.


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