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How to get your G1 license in Ontario

Lauren Alexander

March 3, 2023

Becoming a fully licensed driver in Ontario is a three-step process. The first step in your driving journey is getting your G1 license (also known as a Level 1 license). To obtain it, you’ll need to be 16 years old, pass a vision test, and pass the 40-question knowledge test. Let’s dive into more detail!  

What is the G1 test?

The G1 written test is the first of three tests that you must complete to become a fully licensed driver in Ontario. It is the only written test that you’ll need to complete – the other two tests are in-car (the G2 and G road tests).

The G1 test has a total of 40 questions that is divided into two different sections – Traffic Signs and Rules of the Road. You must score at least 80% (or 16/20) on each section of the test to pass. If you fail one section and pass the other, you will still need to rewrite the entire test.

The test takes about 20-30 minutes to complete and is available in many languages, including English and French.

What do I need to do before writing my G1 test?

Here’s your pre-test G1 checklist: 

  1. Make sure you’re at least 16 years old. Ontario residents can get their G1 license at 16, and not a day before. 
  2. Get an eye exam and get glasses if you need them. The G1 requires a brief eye exam to ensure that your vision is good enough to drive. If you have less than 20/20 vision, no problem – you may be required to wear glasses when you drive.
  3. Study, study, study! Your goal should be to pass the G1 test on your first try. While the exam isn’t meant to be difficult, you will need to study thoroughly beforehand.

How should I prepare for my G1 test?

Given that the G1 test tests users on both Traffic Signs and Rules of the Road, you’ll want to develop a studying plan that incorporates both of these. While the MTO Driver’s Handbook is a good place to start, it doesn’t have much in the way of actual practice questions – for this, you’ll need to turn to online resources. 

Before going for your G1 test, we recommend doing several mock exams. At Kruzee, we’ve built a G1 Test Prep tool to help students prepare for the G1 exam with real exam-like questions. The Kruzee G1 Test Prep tool comes with 300+ questions and 10 mock exams, so you can identify which parts of the exam tend to trip you up.

Still haven’t passed the G1 test? Start preparing with our prep course!

We don’t win unless you win! If you complete our course and pass our G1 simulated knowledge test, we’ll give you a full refund if you don’t pass on the first try

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How do I book my G1 test?

You don’t need to set up an appointment for your G1 test, since written tests are offered on a first come, first served basis. All you need to do is walk into your local DriveTest centre and get in line!

What should I bring to the G1 test? 

  • Two pieces of identification (e.g., passport, health card, birth certificate). 
  • Money for test fees – cash, debit or credit card. The current cost of the G1 test is $159.75 and includes the knowledge test, a Class G2 road test, and a five-year license.
  • Glasses or contact lenses (if you need to wear them to drive).

What happens if I fail the G1 test?

If you fail your first attempt, you can retake the test as many times as you need to. However, the cost of retaking the test is $16.00 for each additional attempt. You are also allowed to reattempt the test the same day if you’d prefer!

What are the driving restrictions for a G1 license holder?

As a G1 licence holder, you’ll face the most restrictions on the road as you learn to drive. This includes the following:  

  • You can only drive if you are accompanied by a valid Full G licence holder. The accompanying driver must have at least four years of driving experience, a blood-alcohol level of less than 0.05%, and be sitting in the front passenger seat when accompanying you.
  • Each passenger in the vehicle must be wearing a seat belt. 
  • You are not permitted to drive between the hours of 12:00 am and 5:00 am.
  • You must not drive if you have been drinking alcohol or consuming cannabis. 
  • You are not permitted to drive on 400-series highways or expressways (e.g., Gardiner Expressway, Don Valley Parkway (DVP), and the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW)) unless you’re with a driving instructor.

What happens after I pass?

G1 license holders must wait 12 months before taking their G2 road test (also known as the G1 exit test). However, new drivers are highly encouraged to go through a Beginner Driver’s Education (BDE) course at an MTO-approved driving school. This course teaches you how to operate a vehicle safely, prepares you for your road tests, and reduces the G2 wait time by 4 months!

BDE courses are important for teaching new drivers about the rules of the road and how to navigate complex situations they may encounter. Plus, most auto insurance companies offer a 10-20% discount on premiums to new drivers that complete the BDE course! 

The BDE course includes:

  • Hands-on, in-vehicle training with a driving instructor (10 hours)
  • Online, self-paced theory (20 hours)
  • Flexible instruction (10 hours)

Kruzee provides G1, G2, and G test preparation and training. You can use our online prep tool to study for your G1 test and then get behind the wheel with one of our certified instructors to prepare for your road tests. Whatever you decide, we wish you the best of luck in your new driver journey!

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