Most Common Q&A About Acquiring a Driver’s License in Ontario

Are you planning to acquire a driver’s license in Ontario? Or maybe you have a driver’s license from another province, state, or country and you want to switch it for an Ontario driver’s license? Whatever the case, we’ll answer some of the most common questions most people ask about acquiring a driver’s license in Ontario.

Let’s get down to it.

What do I need to apply for an Ontario driver’s license?

Ontario Driver’s License Q&AIf you want to apply for a driver’s license in Ontario, you should be at least 16 years old and above. Besides that, you must provide original documents with proof of date of birth, legal name, and signature during the application process. Applicants are also required to pass a written exam and eye test during the application process.

How long does it take to acquire an Ontario driver’s license as a new driver?

If you have no prior experience driving a vehicle, it will take you at least 20 months to become fully licensed in Ontario. This is because Ontario employs a two-step licensing system that lets you gain driving skills and experience gradually.

The first step involves acquiring a class G1 license (take the G1 practice test) which you can use to drive for about 8 to 12 months before you take the road test. Once you pass the G1 road test, you will be given a G2 driving license that you can use to drive for 12 months before you take another road test. If you pass both the G1 and G2 road tests, you will qualify for a full driver’s license.

What if I want to drive a truck, bus, or motorcycle in Ontario?

If you want to drive a heavy truck or trailer in Ontario, you should acquire a class A and class D license. Similarly, if you want to legally drive a bus, you should possess class B, class C, class E, and class F driving license. However, before you can apply for a special license to drive a heavy truck or bus in Ontario, you must first acquire a full class G driving license; except if you want to ride a motorcycle.

But if you want to ride a motorcycle in Ontario, you need to acquire a class M license in Ontario. Please note that if you want to acquire a full motorcycle license in Ontario, you must go through a 2-step licensing system similar to a class G license.

Do I need to attend a driving school in Ontario?

No, you’re not legally mandated to attend a driving school in Ontario to acquire a driver’s license. However, you could have an advantage if you register for a driving school in Ontario. To begin with, you could be eligible for the G1 road test after 8 months instead of 12 months if you’ve enrolled in a driving school.

In addition to that, most car insurance companies will offer you discounts after you’ve completed a government-approved course in a driving school. Not to mention, you have a higher chance of passing the road tests in your first attempt if you’ve attended a driving school.  

Can I drive in Ontario with an out-of-province or foreign driving license?

Yes, you can drive in Ontario with an out-of-province or a foreign driver’s license but for a period of 60 days. If you plan to stay in Ontario for longer than 60 days, you need to obtain an Ontario driver’s license.

Alternatively, you can use an international driver’s license in Ontario for up to 12 months.

Can I exchange my out-of-province or country driving license for an Ontario driver’s license?

Yes, you can exchange your out-of-province or country driving license for an Ontario driver’s license. Nevertheless, you’re only eligible for the exchange if you’ve obtained an out of province full driver’s license from Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia, Germany, Northern Ireland, Taiwan, Republic of Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, France, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, South Korea, and Austria.

If you’re from a country that doesn’t have an exchange program with Ontario, you need to pass a road test to obtain an Ontario license.

What happens if I fail the road test in Ontario?

If you fail the G road test in Ontario, you can try again after 10 days.

However, if you fail the road test and your G2 license has expired, you will be required to restart the application process. This means you will need to retake the written exam and G2 road test even if you passed the first time. Of course, it’s a hassle to repeat the whole process if your G2 license has expired but you can get it done in a few weeks instead of waiting for months.