In Ontario, there are three different types of tests or exams that you will have to take if you want to obtain, renew, reinstate, or exchange a driver’s license. Knowledge, road, and vision tests are all mandatory before you are able to drive on the roads.
All tests are conducted at a DriveTest Centre in the province and administered by a DriveTest employee.
A driver, or potential driver, must take each type of test at some point in their driving lives, so we wrote a quick guide to help navigate you through the process. This guide outlines important components of each type of driver’s license test.
The first stage of your driver’s license is your G1. To obtain this, you will have to pass a written knowledge test. Drivers who are renewing/reinstating their Canadian license or exchanging a foreign license might also be asked to take a knowledge test.
All written tests are based on information contained in the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) Official Driver’s Handbook.
Here are the general components you’ll see with all knowledge tests:
- Format — Multiple choice questions with 2 or 3 sections done on paper (or computer depending on the location).
- Length — Approximately 20 – 30 minutes but there is no hard limit.
- Languages — The G1 test comes in 27 languages however all the other levels are in English or French. There are translation options that can be booked ahead of time (contact your nearest DriveTest Centre for details).
- Results — You need 80% or more to pass and your test is marked right away
- Retries — If you fail the test you can pay the fee to take it again right away
You do not need to make an appointment to take your G1 test. All knowledge tests are proctored and are taken in a designated room at a DriveTest Centre. If you are caught cheating or disrupting others, you will be kicked out of the room, failed automatically, and lose your fee.
You will not be able to re-take the test until the following day and have to pay the fees again.
Road Tests/Driving Exams
The G2 license is the next level, followed by a full Ontario G driver’s license. New drivers must pass both road driving exams before they can obtain a full license. You might also be asked to complete a road test if you meet the following conditions:
- If you are a foreign driver you might be asked to complete at least one road test depending on your country of origin and level of documented experience.
- If you are renewing an expired license that was a G1 or G2 license, or a full G license that expired more than 12 months ago.
- If you are renewing your license and are 80 years of age or older you might be asked to pass a driving exam.
- If you are reinstating a license that was suspended 3+ years ago.
Whether you’re taking your G2 or G road test, you should arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled time with a vehicle (owned, borrowed, or rented) as it will not be provided for you and the DriveTest Centre.
G2 Road Test
The G2 driving exam is designed to test your basic driving skills. This road test requires advanced booking. It lasts around 20 minutes and is performed entirely on city streets, with no testing done on any 400-series highways. The examiner will have you perform basic driving maneuvers, including:
- Starting, stopping and turning the vehicle
- Obeying traffic stops and signs
- Passing other vehicles and driving in passing lanes
- Driving through all types of intersections (with lights and stop signs)
- Forward, reverse, and parallel parking
- Reversing, 3-point turns, U-turns
How long do you have to wait to get your G2?
If you are a new driver trying to get your G2 license for the first time, you have to wait 8 to 12 months after you pass the G1 written exam. If you complete a certified driving school, you only have to wait for 8 months instead of the full year.
What happens if I fail my G2 test?
If you fail your G2 test, you will have to wait 10 days before you can take it again. Depending on the time of the year, this could take longer if there are no bookings available.
When you arrive for your scheduled road test, you will be asking the following questions in compliance with COVID-19 policies and procedures:
- Have you travelled in the past 30 days?
- Are you experiencing any signs/symptoms of illness, such as cough, sneeze, fever, increased difficulty breathing or flu-like symptoms?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you will not be able to proceed with the test.
G Road Test
The G driving exam includes everything from the G2 exam, but also tests you on more advanced driving skills- mainly, driving on highways. They last around 30 minutes and new drivers will need to have their G2 for at least 8-12 months before they can take the G road test. The skills you will be tested on that are new to the G exam include:
- Merging onto a 400-series highway at the proper speed
- Passing other vehicles and changing lanes
- Exiting the highway
How many mistakes are allowed on the G and G2 driving tests?
There is no set number of mistakes that could lead to passing or failing a G or G2 exam. For instance, minor infractions like merging too late or failing to signal could lead to negative points, while one major mistake such as speeding in a school zone would be grounds for an immediate fail. However, making too many minor mistakes could also lead to failing the exam.
What happens if I fail my G test?
If you fail the G road test you will have to wait around 10 days before you can take it again. It will also depend on how soon you can book an available time to take the test. Certain times of the year can also affect booking availability.
If you want more information about the process and requirements for road tests you can find it here.
In Ontario, you as the driver are responsible for keeping your license information up to date as far as the status of your vision. If your status changes, you have to notify the DriveTest Centre. If you don’t need glasses anymore, you will need to pass a Vision Test at a DriveTest Centre and have your vision specialist fill out a form to confirm your status. However, you might be asked at any point during your license application or renewal to complete a vision test.
What does the vision test consist of?
- Reading a series of letters or numbers that decrease in size on the screen.
- Being shown a flashing light in your peripheral vision and indicating when you see it on either side.
- You must have no worse than 20/50 vision and 120-degree peripheral vision with both eyes open and while wearing any corrective lenses.
- If you fail the vision test you must have a special form filled out by your vision specialist before you can complete your license application or renewal.
The tests only take a few minutes and are performed by any employee at a DriveTest Centre. You will be asked to look into a special piece of equipment while wearing your corrective lenses if you need them to drive.
All of these driver’s license tests have fees that you will have to pay every time you take them. Here is a breakdown of the various fees you can pay for a test or test package:
|Class G1 licence package (includes knowledge test, G2 road test and a five-year licence)||$159.75|
|Knowledge Test (per extra attempt)||$16.00|
|One G2 Road Test attempt||$53.75|
|One G Road Test attempt||$91.25|
|Five-year license fee (renewal, reinstatement or foreign license exchange)||$90.00|
|Foreign license application package (includes five-year license, knowledge test; does not include any extra testing)||$106.00|
You can pay with almost any method. The ministry accepts cash, credit card, debit card, business or personal cheques, bank drafts, money orders, or traveller’s cheques.
Official MTO Driver’s Handbook: $16.00
You might also be interested in these guides:
Guide to Ontario Driver’s Licenses
How to Exchange a Foreign License for an Ontario Driver’s License
How to Renew, Replace or Reinstate Your Driver’s License