New drivers that live in Ontario, Canada must enter the Graduated Licensing System when applying for a car or motorcycle driver's license. Ontario's novice driver licensing system is similar to two or three step licensing procedures used in many States within the United States. These types of licensing systems help cut down on inexperienced drivers, such as teenagers, from being involved in accidents and fatalities.
Ontario's Graduated Licensing System (GDL) has been in place since April, 1994 as a way to let new motorists get driving experience and skills in a gradual manner. The GDL process in Ontario is accomplished in two steps and takes at least 20 months to complete. The two parts to the process are the G1 license and G2 license. If you are getting a motorcycle license then they are called the M1 and M2. This article will concentrate on the G1 and its conditions.
To apply for a license in Ontario, Canada you must be at least 16 years of age and pass both a vision and knowledge test. The knowledge exam tests the persons understanding of road and traffic signs. Once the person has passed the tests, they will receive their G1 license and be given a new driver information package. Once one has acquired their G1 license they have five years in which to complete the whole program, meaning both G1 and G2 requirements, and graduate to a full Class G license.
A G1 license must be held for a minimum of 12 months before the motorist attempts the G1 road test. This minimum time period can be reduced to only 8 months if the person successfully completes an approved driver education course. Once a new driver has obtained a G1license there are six important conditions that must be followed.
The six conditions of a G1 license include the driver being required to:
1. Maintain a zero blood alcohol level while driving.
2. Be accompanied by a fully licensed driver, who has at least four years driving experience, and a blood alcohol level of less than .05 percent, in case she or he needs to take over the wheel.
3. Ensure the accompanying driver is the only other person in the front seat.
4. Make certain the number of passengers in the vehicle is limited to the number of working seat belts.
5. Must refrain from driving on Ontario's "400-series" highways or on any high speed expressways.
6. Not allowed to drive between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
The Driver's Handbook should have a complete list of the 400 series and high-speed expressways where G1 drivers are not permitted to drive. The exception to these rules is if the accompanying driver is a licensed driving instructor in Ontario, the new motorist is allowed to drive on any road. In addition, it should be noted that the new Ontario licenses, there are four white stars under a person's photo to indicate four plus years of driving. If there are only 2 stars, the person is not qualified to be the accompanying driver of a G1 motorist.
G1 drivers need to learn experience driving a vehicle, while adhering to the conditions put on them by the Ministry of Transportation. If you are charged and convicted of breaking any of the licensing conditions, your G1 license will be suspended for 30 days. At the end of Level 1, you must pass a road test to move up to the next step in the graduated licensing process. Once the novice driver has passed the road test they may move up to level 2, the G2 license.
If you are going to get your G1 license soon, remember you can cut down your level 1 time period by 4 months if you successfully complete an approved driver education course. Learn more about the Ontario, Canada graduated licensing process in upcoming articles. The second part of this article series will discuss the G2 license and the conditions or rules that accompany it.