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I hold an Ontario G2 driver's license and I am driving to Virginia. We will be going through Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia. Can I drive in these States?


Ontario, Canada has a graduated licensing system which you are going through. The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) for Ontario has restrictions in place for both G1 and G2 drivers. The restrictions list for a G2 license does not include driving out of the providence or into the United States.

We contacted the Ontario, Canada Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to find out for certain if G1 or G2 licensed drivers could drive out of their province and into the United States since the restriction and conditions listed by the MTO for these graduated licenses does not say for certain.

The representative of the MTO stated that while the G1 licence is a learner's permit and as such, only meant for practice driving in Ontario with a licensed accompanying driver present at all times however the MTO went on to say that once you are outside Ontario, you are subject to the laws of the jurisdiction you are traveling in, not Ontario's laws. The rep. for the MTO noted that you should check first with the licensing authorities of the province or state about the validity of Ontario novice licences there BEFORE you travel.

A novice licence is not considered to be fully licensed for driving the MTO noted and whether a Class G2 licence is accepted depends on the laws, including minimum driving age, in the province or state you are driving in.

So it would appear that you could indeed drive into the United States with your G2 if the state you are driving in allows you to do so. Before driving into the U.S. with your G2 license you might want to check with the MTO, just to find out for certain what restrictions or conditions they place on you while out of the province.

It is likely that your Canadian restrictions will still be in place even while driving outside of Canada but it may be that you are only required to abide by the restrictions of the state in which you are operating a car. The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) representative stated that you can call the Service Ontario Driver and Vehicle contact centre at 416-235-2999 or 1-800-387-3445 (Canada wide) and speak with a customer service representative if you have additional questions or need clarification.

We contacted the various states you asked if you could drive in while traveling in the United States with your G2 license. Their responses are listed below.

The Michigan Secretary of State said that you would have the same privileges in Michigan that you would have in Canada regardless of whether you hold a G1 or G2. If you have other questions, feel free to contact the SOS at 888-767-6424.

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles stated to us that you may drive up to 1 year in Ohio as a tourist with your foreign license. You must drive per your Ontario graduated driver's license restrictions. If you have additional questions the BMV said to contact the license control office at (614)752-2181.

The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles responded by stating that drivers that have a valid instruction permit (or other GDL type license) and is under the age of 21, is required to be accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21 while operating a vehicle in West Virginia. You can contact the WV DMV for clarification or for more information at 304-558-3900.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles told us that visitors or military personnel holding an international license issued by a foreign country may operate vehicles in this country if the international license is accompanied by a valid driver's license issued by the person's home country. The VA DMV referred us to the Virginia Highway Patrol to get more information on this situation.

The VA Highway Patrol stated that section 46.2-307 of the Code of Virginia pertains to your situation. This part of Virginia law is titled nonresidents licensed under laws of home state or country; extension of reciprocal privileges. Here it states:

A. A nonresident over the age of sixteen years and three months who has been duly licensed as a driver under a law requiring the licensing of drivers in his home state or country and who has in his immediate possession a driver's license issued to him in his home state or country shall be permitted, without a Virginia license, to drive a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth.

If you want more information about these states or any other states you may wish to drive in you can contact their Department of Motor Vehicles. After checking with the DMV of the state(s) you plan to drive in with your G2 from Ontario and finding out if you are permitted to drive and with what restrictions, you will also want to check with your insurer. You should check with your Canadian insurance company to see if your coverages will extend to you as a G2 license holder taking a trip into the United States.

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1 Responses to "I hold an Ontario G2 driver's license and I am driving to Virginia. We will be going through Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia. Can I drive in these States?"
  1. Anonymous

    I found this answer very descriptive and got to the point.