The Covid delays of the Courts and its process have already caused frustration and strain on a fragile system.  More so, it’s played havoc on the long waiting list that Ontario young drivers have endured with the graduated licensing program.  Prior to Covid, waiting lists varied from City to City, as the larger populations had longer lists and smaller areas would only have months to wait for road tests.  The Process begins when you finally turn the age of 16, therefore deemed responsible enough to drive in the Province of Ontario.  

The Process of Getting Your Driver’s License

First things first, you must visit or set up a G1 Written Test, which can be done by following the link:

You will need a specific ID and will undergo an Eye Exam Test, along with the written test, to ensure that you meet the requirements of Ontario’s Licensing System. 

The site has other helpful information, like how to order a Driver’s Handbook to assist in ensuring you pass the G1 written test (and informative information regarding the rules of the road).  If you’re fortunate enough to pass on the first try, congratulations!  If not, don’t worry you can write it again another day.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again.  Once you’ve successfully received your green paper beginner’s permit, you can begin driving.  HOWEVER, you have restrictions and must abide by them.  The first and foremost restriction is having an accompanied driver with at least 4 years of being G Class Driver, beside you in the front passenger seat.  A full list of restrictions follows.

Novice License Conditions

  1. (1) The holder of a Class G1 driver’s license may drive a Class G1 motor vehicle on a highway if a holder of a Class A, B, C, D, E, F or G driver’s license or its equivalent authorises the holder to drive the motor vehicle, who qualifies as an accompanying driver, occupies the seat beside the driver for the purpose of giving him or her instruction in driving the motor vehicle and the following additional conditions are met:
  2. Revoked:  O. Reg. 205/10, s. 2 (1).
  3. The accompanying driver’s blood alcohol concentration must be less than 50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood while the novice driver is operating the motor vehicle.
  4. No person other than the novice driver and the accompanying driver shall occupy a front seat in the motor vehicle.
  5. The number of passengers in the seats other than the front seats of the motor vehicle must not exceed the number of operable seat belt assemblies in those other seats.
  6. The motor vehicle may not be driven on a highway designated by subsection (4).
  7. The motor vehicle may not be driven by the novice driver between midnight and 5 a.m.  O. Reg. 340/94, s. 5 (1); O. Reg. 205/10, s. 2 (1).

(2) A person is qualified to act as an accompanying driver if he or she,

(a)  is a fully licensed driver in a Class G motor vehicle;

(b)  has been licensed in Ontario or another jurisdiction for at least four years; and

(c)  meets the applicable requirements of the Act and the regulations, including any requirement to wear corrective lenses but not including any requirement for any special or modified controls applicable to the accompanying driver’s license.  O. Reg. 340/94, s. 5 (2); O. Reg. 83/05, s. 4; O. Reg. 205/10, s. 2 (2).

(3) Revoked:  O. Reg. 205/10, s. 2 (3).

(4) The following highways are designated for the purposes of paragraph 5 of subsection (1):

  1. Those parts of the King’s Highway known as Nos. 400, 400A, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 409, 410, 412, 416, 417, 418, 420 and 427 with posted speed limits greater than 80 kilometers per hour.

1.1  All of the King’s Highway known as Highway 407 East.

1.2  All of the private toll highway known as Highway 407.

  1. All of the King’s Highway known as the Queen Elizabeth Way.
  2. Those parts of the highway known as the Don Valley Parkway, the Gardiner Expressway and the E. C. Row Expressway.
  3. That part of the King’s Highway known as the Conestoga Parkway from its westerly limit at its intersection with the King’s Highway known as Nos. 7 and 8 to its northerly limit at its intersection with the King’s Highway known as No. 86.  O. Reg. 340/94, s. 5 (4); O. Reg. 149/97, s. 1; O. Reg. 134/16, s. 2; O. Reg. 476/17, s. 1.

(5) Paragraph 5 of subsection (1) does not apply if the accompanying driver is a driving instructor licensed in Ontario.  O. Reg. 340/94, s. 5 (5).

(6) Subsection (1) does not apply to the driving of a motor-assisted bicycle.  O. Reg. 340/94, s. 5 (6).

Violations of the Novice License Conditions

If you are caught and charged for any of the above-noted violations and convicted of them, it will result in a suspension of your G1 license for 30 days, the first offence, 90 days, the second offence and indefinite on the third offence!  Furthermore, below are other types of convictions that will result in the same penalties of suspended licenses!

G2 Driver’s License

If you can get past a year with your G1, you can upgrade to a G2 class license, which has fewer restrictions.  As well, if you take a Driving School Program, you can proceed to your G2 Road test 3 months sooner!!!  Please check the Province of Ontario’s list of approved schools before you enrol, as various schools are not accredited, and you’ll be just the same as a person who never attended.

G2 License Restrictions

The fewer restrictions that a G2 driver has been limited to: 

  • you cannot exceed the same number of passengers as seatbelts and can only have 1 passenger under the age of 19.  After being licensed for 6 months, you can now have 3 under the age of 19 
  • the violations listed below (both G1 and G2 drivers):

(3) Subsection (1) applies with respect to any of the following offences:

  1. An offence under subsection 44.1 (3) of the Act. (Novice BAC 0 zero)

1.1  An offence under subsection 44.2 (4) of the Act. (Young BAC 0 zero – means 22 years or younger)

  1. A contravention of any of the conditions specified in section 5, 6 or 7 of this Regulation.
  2. An offence under the Act set out in Column 1 of the Table to the Demerit Point Regulation for which the number of demerit points set out opposite thereto in Column 2 is four or more, regardless of whether or not demerit points have been recorded.
  3. An offence under subsection 216 (3) of the Act. (Intent to Flight from Police)
  4. An offence under section 78 or 78.1 of the Act. O. Reg. 205/10, s. 6; O. Reg. 227/15, s. 1; O. Reg. 335/18, s. 1. (Hand Held Communication Device)

Limitations due to Covid-19

So aside from all the limitations that a G1 and G2 Driver have, Covid has even limited the chance and opportunity for young persons and drivers in Ontario.

Well as the Province waits for the ‘wheels to churn’ again, so are our young drivers with respect to graduating from G1 status or G2 status, to finally be “free” to drive on Ontario’s highways without restrictions.  Well, you must be over the age of 22, to fully enjoy the freedom, though only B.A.C is an issue until you pass your twenty-second birthday.  It’s been reported that there is a backlog of over 350 000 Drive Tests that have been cancelled by the Covid lockdowns and measures.  That’s 350 000 more drivers on the highways, which may or may not affect traffic conditions, as many others have been affected and reduced driving since Covid lockdowns began.  

The shutdown of all the drive test centres has caused various dilemmas for the young drivers of Ontario.  Many are now worried as to how they will be able to attend post-secondary institutions, sports/recreation practices and even secure a job when a full G license is required.  As our parents before us (and before them) would say “back in my day we would walk 5 miles in foot deep snow to get there”, luckily modern millennials have more options.

Nevertheless, young drivers will inevitably be able to attend a drive test centre and move up the ladder with respect to getting their G license. In fact, after the January 2021 lockdown, the Province has announced it will re-open various centres in non-grey zones.  Once again, the smaller communities/towns of Ontario will see their respective centres open, while the larger (covid plagued) centres) will have to wait.

Solutions to License Delays

Though all is not lost!  The Province is going to hire more driver examiners to assist in the backlog of all those cancelled road tests.  Hopefully, they will be able to relieve the large amounts of people that had an expectation to be G2 or G Drivers now, as well as, accommodate those that have waited for their year to pass, go be eligible for their G2 or G tests.

Hopefully, with the additional examiners, all those waiting to upgrade their license status will be able to do so, even after all the Cvoice delay they have (and us) endured.  Lastly, now that you might retrieve your driving freedom a bit sooner than expected, don’t forget that if you get yourself in a bit of trouble, a ticket or a lot of trouble, a summons, contact a Licensed Paralegal.  We can help you!