In Ontario we have a graduated license system. There are three different stages: G1, G2 and G. All potential drivers are required to pass a test at each stage before moving on to the next. Once you reach the “G” classification, you will be finished with your G road test and will be allowed unrestricted driving throughout the province of Ontario.
A G2 allows a license holder to drive at any time of the day without another experienced driver in the car. It also allows the license holder to drive a car, truck or van as long as the vehicle weight is below 11,000 kilograms. In order to obtain your G2, you will need to pass a road driving test. This test will assess you on multiple aspects of basic driving skills such as parking, stopping, turning and signalling.
If you are able to pass that test on your first try, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and gain confidence in your driving abilities. Passing the G2 road test on your first try will also save you money because you will not have to pay additional fees to retake the test.
What is the G2 road test?
The G2 road test is the test you must pass to obtain your G2 licence. A G2 licence is the second step to obtaining your full G licence in Ontario. It comes after the G1 written test and before the final G road test.
How soon after getting my G1 can I book my G2 road test?
Per Ontario law, G1 licence holders cannot book a G2 road test for 12 months after obtaining their G1. However, this time period is reduced to eight months if you complete an approved driving course. Enrolling in an approved driving course offers many benefits to young drivers. Not only does it allow you to schedule your G2 test sooner but it will also teach you invaluable driving skills and save you money on car insurance.
Some tips that should make it easier for you to pass your G2 road test
Here are some tips that should make it easier for you to pass your G2 road test:
Take a certified driver training course
One of the best and most effective ways to prepare for your G2 road test is to take a certified driver training course. Most of the courses combine classroom instruction with one-on-one in-vehicle training with a driving instructor. Upon completion of the course, you will be awarded a Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) certification. In addition to teaching you vital strategies to help you pass your G2 road test on the first try, the MTO certification will make it possible for you to get some of the lowest insurance rates on your car insurance.
Practice actual driving routes
On your local test center’s website, you should be able to download a set of routes that examiners typically use for testing. Practice driving those routes in order to become familiar with them. This will help you to spot any potential problem areas, such as crossroads or roundabouts, and make sure that you are prepared for them in the actual driving test.
Since you will not know in advance what route the examiner will choose, you should practice all of the routes until you are completely comfortable driving each one. That way, your confidence level will be much higher on test day, gaining sufficient highway driving experience for the test. You will also be in a better position to deal with any unexpected challenges that arise that day, such as unusually high traffic or a driver pulling out in front of you. If possible, it is best to practice in the vehicle that you will be taking your road test in.
Prepare yourself for the test
On the day of your G2 road test, make sure that you and your car are prepared. Everything you do while you are in your vehicle on the day of the test will be judged. Before you even head toward the testing center, make sure your seat position and your mirrors are adjusted properly. Turn off your sound system, and put away your phone. Be sure to buckle up. Make sure that all your lights and signals are working. Don’t forget about your brake lights and wipers, as well as to drive with both hands on the steering wheel.
Practice specific driving skills
The G2 road test examiners will be looking for you to demonstrate basic driving skills. You will be more likely to pass your road test if you practice these skills ahead of time with your own vehicle if possible. Here is a list of some of the more common skills you will be asked to demonstrate while driving:
Stopping and Parking
Your examiner will want to make sure you can safely come to a stop, whether that be at a light or beside a curb. In addition to being able to perform this manoeuvre smoothly, you should be able to get close enough to the curb so that your car is not sticking out in traffic. However, be careful not to scrape your tires against the curb.
If you are asked to park on a hill, be sure to put the vehicle in park and apply the emergency parking brake. Remember to point your wheels to the left if your car is facing uphill and to the right, if it is facing downhill.
Moving Away From a Curb
When moving away from a curb, be sure to check your mirrors for pedestrians, other cars or traffic signs. Don’t forget to check your blind spot and release the emergency brake before pulling away, changing lanes, or making a left or right turn.
When you approach a junction, make sure you slow down enough to negotiate the turn smoothly. If necessary, you may have to stop and let oncoming traffic pass. If traffic is slight, try to move through the junction without stopping. This will show the examiner that you have the skills and confidence to negotiate junctions without impeding traffic.
Performing an Emergency Stop
It is likely that your examiner will ask you to perform an emergency stop at some point during your test. Be prepared for this because this is where many new drivers fail. When you hear the words “emergency stop,” you may be tempted to slam on the brakes for a complete stop. However, try not to brake too hard or too soft, and don’t forget to check your blind spot before starting on your route again.
Making a Turn
You will most likely be asked to make either a left or right turn during the test. If so, be sure to signal your intentions, and watch for oncoming traffic. Although you will need to slow down enough to make the turn, don’t drive so slowly that you are blocking traffic.
Obeying All Speed Limits
This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you obey all speed limit signs. If your mind is too busy anticipating your next move, you may forget to observe the posted speed limits. This is extremely important because if you speed, you will most likely to automatic fail your road test. A general rule of thumb is to keep within five kilometres of the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is 50 kilometres, it is safe for you to drive between 45 and 55 kilometres.
This skill was saved for last because of the fear parallel parking evokes in so many drivers. However, learning to parallel park is much like learning any other skill. It requires a basic understanding of the techniques involved in driving training and plenty of practice. You can train on your driveway, a residential street or empty parking lots that permits it. Once you get the technique down, you can begin to practice parking between two cars. However, it would be better to not try this in a heavily congested area with other vehicles.
What happens after I pass my G1 test?
Congratulations, you’ve passed your G1! Now what? The next step is to start preparing for your G2 road test. Compared to the G1 test, which is exclusively written, the G2 test presents more of a challenge. The G2 test is a road test, and it is necessary if you want to progress through Ontario’s graduated licensing system and obtain a full licence (also known as a G).
What restrictions do G1 drivers have?
If you hold a G1 licence in Ontario, you must be aware of the restrictions that come with it.
As the lowest class of driver’s licence, there are many limitations placed on novice drivers. These restrictions include:
- You cannot drive with any alcohol or drugs in your system (your blood alcohol level must be zero).
- You cannot drive alone. An accompanying driver must sit in the front passenger seat and hold a valid G licence. They must also have a minimum of four years of driving experience and a BAC level of less than .05%.
- Each person in the vehicle must have a working seatbelt.
- You cannot drive on 400-series highways or high-speed roads with a posted speed limit over 80 km/h unless you are accompanied by a certified driving instructor.
- You cannot drive between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
How can I book the G2 road test?
Booking a G2 road test is easier than you might think. You can do so over the phone, online, or in person at a DriveTest centre near you. Keep in mind that all G2 road tests must be booked in advance.
- Booking your G2 road test by phone: Call your local DriveTest centre or the Official Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to book a G2 road test over the phone.
- Booking your G2 road test online: Visit the DriveTest website to book your G2 road test on the internet.
- Booking your G2 road test in person: Visit your local DriveTest centre, or any DriveTest centre, to book a G2 road test.
Whether you choose to book your G2 road test by phone, online, or in person, you will need to supply the following information:
- Your Ontario driver’s licence number
- The date and time you want to take the test
- The location where you want to take the test
- Backup location preferences (in the event there are no appointments available at your nearest DriveTest centre)
How much does it cost to take the G2 road test?
The fee for the G2 road test is included in your G1 licence packaging, which is valid for six years from the date of payment. That said, if you need to take the G2 test more than once (i.e. if you fail the test the first time), it will cost $53.75 to take it again. In addition, when you pass the G2 road test, there is a mandatory $90 licensing fee.
How long is the G2 road test?
The G2 road test takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. During this time, the examiner will assess your basic driving skills.
What do I need to bring to my G2 test?
Don’t show up for your G2 road test empty-handed. Rather, there are a few items you are required to bring and a few we recommend bringing:
- Your G1 driver’s licence
- Prescription glasses or contact lenses (if necessary)
- Sunglasses (depending on the conditions)
- A working vehicle that has no defects (you can also opt to take the test using your driving instructor’s vehicle)
Beyond the items above, make sure that you have been driving for a minimum of 12 months (or 8 months if you completed an approved driving course) before taking your G2 road test. In addition, we always urge applicants to arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before their scheduled test time to complete the necessary paperwork.
What to expect on the day of your G2 road test
On the day of your G2 test, travel to the DriveTest centre, park your vehicle in the parking lot, and check in at the front desk. You will be required to provide your G1 driver’s licence and fill out the necessary paperwork.
You can then return to the reception area and find a seat, where you will wait patiently for your name to be called by your examiner, who will lead you from the DriveTest centre building to your vehicle. From there, safely get into the car and listen to the driving instructor. They will guide you throughout the entire road test, telling you where to turn, when to park, and what manoeuvres to attempt.
The test will take roughly 20 minutes to complete and will end where it began, in the DriveTest centre parking lot. Once you’ve safely parked the vehicle and turned off the engine, your examiner will notify you of your grade (pass or fail). The examiner will also give you feedback on what you need to improve on. From there, you can go back into the DriveTest centre to pay the licensing fee and obtain your G2 licence or book another G2 road test, if you failed and would like to book another exam.
Tips for the day of the G2 test
- Arrive early: Arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before your scheduled test to check in and fill out the necessary paperwork.
- Check that your vehicle is working: Your vehicle must be in working order and free from any defects if you want to use it for a G2 road test. Therefore, it’s important to check the vehicle before showing up at your road test. Do this by ensuring the lights are functioning, the gas tank is full, and the wiper fluid is full.
- Bring your own car: If possible, we recommend bringing your own (or your family’s) vehicle simply because you’re likely the most familiar with it. If this isn’t possible, you may also ask to bring your driving instructor’s vehicle.
- Book your G2 test well before your G1 license expires: Make sure to book your G2 road test well before your G1 licence expires. This way, you’ll have time to re-book the G2 road test if you fail and need to take it again.
What do you need to do to pass the G2 test?
The purpose of the G2 road test is to assess your basic driving skills and comfort level at driving on non-highway roads. Therefore, during the test, your examiner will consider your ability to obey the rules of the road and exhibit safe driving behaviour. Verbal directions will be given throughout the exam, which will be conducted on local roads. Some of the basic driving skills your G2 road test will likely include are as follows:
- Recognizing and following road signs, as well as turning, stopping, passing, and generally obeying the rules of the road.
- Driving through controlled and uncontrolled intersections.
- Parking, reversing, and parallel parking.
- Practicing safe driving, like correct steering habits, checking your mirrors, and obeying the speed limits.
G2 road test checklist
To properly prepare for the G2 road test in Ontario, drivers must be aware of what they will be tested on. While your instructor will generally assess your ability to drive safely and follow the rules of the road, there are several specific skills you might be asked to demonstrate. For this reason, we recommend practicing all of the following skills before your road test:
- Fastening your seatbelt.
- Turning on the vehicle.
- Checking all safety devices (lights, hazards, emergency brake, wipers).
- Exiting the parking lot.
- Releasing parking brake.
- Signalling as you leave the parking spot.
- Stopping before the sidewalk as you pull out of the lot.
- Looking around for pedestrians as you pull out of your parking spot.
- Obeying traffic signs and stops.
- Keeping a safe distance from the vehicles around you.
- Using turn signals when turning.
- Checking blind spots when turning or passing.
- Changing lanes.
- Check mirrors while passing, turning, or parking.
- Driving in passing lanes.
- Driving the speed limit.
- Following the right of way.
- Obeying traffic signs (e.g. stop signs, traffic lights, yield, etc.).
- Scanning for oncoming traffic at intersections.
- Stopping before the white line at a stop sign.
- Letting the vehicle come to a complete stop at intersections or stop signs.
- Turning from the correct lane.
- Turning appropriately (e.g. not too wide).
- Turning at a safe speed.
- Controlled steering.
- Three-point turns.
- Parallel parking.
- Reverse and forward parking.
- Set parking brake when parked.
- Proper angle of wheels (e.g. if parking uphill or downhill).
The most common mistakes made during a G2 road test
Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to the G2 road test. For this reason, we recommend spending as much time behind the wheel as possible to prepare for your exam. To further increase your chances of success, the experts at BrokerLink have put together a list of the most common mistakes during the G2 road test. Read the list below and practice each skill to avoid making the same errors:
- Failing to signal before turning: Do not forget to use your blinker when appropriate. This includes anything you’re changing lanes, turning (including three-point turns), and parking.
- Not obeying the speed limit: Obey the speed limit at all times. Try to avoid going more than 5km/h over the posted speed limit.
- Not checking your mirrors: Checking your rear-view and side mirrors show the instructor that you are aware of your surroundings. Although checking your mirrors is an essential component of turning or changing lanes, we recommend glancing at them every five or ten seconds while driving.
- Failing to come to a complete stop: Anytime there is a red light or stop sign, you must come to a complete stop. We advise drivers to stop for a full three seconds, letting the vehicle rock back.
- Parallel parking errors: Parallel parking is one of the trickiest manoeuvres on the G2 road test. Don’t let a botched parallel parking attempt be the skill that trips you up. Practice at home to increase your odds of getting it right on the day of the test.
What counts as an automatic fail on the G2 road test?
Although most failed G2 road tests are the result of several small mistakes adding up, some people fail because of one major mistake. The following is a list of “automatic fails” for the G2 road test, meaning if you do any of the following, you are likely to fail your test, even if the rest of it went well:
- Missing more than two traffic signs or failing to obey one of the posted speed limits.
- Losing control of your vehicle.
- Driving off the road.
- Getting into a collision.
- Driving over a curb or sidewalk.
- Failing to signal for every turn.
- Running stop signs and lights or failing to come to a complete stop at an intersection (let the vehicle roll back).
- Violating pedestrians’ right of way rules.
- Driving too close to another vehicle.
- Pulling off the road or turning at an intersection without checking for other vehicles.
- Failing to yield right of way when turning on red at traffic lights.
G2 driver’s licence restrictions
If you successfully pass your G2 road test, which your instructor will inform you of once you’ve safely parked your vehicle in the DriveTest centre parking lot, you are one step closer to being a fully-licenced Ontario motorist! However, just like when you got your G1, holding a G2 licence comes with certain restrictions. Although you’ll have more freedoms than with a G1, there are still some limitations placed on G2 licence holders.
First, as with your G1 licence, your blood alcohol level cannot be above zero while driving. You are also prohibited from driving with any cannabis in your system. Further, G2 drivers are personally responsible for ensuring that all passengers in their vehicles are wearing seatbelts. During the first six months of holding your G2 licence if you are 19 years old or younger, you can only carry one passenger who is 19 years old or younger. After six months or when you turn 20, you can carry up to three passengers who are 19 years old or younger.
What you can look forward to as a G2 licence holder
Although there are a few restrictions that come with a G2 driver’s licence in Ontario, there are also some new privileges. For example, G2 drivers can drive without a supervisor, on highways (including 400-series highways), and between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m.
Tips to help you pass the G2 road test
Below is a list of tips to help first-time drivers pass the G2 road test in Ontario:
Keep both hands on the steering wheel
First and foremost, always maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel. This means having two hands on the steering wheel at all times, and positioning them appropriately (either at 10 and 2 or 9 and 3). Further, make sure to grip the wheel to avoid it sliding or rolling back (e.g. after turning).
Check your mirrors frequently
Make sure that you glance into your rear-view and side mirrors throughout your driving test. This includes when manoeuvring, like turning or passing, as well as when driving along. You may wish to exaggerate the movement of checking your mirrors by moving your head along with your gaze (to be sure the instructor knows what you are doing). Before the test, we also recommend inspecting your mirrors to ensure they are securely fastened and properly positioned.
Drive the speed limit
Adhering to the speed limits at all times, whether you’re driving on a 400-series highway or residential road, is crucial. If you’re nervous or uncomfortable driving at the speed limit, you can also drive just below it. It’s always better to drive just below the speed limit than above it during the G2 road test.
Come to a complete stop
Rolling stops are a definite no during your G2 road test. Failure to come to a complete stop anytime you are at an intersection or a stop sign can result in a failed grade (or worse, a traffic ticket). Before hitting the gas, stop the car for a minimum of three seconds.
Minimize all distractions
Anytime you’re driving, but especially during the G2 road test, we advise you to keep distractions to a minimum. This means turning your phone to silent and keeping it out of sight, turning the radio off, and rolling the windows up.
One final tip? Relax! Before the test begins, do what you need to do to return to a calm state of mind, whether that means listening to your favourite song or practicing a breathing technique. It’s normal to be nervous but don’t let your nerves get in the way of success. The instructor is not trying to trip you up. If you practice and prepare, you will be ready.
Good luck and drive safe!
How many mistakes are allowed in the G2 test Ontario?
There is no specific number of mistakes allowed during the G2 road test. Rather, deductions are given for errors and if enough deductions are made, you will fail. Examples of common deductibles include failing to come to a complete stop, failing to signal when turning, or driving over the speed limit.
How hard is the G2 road test?
Ontario’s G2 road test is not particularly hard. It takes roughly 20 minutes to complete and is designed to assess a driver’s basic driving skills, such as changing lanes, turning at intersections, parallel parking, and making three-point turns. If you practice on the road or with a professional driving instructor, you have a good chance of passing on the first try.
How many times can you fail your G2 test in Ontario?
There is no limit to the number of times you can fail your G2 test in Ontario. However, you need a valid G1 driver’s licence in order to book a G2 road test. Therefore, if your G1 licence expires before you have successfully passed the G2 road test, you will no longer be eligible to take the G2 test. In this case, you would have to restart at the beginning of the G1 process. Please note that most G1 driver’s licences are valid for five years from the date of issue.
Can I take the G2 driving test in my own car?
Yes, you can use your own car for the G2 road test. You may also use a friend's or family member’s car, or even the car of your driving instructor (if applicable). We recommend using a car you are familiar with. You must also choose one that is safe and operational.
How common is it to fail the G2 road test?
It is estimated that roughly 30% to 45% of drivers fail the G2 road test on the first attempt. If you fail, you will not be granted a G2 licence, however, your G2 licence will still be valid, so long as it has not expired. If you fail, you can rebook another G2 road test at a later date.
Is the G2 road test easier than the G road test?
Yes, the G2 road test is typically easier than the G road test. It is generally shorter in length and does not involve driving on a major highway.
Do you go on the highway for the G2 road test?
No, you do not drive on a major highway (e.g. a 400-series highway) on the G2 road test. However, your instructor may take you on roads with speed limits of up to 80 km/h.
For more FAQs, visit the BrokerLink FAQs page.