Getting a Driver’s Licence
1. Should I get a driver’s licence in Canada?
The motto of the Ministry of Transportation is "Driving is a privilege - not a right”. Statistics say that every second resident of Canada, including infants, has a car! The infrastructure of Canada is fully adapted to road transport: there are a lot of high-speed highways and underground garages and there are parking lots everywhere. A man or a woman without a car can feel pretty helpless, especially when they have a job or if they live outside of a major urban centre.
Of course, in Canada there is public transport in most urban centers and in larger cities; some people who own cars take public transit to work because it is difficult to find affordable parking downtown. That said, the intervals between buses can be twenty minutes or more depending on where you live and there can often be delays, so many people prefer traveling by car. Many job ads state that the applicant must have his/her own car. Finally, a job often can be found far away from home, and a hundred miles one way in Canada is not considered too far to drive; many people work for years and drive such distances in their cars. Strict observance of traffic rules and an attentive, friendly attitude toward other drivers and pedestrians are distinctive features of Canadian drivers. This attitude will give you accident-free driving for a long time. That is why we suggest getting a driver’s licence in Canada.
2. How can I get a driver’s licence in Canada?
To get a Canadian driver’s licence, you have to visit your nearest test centre and find out what the requirements are. The addresses of examination centres in Ontario are available at https://drivetest.ca. To start the licensing procedure you need to be at least 16 years old and pass an eye test. After passing a written test about the rules of the road and traffic signs, you will be able to get a G1 driver’s licence. After 8-12 months, depending on the province, you can take your first road test and if you pass, you can get a G2 driver’s licence. After an additional 8-12 months, you can take a second road test and if you are successful, you will have a full G driver’s licence. This is the end of the licensing process. Your driving licence should always be with you; it is usually used as an identification card. If you show compelling documents about previous experience driving before immigration, the procedure for obtaining a driver’s licence can be reduced.
3. What is the cost of getting driver licence?
The costs of getting a driver's licence are different across Canada. Here are the following fees for driver examination services in Ontario: https://drivetest.ca/tests/fees.
4. How can I find an appropriate driving school?
You should be carefully prepared for driving tests. You can be trained by a relative or a friend, but it is a good idea to enroll in driving school. Twenty-five hours of lectures and ten hours of practice driving is considered sufficient training.
In driving school, you will drive with an experienced instructor in a specially prepared car. The instructor knows the routes, where tests are held and the traps that examiners arrange for novice drivers. The instructor can help you reduce the waiting period for a road test if there happens to be a queue. As well, a certificate of completion from a driving school will help you to shorten the trial period between the theoretical exam and road exam from twelve to eight months, as well as reduce the cost of insurance on your vehicle. The site http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/driver/driving-schools.shtml has a list of driving schools recognized by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario and if you are interested in schools which teach in your language, you can find them in newspapers catering to your ethnic community.
5. How can I pass the traffic rules test (for the G1 driver’s licence)?
The first test evaluates knowledge of the traffic regulations. In Ontario, you can learn the rules on your own using the guide, "The Official Driver's Handbook", developed by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. This handbook gives new drivers the basic information they need about learning to drive in Ontario: the rules of the road, safe driving practices and how to get a licence to drive a car, van or small truck. You can find this book online or buy it at Chapters and Indigo book stores or at the centres where exams are given for the driver’s licence; this book costs about $15.
Sometimes, at your request, you can take the exam in your language in writing or on computer. If you gain enough points to pass the test, you will get a G1 driver's licence which allows you to drive when accompanied in the car by a driver with four years of experience or more. With this certificate, you must have a zero blood alcohol level while driving, you cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 5 am, and you cannot use the 400 series highways. After twelve months of probation, you can take the first road test. This does not apply to an experienced driver.
See Free G1 Practice Test at https://www.g1.ca/
6. How can I pass the first road test (for the G2 driver’s licence)?
Be sure to book your road test in advance, as there may be a long queue. Sometime driving schools can help you get an early road test with their car or you can rent a car for the road tests because examination centres do not provide cars. You can take the road tests as many times as you want until you pass, but the break between the two road tests must be at least ten days.
The first road test will be on city streets and includes leaving the parking spot from the test centre, lane changes, a three-point turn, reverse and front parking, and proper signalling at all times. The examiner may ask you to switch from the passing lane to the driving lane, and back again. Also, you will be asked to park as if you were on an uphill or downhill slant so ensure that you know which direction to turn the wheels and make sure you always use your parking/emergency brake whenever parked. After passing the first road test on city streets, you will get a G2 licence. It allows you to drive independently, without the support of an experienced instructor but with some restrictions.
7. How can I pass the second road test (for the G driver’s licence)?
To pass the second road test you should be able to drive a car confidently on the highway. Don't be afraid to speed up. Any yellow sign is cautionary, and therefore you should take it as a recommendation. Thus, if you feel the need to speed up because everyone else is doing so, then by all means go ahead. It's the white and/or orange posted speed limit signs you have to obey. Going over the speed limit results in an automatic failure.
During the test, the examiner will ask you to do a three-point turn, front parking, reverse parking, parallel parking, an emergency stop, and lane changes, while signalling and watching blind spots. Also, the examiner will observe your actions in the car, how you start, stop, turn, park and enter the highway. He or she will take into consideration how you use mirrors to coordinate your actions with other drivers; pay attention to the signs and dividing lines and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. All of these aspects are reflected in the examiner's report at the end of the test. The examiner will list and explain the mistakes you committed. If you do not pass this road test, you will be informed of your mistakes. After passing the second road test, you will receive a full G licence.
8. Where can I rent a car?
If you already have a driver’s licence, but still do not have a car, you can rent one for trips, both short and long term. Reliable companies that offer car rental can be suggested by you relatives or friends; you can also search online for a suitable company offering rental cars within your price range. Often while traveling around the country, you can fly to your destination, and rent a car at the airport, which can be ordered in advance. When placing an order, confirm the dates within which you wish to rent the car. Choose the car class and special equipment you need, such as seat [type?] or GPS devices. Rates depend on the season, the type of car, the rental period, and type of insurance.
After presenting your reservation paper, ID, valid credit card and driver's licence to the representative, you can pick up your car. Before departure from the parking lot, inspect the car body, windows and wheels for defects and make sure that all detected defects are noted in your rental papers. Otherwise you could be charged for damages caused by the previous driver.
For more information see FAQ about renting a car https://www.enterprise.com/en/help/faqs.html
9. Where can I find sources of additional information about getting a driver's licence in Canada?
We recommend the following sources for newcomers about getting a driver's licence in Canada:
Driving in Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/new-immigrants/new-life-canada/driving.html
Get a G driver’s licence: new drivers https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-g-drivers-licence-new-drivers.
10. Are there any Canadian sources in other languages?