Taking Canada’s G1 driver’s license exam
The first step in driving in Canada is to get the G1 license, which you can view as a student’s license because you need to have an experienced driver with you at all times to drive. Next is the G2 license which allows you to drive on your own with certain restrictions (no highways), then finally the G license.
Even if I don’t have a car yet, I took the G1 license exam because it’s one of the easiest and probably the fastest way to obtain a Canadian government ID for immigrants. All you need to do is pass a written exam to get one.
If you’re wondering what or how the exam was like to better prepare yourself then read on.
At the DriveTest Centre
First thing you need to do is go to the DriveTest Centre of your choice. There are three centers that are open on Saturdays but expect more people than during weekdays. There’s no need to make an appointment for the written exam.
We went to the nearest to our place which is in Oakville and the place wasn’t busy at all. There was only one person in front of me at the Helpdesk who will inspect your requirements and give you a form to fill out, and also a number stub.
For immigrants, accepted identification will be your passport. If you have a license from your home country, you need a certificate to prove its authenticity or else it won’t matter.
Total fee for a G1 license is $145 (not subjected to HST) with the following breakdown:
- Knowledge Test – $15
- G2 Road Test – $50
- 5-year license $80
I brought my old license with me and a certificate (valid for six months) for it which proved that I’ve been driving for more than 2 years. This gave me an exemption for the G2 road test which brought down my total fee to just $95. This means I can go straight to a G license test once I get my G1 license.
You can pay via cash, credit card or debit card. You can even use travelers checks and money orders but no personal checks.
Once your number is called, your form and requirements will be checked again. Then you have to pay the G1 fee ($145), and have your photo taken.
Then you need to take the vision test where you will peer into a scope and answer the correct number sequence shown in varying sizes. Your peripheral vision will also be tested by telling whether the light flashed on the left or right. Wear your corrective glasses if you have them.
Afterwards, your form will be handed to you which you need to show inside the written exam room.
The written test is composed of two parts, road signs and rules and regulations, with each having 20 questions selected randomly from a pool of questions.
In order to pass the written test, you must not make more than 4 mistakes on any of the parts. If you ace one part, but get 5 mistakes on the other part, you still fail the whole thing.
To prepare for this written test, I took the practice online test from icandrive.ca. Most of the questions in that practice test I encountered in the actual test. I suggest you go through this practice test and other tests you can find online.
Once done, I handed my papers over and waited for the result. The wait will depend on the number of people taking the test. In my case, it’s less than 5 minutes.
What happens if you fail?
You might ask, what happens if you fail the test. Well I did fail the test (the distance questions were confusing). Actually, I aced the road sign test but had 6 mistakes on the regulations part. The lady told me I can review my mistakes then take the regulations test again.
I went back outside to get a number and pay $15 to retake the test. Luckily, the set of questions the second time around were easier and a couple of my mistakes were asked again so it was still fresh in my mind.
I submitted my paper and was told that I passed the test. I was given a temporary license (a piece of hard paper) and was told that the actual license will be sent via mail within 90 days.
That’s it! Overall, I guess the whole thing took about an hour. It could’ve been faster if I didn’t have to retake a part of the test or if I didn’t have to recheck everything before submitting my paper.
The thing is, the written test is quite easy if you’re already familiar with the questions that they will be asking. The online tests helped and even if you fail, you can retake the test right then and there so you don’t have to go back.
Now I’m off to scout for affordable driving classes to prepare me for the G Road Test.