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New Immigrant - Got G License Easy

Discussion in 'Settlement Issues' started by 19, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Hello, I used to fret over how to get the Canadian driving license after moving here. Turns out it wasn't really much of a hassle.

    I'm from Pakistan and have about 20 years of driving experience. You only need 2/3 years for attempting the full G.

    I made sure my Pakistani driving license was renewed and had ample expiry date before I left Pakistan. I downloaded the drivers license verification form from the Pakistani embassy website in Toronto. This form is available at almost every country's embassy website (if not available online you can go in person and pick it up). I printed and filled it out, went to Pakistani consulate in Toronto and submitted it. It was a 5 minutes process and I paid 25 or 30 dollars. They told me to pick it up by end of day. Picked it up, what they basically do is go online on the Pakistani MTO and input my drivers license number. Once they see that the license is indeed genuine and the driving experience that I am claiming is legit they sign and stamp it and give it back. This document becomes your official drivers experience letter and is acceptable by Canadian driving authorities. No need to run around in your country of origin explaining you need an experience letter, it can be done here and is quite routine for embassies.

    I downloaded an App called G1 Genius and spent 5/6 hours using it and scanned the course book.

    The following morning went to drive test, took a token and waited for my turn for about two hours. On my turn at the counter gave their fees and told them I wanted to claim driving experience and give the G1. They asked for my original Pakistani license and the original driving experience letter from the embassy. Gave both, they entered the details in the system, did an eye test and told me to go give my G1 at the end of the room. Went the G1 section which is basically two dozen touch screen computers in a small room with everyone concentrating hard on the screens. The lady at the counter there took my documents and assigned me a computer. The G1 test is in 2 parts of 20 questions each. You can get 4 wrong in each test. Part 1&2 you have to get 16 right each. You cannot get 17 right in 1st part and 15 right in the 2nd part. 16 right each are required to pass. The test is available in many languages. I gave it in English but the options were awesome. Cantonese, Punjabi, Hindi etc.

    REMEMBER: You can drive for a couple of months after moving/landing on your home/international license but once you give the G1 you cannot use any other license and are bound by all G1 conditions. I.e you can drive to the drive test center legally in your rental but once you pass the G1 you cannot drive back without a full G driver with 4 years + of experience sitting next to you!

    The first part was mostly road signs and the second part was road situations and knowledge of driving laws. It was pretty easy. I got 20/20 right in the first part but 17/20 in the second. Passed! The only reason I got 3 wrong was I didn't read the books properly. I just spent 5 hours on the app and an hour on the book. Read the two books cover to cover twice, practice with the app for a couple of hours and you will surely pass. Most new immigrants that fail are the more experienced overconfident drivers thinking they know it all. They don't study hence fail. Put about 15-20 hours into it, you will pass with flying colors and also increase your knowledge about Canadian driving laws.

    As soon as I got done, went to the lady on the counter and she said congratulations you passed and printed out a paper G1 license for me. She said I will get the card in the mail in a couple of weeks, till then the temporary license will be valid.

    Also I remember I read somewhere that the drive test people keep your countries license. Not in my case nor with anyone else there. They simply kept it for the duration I was at the counter and gave it back to me once I was in their system for the G1 test.

    As soon as I got the G1 I paid my fee and got an appointment for the full G. I had both options I could either give a G2 or a full G. I went for the full G. Although I have been driving all over the world for 20 + years I took the test seriously and took two hours driving classes from an instructor. His lessons were very useful, it's like polishing off your skill and learning exactly what the driving examiner is looking for. I'm glad I took them.

    On the test date, I had a friend with a reliable car drive me to the test center. I arrived 45 minutes early and got in line to sign myself in. The lady at the counter told me she just had a cancellation and would I like to test right now? I said sure, I told them my car plate and the parking spot number I was in and went and sat in my car. I made sure to reverse park it, why not make things easier getting started ?

    The lady taking the exam came out after 5 minutes. Asked me turn on the right and left signals to see if they were working properly and then the brake lights. Then came and sat in my car. I already had my seat belt on when she sat in. Told me to scan my driving form that she had and that they were no mistakes. She then told me you are giving the highway test and asked me how many times have I been on the highway in the past 3 months. I told her more than 15. All was well and we started the test. It's very important btw that you have experience driving on the highway before you attempt the G. In the car in front of me there was a girl who was attempting her G as well, the examiner came and sat with her and asked the same questions as me presumably but I think she was nervous and mistakenly answered that she had been on the highway 2/3 times in the last 3 months. The examiner failed her right there even before she started the car and left. So make sure you have the required experience and remember to answer correctly. My test started, I had tried to preempt the test by going on line and seeing which routes that particular driving test center usually tested. I did a trail run of those routes before the exam. Funnily enough the examiner went in a completely different direction.

    The test lasted about 45 minutes. We did the driving around town, 3 point turn, parallel park and emergency braking and finally the highway test. The highway test was probably the easiest part, all you have to do is get on the highway at a speed between 90-99, merge with the traffic safely, change lanes twice and safely get off. One more time of this and you're done. You're not supposed to talk to the examiner, only say Yes if you understand and No, can you please explain again if you don't understand the instructions he/she is giving.

    I drove back with her to the drive test center, she told me I passed and had 0 big mistakes. I had some minor mistakes of which you are allowed some. She congratulated me and asked me to go inside and get my full G license ! :)

    Inside I went to line with beaming happy faces and after getting congratulated by the lady behind the counter got a print out of my license which said G. Yeah ! :) Damn you high insurance rates!

    So in a nutshell it was not difficult at all. There is just a process in place and no matter how much of a hotshot driver you think you are, take it seriously and you'll get your Full G in no time.

    I got my card license in the mail about 3 weeks after I passed.

  2. Hi 19,
    Thanks for the detailed explanation.
    I have a question regarding the point you mentioned , are you sure that after getting G1 people cant drive.
    Because the police man caught me driving using G1 .But after I explained that I am new and still not completed the 60 days and showed him the international driving licence, he went to his car and stayed around 20 min. He came back and told me that he did research but its not clear.
    On my phone,I showed him ontario.ca website where it is mentioned that I have 60 days ,he replied ,its Ok .
  3. You got lucky. The local license will always supersede any other driving document.

  4. Thanks for this info. I have a few questions if you could kindly answer:-

    1 - Where did you get the course book? Did you buy it from the test center in advance?
    2 - Was the G1 test a walk in thing or do you need to fix an appointment ahead
    3 - Once you passed the G1 written test, did you have to fix an appointment for a future date for G? How soon can you do your G test if you have a full prior license?

    The reason I ask is because I will be soft landing for about 6 days. Even I have 20 years of driving experience. If I have my experience letter with me, is it possible for me to do the written test, take classes for 2 hours the next day and on 3rd day, do the full G test?

  5. how much in total did it cost you to get the G license?
  6. Hello,

    1). I did not buy the course book. I scanned though the online version available at the MTO website. I don't know if links work here but https://drivetest.ca/tests/official-drivers-handbooks.html The course books are available at large stores also. I bought both books for my wife from Walmart for about $30.

    2). I walked in, took a token and waited for my turn. I did not have an appointment. Go early, like 30-45 minutes before they open. People start cuing outside, waiting for 30 minutes outside is better than 2/3/4 hours inside.

    3). Once I passed the test the lady asked me if I would like to book an appointment for the test. I was flying back home the next day so paid for the G test but did not book a date. I logged into their website and choose a date and time from the available ones before flying back to Canada. You can do this immediately once you pass the G1.

    If they accept your driving experience then you are able to give the full G right away if someone has a G test cancellation. If not you have to get an appointment whose dates depend on the test center on how busy they are. You can also go to a drivetest center early in the morning and get your name written down on the waiting list. They will call you in order of first come first serve if someone has a cancellation. Btw you can give your test in ANY drivetest center. For example you can give your G1 at Burlington and give your G or G2 at Newmarket.

    Good Luck on your test. Just be a responsible driver, look around lots, don't miss giving the turn signal and stay under the speed limit and you'll get it !

    @Judsywudsy I don't remember the exact amount but it was about $200. You can find out more the drivetest website under fees.
    Judsywudsy and johnsyk like this.
  7. +1 For you buddy. Good info. One more question please....

    You said you paid the fees and then went back. And then you chose a date online for the G test. How long is the G fees valid for? For example, can I pay the fees and then leave Canada. Fix an appointment online at a later stage ....for about 5 months later and do it when I am back in Canada?
  8. I think the fees for the G2/G are valid till the expiry of your G1 license which is 5 years from the date you get your license.

    Btw G2 also expires after 5 years from the date you get your G1. My friends wife gave her G2 and put off giving the the full G test, when her G2 expired she went to renew it and the drivetest people told her that if 5 years pass since you gave your G1 and you didn't give the full G your G1/G2 stands cancelled and you have to start all over again. The lady had to give her G1 and then G2 again.

    Just get it over with. Once you get you full G you're good till you're 75 or 80 years after which you have to take a driving road test every year/two years.
  9. Super! Thanks for this info! I do want to get it over with as soon as possible but the issue is I am not permanently moving to Toronto for 2 years. I will only be doing short visits of about 5 days each. Hence I wanted to do the G1 Test in one visit....pay the fees and schedule the G test for my next visit which might be 3 months later. Thanks to your help, I see that its actually possible for me to do that.....! Thank you.
  10. I think you are mixing up fees and driving licence itself.
    When you pay fees, you are booking test as such. So for G1 you can go to take it on the spot (they have small room with computers). But for G2 and G test, you are booking specific place, date and time. Yes you can leave Canada in between, but you have to change your booking latest 48 hours before the test, otherwise it is fixed and there are no refunds if you do not show up for the test.

    And here is the info about dirving licence validity:

    Your G1 or G2 licence expires 5 years after the date you got your G1. If you have not passed the G1 and G2 road tests and earned a full G licence by this time, you will have to redo the knowledge test to get a G1 and/or re-take the G1 road test to get your G2. G1 lasts at least 1 year but not more than 5 years.
    johnsyk likes this.
  11. Thanks. So will do the G1 computer test and then book the G test for the next date I'm coming to Canada... which is around 3 months later. I can attempt G directly since I have proof from my country of more than 2 years driving experience.
  12. I will also take 90 minutes classes before I attempt G just to be doubly careful and not fail!
  13. Yes,
    Just be aware of following:
    If you are unsuccessful with the Class G road test, you must take the Class G2 road test and then the Class G road test again.
    cool_eagle likes this.
  14. Really helpful information here! Appreciate it. Helps so much to be have as much detailed information as possible before landing.
  15. Is it necessary to obtain G1 licence before getting G licence? Or we can directly take G licence after landing?
    I have 10 years of driving experience in Pakistan.

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