Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. If you’ve ever switched from driving a hatchback to a full-size pickup truck you know that all vehicles aren't created equal. Just because you’re comfortable driving one type of vehicle doesn’t mean you'll be comfortable behind the wheel of another one.
This is why there are not one, but 12 distinct classes of driver’s licences in Ontario.
Which one do you have?
This is the most important class. It’s the base for driving every vehicle with the exception of motorcycles. G-class vehicles are any car, van or small truck. You can also drive a combination of those vehicles and a towed vehicle as long as the combined weight is under 11,000 kg.
If you’re applying for your G-class licence you’ll have to go through the graduated licensing process. Refer back to this article on how to get your driver's licence for more details, but, very briefly, they are:
Class G1. You can only drive G-class vehicles with a Full G driver with at least 4 years of experience. And no highways. Poor you.
Class G2. You can drive without an accompanying driver! But there are still some conditions like no alcohol and highways with experienced drivers only.
This is the motorcycle licence. It will make you look really cool in addition to letting you drive really fun vehicles. This license includes motorcycles along with motor tricycles, limited-speed motorcycles (“Vespas”) and motor-assisted bicycles (mopeds). You can even drive G-class vehicles too, but only with the conditions of a G1 driver. Class M also has graduated licensing.
Class M1. Let’s you drive class M vehicles for learning purposes for up to 90 days. No highways, no night driving, and no alcohol.
Class M2. Most of the restrictions from M1 are gone, but still no alcohol. You must hold an M1 Licence at least 60 days before attempting the riding test.
Every one of these licence classes requires a driver to hold a valid G licence first and then requires you to pass a test related to the specific vehicle type the licence is for.
Class D. Satisfy your wildest trucking dreams. These are for driving motor vehicles exceeding 11,000 kg (excluding buses with passengers) and any tractor-trailer combination providing the towed vehicle is less than 4,600 kg.
Class A. This allows for driving of any tractor-trailer combination including towed vehicles greater than 4,600 kg. It’s kind of like an upgraded D class however, holding a D class is not required to hold an A.
Class B. Put Ms. Frizzle to shame and get a license to drive any school bus. Even magic ones. A Class B licence will also let you drive Class C, D, E, and F.
Class C. Want to be a regular bus driver? You’ll need one of these. Fun fact, this’ll also let you drive Class D and F vehicles but not B.
Class E. These are for short school buses, maximum capacity of 24 passengers. And you’ll be good to drive Class F vehicles too.
Class F. Impress potential romantic partners with your ambulance-driving skills, or drive any regular bus with a maximum passenger capacity of 24.
While not a licence class in itself, a “Z” endorsement is necessary on a licence to operate vehicles with air brakes.
So there you have it, all 12 Ontario Driver’s licence types. You lost count didn’t you?
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