Ontario to Temporarily Change G Driving Test to Address Pandemic Backlog

Ontario to Temporarily Change G Driving Test to Address Pandemic Backlog
Traffic on Highway 401 in Toronto passes under a COVID-19 sign on April 6, 2020. (The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn)
Matthew Trueman
Ontarians preparing for their final G-class licence road test may no longer need to prove they can make a three-point turn, execute a parallel parking manoeuvre, or perform an emergency roadside stop.
This is part of a temporary plan by the Ontario government to simplify the G-level road test in efforts to reduce a major backlog in testing, primarily caused by pandemic-related restrictions and closures.

Dakota Brasier, a spokeswoman for Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney, says the province will remove some elements from the G test that are also assessed in the lower-level G2 test, such as parallel parking, three-point turns, and roadside stops.

The G licence road test, which candidates are eligible to take after passing both the G1 written test and G2 road test, is the final step in Ontario’s graduated licensing system.

Brasier says the changes will make the test shorter, which will allow more tests to be booked and completed, thereby gradually reducing the backlog. The modified G road test will be in place until at least Mar. 31, but the G2 test will remain the same.

Routes to and from testing locations will also be modified so they are more direct, said Brasier.

Hundreds of thousands of driving tests have been cancelled since March 2020 due to the pandemic, according to the Ministry of Transportation.

In addition to decreasing road test times, the province said in a statement it will hire 251 temporary examiners at DriveTest centres, and provide road tests on weekends and evenings to reduce wait times. In addition, several temporary road test centres have been opened, including a centre in Ottawa that offers class-G2 road tests 11 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We’re making tremendous progress towards clearing the backlog of road tests,” said Mulroney in the statement.

“By opening temporary road test centres, hiring additional driver examiners, and extending weekday operating hours for passenger road testing, we’re getting Ontario back on track.”

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.