Driving License – Ontario, Canada

Road Test for G

Top Ten Reasons for Failing Driving Test:
http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/video/lets_drive/10reasons/unfamiliar_vehicle/unfamiliar.htm#topVideo

My Routine:

From parked car, I was told to turn right at the corner.
Another right turn and was told to stop while we’re still in the parking area.
My mistake was that I parked but did not put the gear on “P” and did not activate the park brake.
Examiner noted it down of course then told me to do the 3 point turn.
I checked the road by looking at my left, blind corner and my right.
I turned the signal light to turn left then started my 3 point turn.
My mistake again after the left turn is that I did not check the other side of my rear.
I just turn my signal light to turn right backing up, but missed checking the other side.
When backing up, you should check behind you from your right side then from your left side.
That includes using the side mirror and the rear view mirror on top of turning your body to look behind.
After the 3-point turn, off we go to the road.
For those not familiar with 3-point turn, it is simply our u-turn.

On the road, quite plenty of time given to change lane.
Instructor said: “If it’s safe to do so, please change lane to the right” or to the left as required.
Actually, I was quite annoyed by having to hear and do it many times.
But you have to be patient and always check thru your rear view mirror, side mirror and blind spot.
Checking the blind spot is done by looking over your shoulder after you look at the side mirror.

I was then instructed to exit to the highway.
I got comment that I did not turn well being not in the center of the road.
Their turning road that merges to highways are mostly single lanes here.
You also have to observe the speed limit while turning.
You’ll be approaching it from mostly 70kph and have to slow down to 40kph.
You have to see to it though that from mostly 40kph, you have to accelerate to 100 kph within the given distance.
Once on the merging road, you have to signal left, accelerate, check that it’s safe then enter the highway at required speed.

On the highway, I again was instructed: “If it’s safe to do so, please change lane to the left”.
I’ve already anticipated that I’ll be reversing that action again and again.
I think I’ve done this well, always checking rear view mirror, side and blind before smoothly changing lane.

Now it’s time to go back to streets from the highway.
You always have to check that you have the green light before proceeding.
That applies on all right or left turns.
If you turn right while on red signal, even if the road is clear, that’ll be traffic violation.
The examiner would gladly mark your test result to fail for that.
I made that mistake so you don’t have to.

Another mistake I made was turning left ending in the fast lane.
Since I’ve been receiving instructions to “change lane if it is safe to do so…”, I was like waiting for said instruction.
So I stayed in the fast lane and that’s another deduction on your test result.
When you’re in the fast lane and you don’t intend to pass/overtake, you have to safely switch to slower lane.
And you have to do it on your own this time without the usual “if it is safe to do so…” instruction.
Even though the rule says: “You won’t be told to do something illegal”, you won’t also be told avoid it.
You’re on your own when it comes to right driving, don’t expect instruction to avoid doing illegal.
I even asked my examiner about that right turn on red signal but was just told: “it is up to you…”.
I could have easily avoided that mistake had I been instructed not to.
But I’ve to understand business is business, just unfortunate for me to learn from my own mistake.

On the stop signs, you’ve to do full stop for around 3 seconds.
I executed one that’s what we call “rolling stop” and the examiner duly noted it in my test result as another mistake.
Normally, stop signs is accompanied by pedestrian crossing.
You actually have to stop twice, one for the pedestrian and one for the road.
On both stops, you’ve to look left-right-left or right-left-right, depending on where you’re turning.
This means that you have to double-check both pedestrian lanes and roads before proceeding.
Miss it and you’ll have “another nail in the coffin”.

Another note in my test result is driving at uneven speed.
You’ve to drive at smooth even speed then on any road, streets or highways.
At all time, you’ve to ensure that you’re not driving over the speed limit.
Most residential roads here are 40, bigger streets at 60 and highways at 100kph.

Peculiarities of traffic here:

1. Left turn at your own risk.
This goes at most intersection, except on few with specific left-turn signal light.
This applies at the intersection where you need to turn left and you have the green light going straight.
In such case, you can drive till near the middle of the intersection.
While there and “if it is safe to do so…”, you can turn left.
Normally, it’ll be safe to turn left when your signal light turns yellow.
That’s when the oncoming vehicles normally slow down to stop.
That gives you plenty of time to turn left before cars in your left makes their move.
You don’t have to wait for yellow light though.
When you see that there’s no more car or next one is at safe distance, you can turn left.

2. All Way, 4 Way or 3 Way Intersections.
In bigger intersection, there’s signal light where red keeps blinking on all sides.
On most smaller intersection, there’s only a stop sign at each corner.
Both goes like “First to stop, first to go”.
That means that all vehicle stops at the intersection, for a 3 second stop.
Whoever stops first is the first to go.
You have to watch cars around you and you have to be prompt on your turn.
You also have to be assertive to take your turn and not be “too cautious”, which could cause you to fail.

3. Flashing Headlight Means Go Ahead
Where I used to drive, in the Philippines and in the Middle East, otherwise applies.
My previous understanding of flashing headlight is: “Give way, I need to go” or “I’m going ahead” or passing/overtaking.
In here, when you see them flashing their headlight, that means they’re giving you the way.
That means they stop so you have to go ahead.
Just as in other countries (except I guess in Germany), many drivers here also drive slow on the fast lane.
I’ve been tempted to do the “blink, blink” to indicate that I want to drive ahead but choose to be patient.
I really am not sure how the slow driver on the fast lane would interpret my flashing light.
Many times I just patiently wait to have the lane safe for passing.

4. School Bus Full Stop
When their school bus here is stopping with flashing light on top, all lanes should stop at safe distance.
This also applies to public busses except that only for the car right behind the bus have to stop.
With the school bus, all vehicles at same or opposite direction have to stop.
Vehicles can only go when the school bus turns off the flashing light.

Written Test for G1

Que at the Customer Service desk to get que ticket.
Present following requirements:

  • Valid ID
  • Driving license certificate

Once you have your que ticket, wait for your number to appear at the overhead LED with designated booth number.
Go to the booth assigned to your ticket number.
Present again the requirements to the staff at the booth.
Fill-up “Application for Ontario Driver’s License” form given by the staff.

Pay the 85$ fee, as follow:

  • Knowledge test = 10
  • Licensing = 75

As instructed, go to the photo area as directed and have your picture taken for your driving license.

As instructed, go to the booth with Vision Test machine to take your test.  First test are series of 6 or 8 numbers visible on the machine and you have to tell the examiner what are those numbers.  You have to be careful in reading the numbers, some numbers look the same.
After the numbers, yellow and red lights that appear.
You have to tell whether they appear on your left or right side.
Sometimes, you’ll be asked what color appears.

After the Vision Test, the examiner will give you 2 sets of test papers as follow:

  • Signs Test
  • Rules Test

Both are 20 items each, passing is 16, multiple choice, you have to select the correct answer out of 4 or 5 options.

For practice, free online test which have similar questions are available, as of this writing, from this link:
http://www.apnatoronto.com/ontario-g1-practice-test.html

You have plenty of time to finish the 2 sets of exams, so take your time and make sure of your answers.
In the online where you’ll click on the radio button to make your choice.
In the actual test papers, you have to write in the box the letter you’ve chosen as your answer.
Once you’re finished with the tests, put your paper in the submission tray designated by the examiner.
Test results would be available after few minutes of your submission.
If you need to retake the exam, you’ll have to pay another 10$ for each re-exam.

Once you pass the written test, you’ll be issued temporary G1 driving license.
The actual driving license card will be sent to the address you specified in the form.
You’ll be told it’ll arrive after 2 weeks or so.

You can book your Road Test, which is the counter just across the “Customer Service”.
My own blog on Road Test to follow after I’ve completed it.
For now, I’m still familiarizing with the area.
I will schedule my Road Test after I receive my Temporary Driving License Card.
It was comforting to know that on my Road Test, I won’t be instructed to make wrong actions on the road.

Driving License card arrived 2 weeks after as was told.

For photos, please visit my online photo album for this activity: Driving License – Ontario’s Written Test

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