Graduated Licensing is the term given to the process of obtaining a driver's license if you live in the province of Ontario. As far as I know, this specific program is unique to Ontario though other countries and provinces may have somewhat similar processes, and does not apply to the other provinces or territories within Canada. The system was introduced in 1994 in an effort to improve the overall safety of Ontario roads by creating a two-stage licensing program, known as the "Graduated Licensing System", or Graduated Licensing. (It should be noted that people who obtained their license before 1994 were not effected by this change in policy, but instead just completed the standard two year probationary period.)

The system has two main stages, beginning with the G1 phase, or, your learner's permit. To obtain your G1, you simply have to complete a written knowledge test which currently consists of 40 questions, all multiple choice. You can obtain an official "Driver's Handbook" to study for this test and all future tests from any licensing facility for around eight dollars (CAD, of course). This stage lasts at the very least 8 months (if you go to driving school, the time is shortened), or 12 months at the most (if you do not go to driving school). During this step there are a lot of restrictions on when you can drive, and the circumstances surrounding your being behind the wheel. They include (but are not limited to):
  • blood alcohol level must be zero
  • you cannot drive alone. in the passenger seat must be a fully licensed driver (with at least four years experience)the passenger must have an alcohol level of .05 percent or less
  • you aren't permitted to drive on any of the 400-series roads, and various other high speed roads (with a speed limit over 80km/h).
  • you are not allowed to drive between midnight and 5am.
After this licensing period, you move onto the G2 phase by passing a road test. During the G2 phase, which lasts at least another 12 months, there is only one main restriction:
  • blood alcohol level must be zero
Upon complete of level two, you may take the final road test to obtain your G License, or, your full license. Until you have your G class license, breaking laws or restrictions of your lower level licenses can result in tedious suspensions and sometimes criminal charges (where alcohol is considered, especially).

This is simply the basic outline for a standard license, there are other systems and rules for other types of licenses in Ontario, they all follow the same base system, for the most part. When you've finally obtained your G license, you can drive any of the following: car, van, small truck, combination of vehicle and towed vehicle up to 11,000kg.

This system was fairly controversial when it was first introduced, but the majority of people don't seem to care anymore (it has been nearly eight years, after all).