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What Happens if a Teenager Drives without a License?

According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, a teenager caught driving without a license may incur the following penalties:

  • A ticket
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Up to six months in jail
  • And possibly more

The penalties for teenagers driving without a license may vary, depending on the nature of the offence and their number of previous offences. For instance, a first-time offender may receive a ticket and not be allowed to operate the vehicle without a license. A second offence may cause the vehicle to be impounded. A third offence may lead to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Driving without a License in Ontario

An unlicensed driver is an individual who lacks the proper qualifications or credentials to drive a vehicle. For teenage drivers, this means that they have not passed a written or in-car exam, and have not been issued an official operator’s license.

That said, even when a teenager receives their license, they may still be required to drive under the supervision of a licensed driver. If caught driving without this required supervision, the young driver may be penalized.

All Ontario drivers must adhere to the terms and conditions of the province’s graduated driver’s license program. As such, teenage drivers are required to know which regulations apply to their license grade, and follow the rules accordingly.

Understanding the Graduated Driver’s Licensing System

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation offers a graduated driver’s license program for individuals who are at least 16 years old. The program gradually gives drivers more privileges as they pass exams, gain driving experience, and demonstrate that they are able to follow the province’s traffic laws.

Teenagers who have completed the requisite written examination and vision test are granted the first grade of a driver’s license, a G1 licence.

Teenage drivers holding a G1 license must adhere to a number of rules, including:

  • Maintaining a zero blood-alcohol level in their bloodstream
  • Requiring all vehicle passengers to wear a seatbelt
  • Only driving between 5 a.m. and midnight
  • Only driving on approved highways or expressways
  • Must be accompanied by a fully licensed motorist who has at least four years of driving experience and must remain in the front seat at all times.

The G1 license phase lasts for one year before the teenage driver may be eligible to take their first on-road exam. If they successfully pass their in-car examination, they will be allowed to move on to the G2 license grade.

Drivers with G2 licenses no longer require the accompaniment of a fully licensed driver at all times. In this licensing grade, some other conditions of the G1 license may be modified. For example, G2 license-holders may:

  • Drive between midnight and 5 a.m. with one passenger over the age of 19
  • Drive between midnight and 5 a.m. with up to three passengers, after six months.

After holding a G2 license for one year, drivers will be eligible to take their final road test. If the driver passes this in-car road examination, they will become a fully licensed driver.

Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License

A teenager who fails to adhere to the regulations of their license grade may have their G1 or G2 license suspended. In addition, they may have to re-apply for the G1 license and restart the program from the beginning. Under the Highway Traffic Act, penalties for driving with a suspended license may include:

First Offence

  • A fine of $1,000 to $5,000
  • Up to six months in prison

Multiple Offences

  • A fine of $2,000 to $5,000
  • Up to six months in prison
  • Further license suspension up to six additional months

Car Accidents with an Unlicensed Driver

If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by an unlicensed driver, you may have difficulty knowing where to turn for accountability and financial restitution. If the unlicensed teenage driver was also uninsured, they may be unable to compensate you for damages resulting from your injuries.

In these situations, a car accident lawyer may be able to help you navigate this complicated process. If eligible, they may even assist you by filing a lawsuit against the driver in order to recover financial damages you incurred as a result of their recklessness.

Contact Preszler Injury Lawyers Today

If you were injured in a car accident caused by an unlicensed teenage driver, Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to help you pursue damages for costs resulting from your injuries. Call Preszler Injury Lawyers today at 1-800-JUSTICE for a free, initial case evaluation.

Call us now at

151 Eglinton Ave W,
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M4R 1A6
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Burlington, ON
L7L 4X6
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L6W 3W8
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Whitby, ON
L1N 1C4
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L4N 0Z7
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380 Wellington St Tower B, 6th Floor,
London, ON
N6A 5B5
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East Tower Mississauga, ON
L5N 6A6
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Hamilton, ON
L8N 3W1
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Peterborough, ON
K9H 3R9
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Kitchener, ON N2H 6M6
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Ottawa ON
K2P 0C2
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