If you are thinking about taking a Beginner Driver Education (BDE) course, the following information will assist you with making your decision.
Beginner Driver Education Driving Schools
BDE schools must meet ministry requirements regarding in-class and in-vehicle training, general administration and advertising. A BDE school is eligible to deliver BDE only once they have received a licence from the ministry stating that they are “Ministry of Transportation (MTO)-approved.”
MTO-approved BDE schools must display a copy of the driving school licence issued by MTO in every classroom.
MTO-approved BDE schools are authorized to give in-class driving instruction in the operation of a Class G motor vehicle to a person who does not hold a driver’s licence (must be in the process of acquiring G1 licence) or who holds a Class G1 or G2 or G driver’s licence.
Licensed driving instructors must display their driving instructor licence in the motor vehicle used for instruction.
MTO-approved BDE schools are authorized to provide in-vehicle driver instruction in the operation of a Class G motor vehicle provided to a holder of a G1, G2 or G driver’s licence.
Beginner Driver Education Registration and Training
Once you have chosen an MTO-approved BDE course provider or driving school, your registration information will be forwarded to MTO.
BDE schools are obligated to provide MTO all classroom training records for each student enrolled in a BDE course.
If a school asks to see your driver’s licence, the school may retain your driver’s licence only for as long as is necessary to make a copy of it and must return your driver’s licence immediately.
A driver education certificate can only be issued to students who have successfully completed both in-classroom and in-vehicle driving instruction.
The current BDE course requirements (example: hours of in-classroom/in-vehicle instruction) will be changing over the next year as schools meet the new curriculum standards that were announced on April 17, 2008. You can access these new standards at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/curriculum/index.shtml.
Please be advised that these new requirements will be mandatory as of April 17, 2009.
Beginner Driver Education (BDE) Classroom and In-Vehicle Course Delivery Standards:
- The classroom and in-vehicle training segments of an MTO-approved BDE course consists of a minimum of 20 hours in-class, 10 hours in-vehicle and 10 hours of flexible instruction.
- The classroom training must be delivered by a qualified classroom instructor and in-vehicle training must be delivered by a qualified in-vehicle driving instructor.
- Student/classroom instructor ratio must not exceed a ratio of 40 to 1. MTO preferred student/classroom instructor ratio is 24 to 1.
- Students are required to have a personal copy of the textbook that supports the curriculum for reference prior to and during attendance of an MTO-approved BDE course.
- Students are required to have a personal copy of “The Official Driver’s Handbook” for reference prior to and during attendance of an MTO-approved BDE course.
- Maximum daily classroom training provided to each student enrolled in a BDE course must not exceed 6.25 hours per day, excluding meal breaks.
- Maximum daily in-vehicle training provided to each student enrolled in a BDE course shall not exceed 3 hours per day, excluding travel time and meal breaks. The maximum daily in-vehicle training provided to each student following 6.25 hours of classroom instruction must not exceed 90 minutes per day.
- Completion of the in-vehicle training must not exceed 1 year from the start of the classroom training.
- Students are obligated to attend and successfully complete all lessons, including the 25 hours of in-classroom instruction, prior to qualifying for a Beginner Driver Education Certificate.
- Student/behind-the-wheel instructor ratio for in-vehicle training is 2 to 1.
Beginner Driver Education (BDE) Certificate Information:
- Students who have completed a BDE course prior to September 29, 2008 will be issued a BDE certificate by the driving school where they completed their course. This certificate will be a paper certificate.
- Certificates issued prior to September 29, 2008 must be presented to DriveTest at the time of the G1 exit test.
- Students who enrolled in a BDE program on or after September 29, 2008 will not be issued a paper certificate from the driving school. Students who have successfully completed all components of a BDE course will be certified on-line through the driving school by which they completed their course.
- The on-line student certification process, once a student has successfully completed a BDE course, and the driving school has completed the certification transaction, the student driver record will be updated through the ministry.
Students Required Proof of Course Completion
Students wanting proof of course completion for possible insurance discounts and have been processed through on-line certification transactions or a replacement of previously issued paper certificate by an approved BDE school need to obtain their Driver’s Licence History (DLH). This is done by request in-person at a Driver and Vehicle Issuing Office or ServiceOntario-College Park. If unable to visit a Driver and Vehicle Issuing Office you may send your request by mail. For further information regarding DLH, please contact ServiceOntario at 1-800-387-3445 or 416-235-2999.
The DLH search can only be requested by the driver’s licence holder, as it contains personal address information. The application (PDF - 724 KB) must be signed by the applicant.
Should you have any further questions regarding the BDE Program, please contact the Ministry of Transportation BDE Contact Line at (416) 235-5540 or via email at Driver.Education@ontario.ca.
As a BDE student, you have entered a consumer/contractual relationship with your BDE course provider/driving school. Should you have a complaint about a school not fulfilling its contractual obligations, please contact the Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services, Ministry of Business and Consumers Services at 416-326-8800.