Driving In Nova Scotia

The rules for driving in Nova Scotia state that all new residents that wish to drive in Nova Scotia are required to obtain a Nova Scotia driving licence within 90 days of moving to the province. Licensing and Driver Examinations are done through the Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

Licensing is normally carried out at your local Registry Office and you will need to pay any necessary fees prior to the written and road tests. You will need to provide two pieces of identification and another one showing proof of your birthdate and your immigration status for the licensing process.

There are seven Classes Of Licence in Nova Scotia; unless you intend to drive heavy goods or large passenger vehicles then the two to concentrate on are Classes 7 and 5. You can apply for a learners license from age 16 with parental consent.

Class 7 is your learner's license, to obtain this you will need to take and pass a written test and a vision test. It is a good idea to study the Nova Scotia Drivers Handbook prior to sitting the test as there are different rules of the road when driving in Nova Scotia that you will need to understand.

Once you have passed your class 7 licence you are then able to take your road test. You have to pay for the road test prior to making your appointment; you cannot take a road test without an appointment. You must provide the vehicle and the examiner will check the vehicle over to ensure that is road worthy, you will also need to bring your current drivers licence, vehicle insurance, vehicle permit and driver examination receipt.

On passing the road test you will then be given your Class 5 drivers license, which entitles you to drive in Nova Scotia and is renewable every 5 years.

People from Canada and the USA that have a valid drivers licence can usually exchange their current licence for a Nova Scotia licence with out having to take a road test. Persons from other foreign countries can sometimes get a Nova Scotia Drivers Licence without taking the road test check with the Department for more information.

I was really nervous about having to take a drivers test again, but it was easy compared to the road test I had taken 13 years earlier in England. My advice is to study the handbook well, get lots of practice driving with new rules and just go for it as soon as you feel confident. If you fail then you can take it again the next day!

You must always carry your valid driver's license, valid insurance and vehicle registration when driving in Nova Scotia. If you get stopped by the police and cannot produce it there is a hefty fine.

One of the major considerations for driving in Canada has to be when winter arrives. Definitely familiarise yourself with the section on Winter Driving.

Vehicle Registration

When driving in Nova Scotia you must purchase both a Vehicle permit, which gets you a set of licence plates and a vehicle certificate registration which proves ownership.

When you purchase a vehicle the previous owner signs Vehicle certificate of registration, which transfers the ownership, it must also be registered with the Province. As the new owner you must fill out the applicable form and pay any fees to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. This can be done at the same time as purchasing the vehicle permit and licence plates.

The Fees for the permit depend on the weight of the vehicle, the heavier it is the more you pay. Vehicle permits are valid for two years. It is also mandatory to have an annual vehicle Safety Inspection of your vehicle when driving in Nova Scotia.

As it is illegal to operate an uninsured vehicle, all motor vehicles in Nova Scotia must have public liability and property damage insurance coverage of a minimum $200,000 Canadian. You will need proof of your Insurance when registering your vehicle.

Another vital service that is available if you are looking to buy a preowned vehicle is the vehicle history checking by Carproof. For a small fee they will provide a full report on any previous accidents, odometer level, the correct owner/registrant and if there are any other claims against the vehicle ownership. No one needs their vehicle to be repossessed because it has finance against it or find out it has been previously written off! For more information click on the logo - remember peace of mind is priceless!

For your convenience, here are links to other relevant pages:

  1. Alberta
  2. British Columbia
  3. Manitoba
  4. New Brunswick
  5. Newfoundland and Labrador
  6. Auto Insurance
  1. Nova Scotia
  2. Ontario
  3. Prince Edward Island
  4. Saskatchewan
  5. Winter Driving