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Nova Scotia Driver’s Licence Apllication Guide

Different types of driver’s licenses are available in Nova Scotia. The application guide for any of Nova Scotia’s driver’s license classes can be found in this article.

Nova Scotia Driver’s Licence helps new residents to settle down quickly by giving them the opportunity to drive. Since driving is one of the best ways to settle down in a new environment.

Then, it is necessary to get a drivers licence once you arrive in the province. This is because it allows you to go around the new place and become familiar with it.

Therefore, getting a Nova Scotia drivers licence can help you to settle in the province easily. Hence, you will have the ease of visiting many beautiful places in the province. 

However, just like other provinces, before you can drive in Nova Scotia, you must need a legal licence to drive in the province. 

In order to help you settle easily in Nova Scotia as an immigrant, I have provided the application guide that can help you to know everything you need to know about Nova Scotia drivers licence. 

Thus, you can learn about Nova Scotia drivers licence applications, renewal, contact change numbers, road tests, classes and so on. 

You can also learn about the drivers’ licence in other provinces by clicking on the following links:

  1. Ontario
  2. Manitoba
  3. Alberta
  4. Prince Edwards Island 
  5. New Brunswick

Knowing them will help you to adapt to their driving rules if, by chance, you have to visit any of them.

Nova Scotia Drivers Licence

Nova Scotia just like other provinces in Canada uses a Graduated Driver Licencing (GDL) system. The aim is to reduce the risk of driving for new drives. Since Nova Scotia is a province of ice and snow, new drivers need to undergo serious training before they can drive.

The province has three phases of the GDL program: Learner’s Licence, Newly Licenced and the Restricted Individual. 

Without these three phases, you cannot qualify to obtain a Nova Scotia drivers licence. Thus, you cannot drive in the province. 

Finally, in this program, you must pass a vision test, knowledge test and road test. The aim of these tests is to help new drivers to gain the experience to drive without supervision in the province. 

Phases of Nova Scotia driver’s licence

As mentioned above, there are three stages of a Nova Scotia drivers licence which are:

  • Learner’s licence
  • Newly Licensed driver
  • Restricted Individual

Phase 1:  Learner’s licence

The first phase of becoming a fully licenced Nova Scotia driver is the learner’s licence. In order to apply for a learner’s licence, you must be at least 16 years old.

However, any applicant under 18 years must need parental or guardian consent. Moreover, this consent must be in written form.

In addition to that, you will undergo a vision test as well as a written knowledge test. This test which covers traffic and safe driving rules comes in the form of multiple-choice questions.

Apart from traffic rules and safe driving, your knowledge of Nova Scotia highways will as well be tested. 

Although you can hold the learner’s licence for a minimum of 1 year. However, if you have completed a recognized driver education program. Then, you can hold the learner’s permit for a minimum of 9 months. 

Learner’s Licence Restrictions

Under the learner’s licence, you are going to face the following restrictions:: 

  • Must have a supervised driver who is not enrolled in a GDL program when you drive. 
  • Have zero alcohol or drugs in your system when driving  
  • Not drive with any hand-held devices 

Phase 2: Newly Licenced Driver

After holding the learner’s licence for 12 months, you can enter the next stage: the Newly Licenced Driver phase. 

However, before you qualify for this stage, you must have held a learner’s licence for 12 months. In case, you completed a recognized driver education course, then, it will be reduced to 9 months. 

Moreover, you must also pass a road test. 

Newly Licensed Driver Restrictions

For newly licensed drivers, the following restrictions apply: 

  • Drive with zero alcohol and zero drugs in their system 
  • You must drive with any hand-held devices
  • Can drive with only one front seat passenger
  • Drive with only rear passengers limited to the number of available seat belts 
  • You cannot be a supervising driver for a learner
  • Cannot drive between midnight at 5 a.m., unless except the nightly curfew for employment reasons or are accompanied by a supervising driver

Phase 3: Restricted Individual

The third stage of getting a Nova Scotia driver’s licence is the Restricted Individual Stage. In order to qualify, you must successfully complete a six-hour driving course. 

However, you can enrol into a recognized driver training course if you do not want to do a driving course. This driver training course must consist of 25 hours theory with 10 hours driving time. 

Apart from that, you must remain at the restricted individual stage for two years. 

Finally, at the end of the two years, all the restrictions that guide the GDL system are removed. Thus, you graduate as an experienced driver. 

Restricted Individual Restrictions

There are restrictions that apply to restricted individuals including: 

  • Drive with zero alcohol and zero drugs in your system 
  • Cannot drive without hand-held devices
  • You cannot be a supervising driver for another driver

Classes of Driver’s Licence in Nova Scotia and Their Vehicle Types

Nova Scotia has many driver’s licences and each class has an accompanying vehicle type. So, if you wish to obtain a Nova Scotia driver’s licence, then, you must also know the type of vehicle you can drive. 

View all Classes of driver's licence in Nova Scotia

Class 7

Learner’s Licence, for those learning to drive class 5 vehicles 

Initial price:  $ 25.10

Renewal: $25.10

Class 5N

Newly-licensed Driver’s Licence

Price: $80.15

Class 5

The most common Nova Scotia driver’s licence. It allows you to driving cars, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans having a seating capacity of less than 24;

Price: $80.15

Class LM

Meant for those who want a Learner’s Motorcycle Licence. It gives you permission to drive a motorcycle

Class 6N

This is for newly-licensed Motorcycle drivers

Price: $80.15

Class 6

Allows you to drive a motorcycle in Nova Scotia

Price: $80.15

Class 8

This class of Nova Scotia drivers licence allows you to drive farm tractors.

Price: $73.75

Class 4

You can drive smaller buses, vans seating under 24 passengers for compensation, taxis and ambulances. 

Price: $86.55

Class 3

In order to drive commercial trucks, and all passenger vehicle-trailer combinations weighing more than 14,000 kilograms, you will need the Class 3 Nova Scotia driver’s licence

Price: $92.40

Class 2

This is for driving large buses of over 24 passengers

Price: $98.85

Class 1

Allows you to  drive semi-trailers & tractor-trailers

Price: $105.20

Class 2. Endorsements

You can drive class, B, C, D & E vehicles with this Nova Scotia drivers licence 

Price: $11.90

How to apply for Nova Scotia Drivers Licence

To apply for a Nova Scotia drivers licence, you can pick up your form at any licence office in Nova Scotia. 

However, you must apply for a Nova Scotia drivers licence as one of the following groups: 

  • Group 1: New drivers 
  • Group 2: Drivers who formerly had a Nova Scotia drivers licence  
  • Group 3: Visitors and Newcomers with an out-of-province, out-of-country driver’s licence.  

Group 1: New drivers

This group is for new drivers in Nova Scotia who have not had a driver’s licence before. If you are in Nova Scotia and you want to drive a car but you have had driving experience. Then, you will fall into this group.  

In so far as you want to drive in Nova Scotia, you must need a Nova Scotia drivers licence. However, you must go through the Graduated Driver Licensing system before you can get a regular Driver’s Licence. 

The GDL program includes all who have enrolled in the GDL system in the Learner Licence, Newly Licensed Driver, or Restricted Individual stages of Graduated Driver Licensing. 

Group 2: Drivers who formerly had a Nova Scotia drivers licence

If you use to have a Nova Scotia driver’s licence but have lost it, you fall into this group. There are two conditions that can make you fall into this group:

Firstly, if your Nova Scotia Driver’s Licence has expired but not up to 5 years. In this case, you will neither need a written nor road test to renew your driving licence in Nova Scotia.   

Secondly, if your Nova Scotia Driver’s Licence expired more than 5 years ago. Then, you will need to purchase a knowledge test and road test receipt before applying for a new driver’s licence.

In addition to that, you must successfully complete vision, signs, rules and road tests. Moreover, for a Class 1, 2, 3, or 4 Driver’s Licence, you must also provide a satisfactory medical.

Finally, once you are successful in the road test, you will get your new driver’s licence.

Group 3: Visitors and Newcomers


Visitors in Nova Scotia can drive in the province without a Nova Scotia driver’s licence for 90 days if: 

  • They are at least 16 years old
  • Have a driver’s licence from either Canada or another country. 

New residents

If you are a new Nova Scotia resident, you will need a Nova Scotia drivers licence within 90 days. Without it, you will not be able to drive in the province. You are a resident if you:

  • are attending school or college here
  • live here and your children attend school here
  • are employed here for more than 30 days in any given year
  • you live there for more than 90 days in any given year.

Visitors and New Residents from Reciprocal Countries

If you are a visitor or new resident from a country with a reciprocal driver’s licence exchange agreement with Nova Scotia. You can swap your driver’s licence with that of Nova Scotia.

The list of countries with an agreement with Nova Scotia include:

Austria: Regular Class 5 driver’s licence.

Belgium: Regular Class 5 or Class 6 driver’s licence

Germany: Class 5 driver’s Licence.

Isle of Man: Regular Class 5 or Class 6 driver’s licence.

South Korea: Regular Class 5 or Class 6 driver’s licence.

Taiwan: Class 5 driver’s Licence.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Regular Class 5 or Class 6 driver’s licence.

As a new resident from a reciprocal country with a driver’s licence and you want to exchange it for a Nova Scotia drivers licence, you must:

  • be at least 16 years of age,
  • take a vision screening test,
  • disclose all medical conditions or physical disabilities that may affect your ability to safely drive a motor vehicle,
  • provide an English translation of your license.
  • hand over your driver’s license at the time of exchange
  • pay normal fees for the issuance of a licence.

Licence Road Test and Practice

Before you can get a Nova Scotia drivers licence, you must undergo a compulsory test to check your driving skill. This test is conducted by Driver Enhancement Officer from Service Nova Scotia.

Road Test arrangement

There are 2 steps involved in arranging for a road test:

  • Step 1: pay for the test
  • Step 2: make an appointment.

Paying for the road test:

For your road test, you will have to pay a sum of $53.00. This must be paid before you an appointment. 

You can pay for the road test in three ways:

  • online
  • Registry of Motor Vehicles Service office
  • by mail.

Booking an appointment

The only way to have a road test is to book an appointment ahead of time. You can only book an appointment by calling any of these numbers:

  • 902-424-5851
  • 1-800-898-7668 (toll-free)

Road Test Vehicle

For the road test, you must come in a vehicle. The vehicle can be :

  • car
  • pick-up
  • sport utility vehicle
  • van
  • motorcycle

Furthermore, the vehicle must be in good mechanical condition. It must also have a valid Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker. 

Road Test Documents

You must come with the following documents for your road test. Without any of the documents, you won’t have a road test: 

  • your current Driver’s Licence 
  • the Vehicle Permit for the vehicle you are using in the road test
  • the Insurance Card for that vehicle
  • your numbered Driver Examination Receipt

Licence Renewal in Nova Scotia

Every Nova Scotia Driver’s Licence is valid for 5 years. You can renew it after its expiry date. However, the Department will send out a renewal notice before it expires.  

However, if your birthday comes shortly before your birthday, then, your licence will be shortened by the number of days before your birthday. Otherwise, it will be five years.

For instance, let’s take your birthday to be January 24 but you got your licence on February 24. This means that your licence will expire on January 24 which is your birthday.

Furthermore, you can renew your Nova Scotia drivers licence at any point within 6 months of expiration.

Also, you must go to the office in person to renew your driver’s licence since a new photo will be needed. However, you can pick IP the renewal for at the service counter or go with the noticed that was mailed to you.

Lastly, you must tell the representative if any of these situations apply to you:

  1. If your licence was suspended or revoked
  2. If there have been any changes to your health

Licence Change of Address

The law requires that you change the address on your driver’s licence within 30 days. You do this by updating the Registry of Motor Vehicles of any changes in address.

Thereafter, you can change your address online or by mail. You can as well use a fax at 902-428-2180.  Doing this, you must include:

  • Driver’s Licence Master Number
  • old address
  • new addresses
  • signature and the date.
  • Registry of Motor Vehicles

The information must be sent to the address below:

P.O. Box 1652


Nova Scotia

B3J 2Z3

Nova Scotia Drivers Licence Change of Name

To change the name on your Nova Scotia drivers licence, you must fill the Application for Driver Licensing and Identification Services (Form 1). In this form, you show your reason for the change of name change. 

Then, you will take it to any Registry of Motor Vehicles office with the following:

  • A new signature   
  • $25.10 fee
  • Supporting documentation 
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Change of Name Certificate from Vital Statistics showing your new name. 
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct format to write your Nova Scotia Drivers Licence?

The following is the format for writing Nova Scotia Driver’s licence:


  • A= first 5 letters of the last name
  • D= day of birth year
  • Mf birth year
  • last two numbers year
  • #= any numbers

What do if I don’t pass the road test?

When you fail a road test, you must wait for at least 7 days to take another one.  However, you must:

  • pay for another test
  • get another numbered receipt
  • book another appointment