Getting a Nova Scotia Driver’s License

Like teenagers around the world, teens in Nova Scotia anticipate the day they will get their driver’s license for months, if not years, before the big day. For some, this major rite of passage is also accompanied by the feeling of some anxiety. This is a perfectly natural and understandable feeling, of course. However, this anxiety can be reduced by knowing exactly what you are facing before you apply for your Nova Scotia driver’s license.


Getting your Nova Scotia driver’s license requires proof that you are a resident of Nova Scotia, as well as two valid forms of identification. These forms of identification must be legal documents that prove your name and date of birth. One of these forms of identification must also contain your picture and signature. Acceptable forms of identification include birth certificate, passport, Canadian ID card or school ID card. Of course, other forms of identification are acceptable as well. Contact your local Registry of Motor Vehicles for more information.

Graduated Driver Licensing

Like many other provinces in Canada, Nova Scotia utilizes the Graduated Driver Licensing program, which is a three-tiered program, designed to ensure that new drivers demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Teenagers between the ages of sixteen and nineteen years can apply for their learner’s license if they have the written consent of their parent or legal guardian. They must pass a vision test and written exam. Once these steps have been successfully completed, a learner’s license is granted. The learner’s license mandates that the driver must have a licensed adult driver in the vehicle whenever they drive. After three months, the holder can apply for the second tier license, which is “newly licensed,” if he or she has completed a driver training program in school. If not, the holder must wait for six months to apply for the second tier.

To obtain the newly licensed level of Nova Scotia driver’s license, the holder of the learner’s license must complete either a six-hour defensive driving program or a 35-hour comprehensive driver training program. When passed, a certificate is awarded to the learner and recorded at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. At this point, the learner is allowed to schedule a road test. Once the road test has been successfully completed, the learner license will be upgraded to the newly licensed level.

The final tier of the Nova Scotia driver’s license is the “fully licensed” tier. To reach this level, the driver must hold the newly licensed level license for at least twenty-four months. After this time period, the driver will be given the fully licensed classification if he or she has not been found to be at fault for any accidents or has not received any traffic violations.