Nova Scotia Immigration and Your Driver's Licence.

Nova Scotia Immigration

All drivers in Nova Scotia are required by law to be licensed. When you enter the country through the process of Nova Scotia immigration internationally from another country or migrate within Canada (from another province) you must follow a certain process to obtain a Nova Scotia driver's licence. How you get a driver's licence in Nova Scotia depends on your place of origin and how much previous driving experience you have. Some Nova Scotia immigration individuals can immediately exchange their licence while others may need to take driving tests and/or go through the Nova Scotia graduated licence system.

Getting a Nova Scotia Driver's Licence When Moving to Nova Scotia

Our team at Icandrive.ca is dedicated to ensuring you have everything you need in order to start driving in Nova Scotia as soon as possible. We know moving to a new home can be a really stressful time and it's often hard to know all the steps you need to take to completely settle yourself into a new country or province.

In order to help make that transition as smooth as possible, we've put together a couple of resources and easy to follow instructions on the quickest way to get your Nova Scotia licence. A good thing to keep in mind is that visitors or newcomers with a valid driver's licence from another country or another Canadian province can drive in Nova Scotia for up to 90 days without getting a Nova Scotia Driver's Licence. This being said it is recommended that if you're making a permanent move to the province you should try to get your Nova Scotia driver's licence as soon as possible so you can start using it to drive and as a primary form of identification.

Visitors Vs. Residents and Moving to Nova Scotia

Visitors who are temporarily visiting the province of Nova Scotia can drive in Nova Scotia up to 90 days. They must be at least 16 years old and hold a valid licence from another country or Canadian province.

Nova Scotia residents can also drive up to 90 days with an exisiting licence from another country or Canadian province. During the 90 day grace period you must apply for a valid Nova Scotia driving licence for your vehicle class. You would qualify as a resident if you meet any of the below conditions:

(a) You are attending school or college in Nova Scotia.
(b) You live in Nova Scotia and your children attend school in the province.
(c) You are employed in Nova Scotia for more than 30 days in any given year.
(d) You live in Nova Scotia for more than 90 days in any given year.

Exchanging a Foreign Licence/Licence From Another Country for a Nova Scotia Licence

There are some countries which do have a reciprocal license exchange agreement with Nova Scotia. If you are immigrating from any of these countries you can exchange your licence for a Nova Scotia driver's licence.

Austria: Regular Class 5 driver's licence.
Germany: Regular 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: Regular Class 5 driver's Licence.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Regular Class 5 or Class 6 driver's licence.

In order to get a Nova Scotia licence when arriving from a reciprocal licence exchange agreement applicable country, you must be at least 16 years old and visit a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) service location to:

  • Pass a vision screening test
  • Disclose any medical/physical limitations that could impair your ability to drive safely
  • Provide an English translation of your licence (if the license being exchanged is not in English or French)
  • Surrender your driving licence at the time of the exchange
  • Pay the normal Nova Scotia licence issue fees.

Depending on the licence class from your originating country and length of driving history you may be required to enter the Nova Scotia Graduated Driver Licensing system. Also if you are immigrating from a country not on the above list you will have to proceed through the regular Nova Scotia graduated driver licensing program in order to get your Nova Scotia licence.

Exchanging a Canadian or American Licence for a Nova Scotia Licence

For individuals who hold a valid car driver's licence either from another Canadian province or from the United States, you can usually exchange your existing licence for a Nova Scotia Class 5 driver's licence without any further examinations/tests.

In order to exchange your other province Canadian or American licence for a Nova Scotia Class 5 licence you must you must be at least 16 years old and visit a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) service location to:

  • Disclose any medical/physical concerns that may impair your ability to drive safely.
  • Surrender your current driver's licence at the time of the exchange.
  • Pay the required licence issue fees.

For information on exchanging your exisiting Canadian or American driver's licence for vehicals other than a car please contact your closest Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) service location office for more information.

Nova Scotia's Graduated Driver Licensing Program

If a licence exchange process is not applicable to your profile then you will need to complete the entire Nova Scotia graduated driver licensing program in order to get your NS driving licence. We can help you understand the requirements, preparations and examinations at each level. Use our Nova Scotia licence guideNova Scotia Class 7 practice test sets to test your knowledge of the road signs and rules in Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia driving test guides to be well prepared for your Nova Scotia driving test.

Acceptable Nova Scotia Identification Documents

To apply for most Nova Scotia licenses you will require identification that supports your proof of age and name. The documents required must be originals or certified true copies and satisfy the requirements of being primary identification documentation and two secondary identification documents. To keep updated on what documents qualify as primary and secondary documents it's always a good idea to review the most up to date identification document list provided by Service Nova Scotia.

What Else Do You Need to Know About Moving to Nova Scotia?

Aside from getting a Nova Scotia drivers licence there are some other driving related and general resident requirements that you must focus on in order to complete your move to the province of Nova Scotia. Whether it's finding the cheapest Nova Scotia car insurance, the closest NS driver licensing office or directions on how to contact other Nova Scotia immigration services we can help.

Your Nova Scotia Social Insurance Card

Your social insurance number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that is unique to each Canadian and a key document you need when going through Nova Scotia immigration. This number is required for:

  • Employment applications
  • Accessing government programs/benefits
  • As an identity document

Getting Cheap Nova Scotia Auto Insurance

To drive in any province or territory in Canada you need to carry adequate car insurance in the event your ever involved in an accident. Good car insurance doesn't need to be over priced and a good Nova Scotia car insurance policy will provide peace of mind without breaking the bank. When it comes to purchasing car insurance in Nova Scotia you can Get an Insurance Quote Online, contact an NS Insurance company or work with a Nova Scotia insurance broker to get the right policy for your needs.

Apply for your Nova Scotia Health Card (MIS) as Soon as You Complete Your Nova Scotia Immigration

MSI (Medical Services Insurance) is Nova Scotia's health insurance plan and you must apply for a Nova Scotia health card as soon as possible to avoid having to pay medical expenses out of pocket. Often times the first requirement when you move to the province after you successfully complete your Nova Scotia immigration is to get health coverage as soon as possible.

Getting Your Nova Scotia PR Card

Nova Scotia immigrants planning to travel outside of the country need to have a Permanent Resident card to prove Canadian residency and to be allowed to return/re-enter at the Canadian border. A valid PR card is proof of your Nova Scotia immigration and helps identify you as a Canadian Permenant Resident anywhere in the world.

Find Your Best Nova Scotia Car Insurance Company

Looking for Information on Specific Nova Scotia Licence Classes?

If you already know which specific Nova Scotia licence you need more information on, choose from our individual Nova Scotia driver licensing pages. We have compiled everything you need to know in order to get your Nova Scotia drivers license in the shortest possible time period. It's best to start researching and understanding which driver's licence classes apply to you as early in your Nova Scotia immigration journey as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving to Nova Scotia and Driver's Licences

Nova Scotia immigrants often have numerous questions on the process, fees and requirements of getting a Nova Scotia driver's licence and we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you get the answers you need. While we've tried to cover as many FAQ's as possible please contact us if you have any specific questions and we will try our best to put you in touch with the best Nova Scotia resources for your needs.

Where can I get a drivers license in Nova Scotia?

In order to get a driver's licence in Nova Scotia, you have to submit an application to your local Registry of Motor Vehicles office. Depending on your licensing level you will need to show proof of residency, proof of identiy, prepare for NS driving tests and submit any required fees. Check out our Nova Scotia licensing guide for details on all NS licensing requirements.

How long does it take to get a driver's licence in Nova Scotia?

Driver's moving from another Canadian province, the United States or a country that has a licence exchange reciprocal agreement can apply for a Nova Scotia Class 5 licence immediately. If you are obtaining your NS licence through the Nova Scotia graduated driver licensing process from start to finish at minimum it will take you 6 months at the Class 7 learner level + 2 years at the Class 5N licensing level + 2 years at the Class 5R licensing level to get your full Nova Scotia Class 5 car licence.

Can I drive with an international driver's licence in Nova Scotia?

Visitors are allowed to drive with their foreign licence for up to 90 days in Nova Scotia. In order to use your foreign driver's licence you must

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Hold a valid, unexpired licence from your country/other Canadian province

If you are planning to become a permanent Nova Scotia resident it's recommended that you apply for a Nova Scotia licence as soon as possible.

How long can you drive with a foreign license in Canada?

If you are a tourist or visitor you can drive up to 90 days with a foreign licence in any Canadian province or territory.

Can I buy a car in Canada with a foreign license?

There are no legal restrictions on foreigners purchasing vehicles in Canada. You do however need a valid international driver's licence, funds to purchase and a local address to list for contact purposed on your purchase receipt.

Can you have 2 drivers licenses in Nova Scotia?

Technically you should only have one driver's licence in Nova Scotia. If you had previously held an out of province or foreign licence, you should have surrendered it when you applied for your Nova Scotia driver's licence. Driving with two licensing could result in fines and/or demerit points if you are pulled over by the police and show a licence that is not for the province you currently hold residency in.

Can I drive in Nova Scotia with US driver license?

A driver's licence and auto insurance policy from the United States is valid in Canada and allows you to drive on Canadian roadways. It is however recommended that if you are intending to become a resident of Nova Scotia, that you apply for a Nova Scotia driver's licence within 90 days of moving.

Can I transfer my driver's license from another country?

If you previously lived in any of the below indicated countries you can exchange your licence for a Nova Scotia driver's licence.

Austria: Regular Class 5 driver's licence.
Germany: Regular 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: Regular Class 5 driver's Licence.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Regular Class 5 or Class 6 driver's licence.

In addition, Canadians moving from another province or individuals moving from America can exchange their existing car licences for an NS Class 5 car licence.

What does the N on my license mean?

In Nova Scotia, the N on your licence stands for newly licenced and is awarded to individuals who have successfully passed the required tests in order to be able to drive independently. A 5N car licence must be held for a minimim of 6 months before you can proceed to the Class 5R licence stage. In terms of motorcycle licensing the 6N licence is the licence stage you can move to after passing the advanced skills test. You have to stay at the 6N licence stage for 24 months before you become eligible for a full Nova Scotia Class 6 motorcycle licence.

Looking to Immigrate to a Different Canadian Province or Territory?

If you're looking to immigrate to a Canadian province or territory other than Nova Scotia please choose your desired province below and we will help you understand the driver licensing requirements specific to that province.

Alberta Drivers License

Immigrating to AB

Immigrating to BC

Immigrating to MB

Immigrating to NB

Immigrating to NL

Immigrating to NT

Immigrating to NU

Immigrating to ON

Immigrating to PEI

Immigrating to QC

Immigrating to SK

Immigrating to YT