NS - Young Drivers

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Building upon existing provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act, the graduated driver licensing system is a comprehensive approach which addresses driver training and education; skills and knowledge testing; driver improvement programs and the issue of driver inexperience.

Graduated licensing is a system which places driving conditions on the beginner driver. As these conditions are gradually and systematically removed, exposure to increasingly risky situations is gradually phased in. Rather than being exposed to the full range of driving hazards at once, the novice driver is eased into full unrestricted driving situations with more competance and more experience to handle unexpected events.

For the Passenger Vehicle

For Class 7 or 8 licences, the Learner's stage of the system lasts for 6 months, which may be reduced to 3 months if a recognized driver education or training program is taken.

How To Get Your Learner's (C7) Permit

Obtain a copy of the Nova Scotia Government's Driver's Handbook from a Registry of Motor Vehicles office.  Click here to order online.
Turn 16, bring two pieces of identification with you, and write the test at the Registry of motor Vehicles.
You will be tested on traffic laws, the rules of the road, recognition and understanding of lights, signs, and safety indicators. You must achieve at least 80% to pass. You must also pass a vision test.
Operating conditions at this stage

For Class 7 or 8 licences, the Learner's stage of the system lasts for 6 months, which may be reduced to 3 months if a recognized driver education or training program is taken.
No passengers, except an experienced driver who holds at least a Class 5 licence.
Zero blood alcohol level for the learning driver.
Pass the road test

Newly Licensed

Once a road test has been successfully completed, the learner becomes Newly Licensed for a minimum of two years.
Operating conditions

Zero blood alcohol level for the newly licensed driver.
Only one front seat passenger and rear seat(s) passengers limited to the number of available seat belts.
No upgrade beyond a Class 5 driver's licence.
No driving between midnight and 5:00AM, unless accompanied by an experienced driver.
A newly licensed driver may apply for an exemption from the night time driving curfew for employment purposes. The driver must take the most direct route to and from work, and is not permitted to have any passengers in the vehicle.  A Form APP33 Application for Exemption from Nightime Driving Curfew must be properly completed, signed and submitted with the fee of $26.60 to request the exemption.
How to Graduate

To "graduate" from the newly licensed driver stage, the driver must successfully complete a 6 hour Defensive Driving course (N1) or complete the full Driver Training Course (25 hours theory, 10 hours driving time). A copy of your graduation certificate must be provided, in person or by mail, to any Registry of Motor Vehicles office for recording purposes.

Licence suspensions will delay graduation to the regular driver stage by 2 years from the date the licence is reinstated.

A demerit point system will remain in effect for newly licensed drivers. These drivers will be subject to driver improvement action much earlier than is the case for experienced drivers.

At the Regular stage, there is no change from the current system.

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