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Steps Required to Become a Fully Licensed Driver in Nova Scotia

Introduced October 1, 1994

How do I get a Learner’s (Class 7) licence?

To get a Learner’s licence you must:

  • Be at least 16
  • Take a vision test
  • Take a driving knowledge test
  • Get parental consent if you are under 18

How long will I be in the Learner stage?

You will be in the Learner stage for at least six months. This can be reduced to three months if you successfully complete an approved beginner driver education course. A Class 7 (Learner’s) licence is valid for one year, after which it must be renewed.

What are the restrictions while I am in the Learner stage?

You must drive with a fully licensed driver with at least a regular Class 5 licence, and who is in the front seat in a position to help if necessary. You cannot have passengers except for your supervising driver.

You cannot drive under the influence of alcohol – your blood alcohol level must be zero.

You are permitted to drive between midnight and 5 a.m. only if accompanied by a fully licensed driver.

What else should I know?

If you have any alcohol in your blood, you may get a suspension. Should you get a suspension, it will delay your graduation to the Newly Licensed driver stage by three months if you took a recognized driver education or training program, and six months if you did not.

If you get two demerit points while in the Learner stage, you must go to an interview. If you get four demerit points, you will be given a six-month suspension.

How do I become a Newly Licensed (Class 5N) driver?

To move to the Newly Licensed stage, you must successfully complete a road test.

How long will I be Newly Licensed?

You must be in the Newly Licensed stage for 24 months. You can leave the Newly Licensed stage no earlier than age 18 years and three months.

What are the restrictions while I am Newly Licensed?

You cannot drive under the influence of alcohol – your blood alcohol level must be zero.

You can have only one passenger in the front seat, and no more passengers in the back seat than you have working seatbelts.

You are permitted to drive between midnight and 5:00 a.m. only if accompanied by an experienced licensed driver. If you need to drive to work during those hours, you can apply for an “Exemption from Nighttime Driving Curfew.”

What else should I know?

If your licence is suspended for any reason, you must start the whole 24-month process over.

If you get four demerit points while in the Newly Licensed stage, you must go to an interview. If you get six demerit points, your driver's licence will be suspended. You cannot upgrade beyond a Class 5 licence during this stage.

To graduate from the Newly Licensed stage to become a fully licensed driver, you must successfully complete a six-hour defensive driving course or complete the full Driver Training Course (25 hours theory, 8 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.

For more information, please visit http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/rmv/licence/gradlic.asp

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