The Complete Super-guide to getting your driver's license in Halifax, Nova Scotia
To simplify the process of getting your driver’s license in Nova Scotia, we’ve put together the below guide. We hope you find it helpful, whether you’re new to the province, to the country, or aim to get your driver’s license for the first time.
To start, you will need to pass a knowledge test…
In order to get your license in Nova Scotia, you have to first past a “Knowledge test,” the content of which is on right of way rules, signs, regulations related to driving. I would recommend you to read the Nova Scotia handbook (click to get it) before you try the knowledge test to increase your chances of success on the first try. This test costs 15.15$. You will do this test either online or by walking into any Access NS location, and asking to do a written test for driving. To do it online, click on the link here, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on ‘start now.’
Then, you will need to practice driving in Nova Scotia with an instructor and by yourself.
After you pass this test, you will receive a Learner’s license (class 7). With this license, you have the right to start practicing driving with someone who has a full license (such a driving instructor). Only one person can be in your car while you’re practicing – that means, no kids, no relatives and definitely no friends. You can click here to book a session with a professional instructor to evaluate your driving.
Book a road-test, they are booking months in advance!
At this point, you want to think about booking your in car road-test, so you will need a roadtest receipt (click to get a receipt). This document allows you to book a roadtest with an examiner in Halifax and it costs 53$. We usually book the roadtest for our students to ensure there’s no scheduling conflict.
A driving school certificate allows you to do your road-test in 9 months, instead of a year.
It’s important to receive a certificate from a driving school to eliminate all limitations related to your driving (such as not being able to drive at night during the hours of 12-5). The only exception to this is if you have experience driving in a foreign country. In this case, you will need to translate your driving license, and follow the same steps: 1) pass knowledge test and 2) book and pass the road test in Halifax, Dartmouth, Sackville or any Access NS centre in the province.
Receiving a certificate requires you to complete a full course which includes driving practice for a number of sessions in the car (minimum 10 hours), and to complete the theory course (which we offer online at a fully self paced format). Our full province certified (click to learn more) course includes these 2 components. Also this course provides you with additional practice on the day of your road-test, and the use of our vehicle to pass your road-test in.
You will need a car for the road test!
It’s important to note that Access NS (our dmv) does not provide a vehicle for you to do your road test in. So once you schedule a test, you need to show up to your test area with a vehicle that passes the strict safety requirements. For example, if your tires are not up to standard, or if one of your lights are not working, your test will be cancelled and you have to book another test, which can sometimes take months.
If you are coming in from another province:
Assuming you already have a learner’s license, you can use it for up to 30 days, if you’ve moved here (resident). You will then to switch your license by visiting any Access NS centre, and it can cost 12-25$ approximately, depending on which province you are coming from. If you are simply visiting NS, you can use your license in Nova Scotia for 90 days (i.e. no work, school, rent, etc).
If you are coming in from another country:
you will need to get a certified translation of your license from back home, so you can use your current driving experience, in order to get a full driver’s license in NS, which is free from limitations. You can get your documents translated at ISANS (click to browse). You will also need to do a knowledge test, and pass the road test to be fully licensed in Canada. Some countries are exempt from this process, and if you are from those countries, you can simply switch your license for a Canadian one, by visiting any Access NS in the province, and provide your documents (i.e. passport, current driver’s license). Some of the automatic-switch eligible countries are: US, Germany, Japan, UK, France, Australia. You can click here to see if your country is included.
Complete the full course to remove all driving limitations, and lower your insurance rate.
when you take a full course with a driving school in Halifax, you will be given the knowledge and resources to help pass the knowledge test(written) and the practical test (road test). It’s important then to find the best driving school that helps you learn driving patiently, and with instruction/guidance to help you become a strong, independent and defensive driver so you have a good chance of passing your roadtest in Halifax, Sackville or Dartmouth, on your first try. For more info on how to choose the best driving school in Halifax to fits your needs, please refer to this article.
For more information on the services we offer, click here. We provide full premium (province approved) driving programs that include theory, practice and the use of our car for the road-test. You may simply want to take driving lessons, and you can schedule one today on this page, to get an evaluation on your current driving skills. You may add the theory program (individually) at a later time, in order to receive a certificate and to lower your insurance rate (especially if you’re a first time driver).
Did we not answer all your questions?
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out by clicking on Contact Us . We look forward to helping you get your driver’s license and gain confidence behind the wheel in Nova Scotia.