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 competence and more experience to handle unexpected events.
For the Passenger Vehicle
How To Get Your Learner's (Class 7) Permit
Obtain a copy of the Nova Scotia Driver's Handbook from a Registry of Motor Vehicles office. Click here to view the handbook online. http://www.novascotia.ca/sns/rmv/licence/handbook.asp
Turn 16, bring two pieces of identification with you, including birth certificate/passport, 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/restrictions at this stage
For Class 7 or 8 licences, the Learner's stage of the system lasts for 12 months, which may be reduced by 3 months if a recognized driver education or training program is completed.
No passengers, except an experienced driver who holds at least a Class 5 unrestricted licence.
Zero blood alcohol level for the learning driver.
Pass the road test
Newly Licensed Phase
Once a road test has been successfully completed, the learner becomes Newly Licensed for a minimum of two years.
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 12am and 5am, unless accompanied by unrestricted 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 to the Registry of Motor Vehicles office with the applicable fee.
How to Graduate
To "graduate" from the newly licence phase, the driver must successfully complete a recognized Defensive Driving Course. This recognized course would be a minimum 6 hour classroom course (N1) or a completion certificate from a driver training course meeting the minimum provincial guidelines as set by the road safety programs division. A copy of the proof of completion must be provided, in person or by mail, to any Registry of Motor Vehicles office for recording purposes.
Following 2 years plus a day from the issue of the Class 5N licence, the road test date, they would be eligible to upgrade to the restricted individual phase, Class 5R licence provided a course has been completed and recorded. The restrictions can be removed 2 years from the date of getting the Class 5R licence.
Licence suspensions will delay graduation to the next phase 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.