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New Driver's Licence and Identification Cards

About the New Nova Scotia Driver's Licence and Identification Cards

The province has introduced new Driver's Licences and Identification Cards with improved levels of security against threats to personal identity and new features that help prevent fraud.

The cards are fully compliant with new security standards set by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

New and Enhanced for your Personal Safety

Over the last few years, threats to personal identity have increasingly become more complex.

The launch of the new Driver's Licence and Identification Cards is part of government's commitment to protect the personal safety and identity of all Nova Scotians. This initiative is part of an Atlantic provinces' joint venture to comply with changing national and international security standards relating to personal identification.

Some Important New Features

  • Digital portrait and signature stored in a permanent secure database for easy retrieval to verify identification
  • "Under 19" Driver's Licence and Identification Cards display the words "UNDER 19 UNTIL/PAS 19 ANS AVANT" followed by the date the cardholder will turn 19 in bold yellow text and positioned vertically next to the portrait
  • One-dimensional and two-dimensional barcodes, micro-printing and other security patterns visible only under ultraviolet lights.
  • Bilingual headers - English/French
  • Laminate has optical variable images that increase the card's durability, security and tamper resistance. Patterns shift in colour as card is tilted so the viewer can easily verify authenticity.

Adult Licence

Under 19 Licence

Adult Identification Card

Questions and Answers

Why are we changing our driver's licence and photo ID cards?

Protection of identity is a key concern of government. These cards meet the new security standards set by Canadian and American motor vehicle authorities.

What makes this a more secure card than the ones we've had before?

These cards use digital imaging technology and have several layers of security. These are the same kind of cards adopted not only in the Atlantic provinces, but across the country and the United States.

Why make it mandatory to record your height and eye colour?

These are required fields in the new standard and help to protect your identity. This information used to be captured before there was a photo on the card; we are resuming collecting this information.

Are you allowed to capture all this personal information?

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the department has determined that the information is required to conduct its business and to protect your identity.

Will I have to pay more for these new cards?

No, the cost of the new cards will not increase as a result of these enhancements. For current driver's licence and identification card fees, please see:

Will there be a change in the application process for these new cards?

Yes. The only change will be the recording of your height and eye colour.

Does this mean that our current driver's licence and photo ID cards are not secure?

Our current cards are secure and have many of the security features that will be incorporated in the new card. However, the new cards offer improved security. It is important to remember that card security evolves over time as threats to personal identity become more and more sophisticated. Enhancing security is part of our business. The last enhancements were in 2006.

Why are we going for this new licence and not the Enhanced Driver's Licences that Ontario, British Columbia and other provinces have?

Unlike Nova Scotia, those provinces have extensive land borders with the US. Many Nova Scotians travel by air into the US and have passports for that purpose. The Enhanced Driver's Licence entails additional cost and administrative burden for the government to implement and an additional cost for clients. Research indicates that a small percentage of clients would opt for an EDL, and therefore we do not see an added value for Nova Scotia to pursue the concept of Enhanced Driver's Licence at this time.

Can I get a new driver's licence even if mine is not up for renewal yet?

Yes, you may purchase a replacement driver's licence, as is done with a lost licence, with the same expiry.

For replacement driver's licence fees and photo ID card fees, please go to

Can I still place a change of address label on the back of my photo card?

No. If you wish to display your new address on your card, you must purchase a replacement card.

Are my current Driver's Licence and Photo ID cards still valid?

Your driver's licence and photo ID remain valid until the expiry date indicated on the card.