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Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations - Registry of Motor Vehicles

Motorcycle Driver's Licence

Who Needs This Licence?

Anyone who lives in Nova Scotia, and wants to operate a motorcycle on our public roads and highways, needs either (a) a separate Motorcycle Driver's Licence or (b) an add-on (called an "endorsement") to their regular Driver's Licence -- which lets them drive a motorcycle as well as a regular passenger vehicle. Both of those are explained later in this section.

Motorcycle Training Course Registration:

For information on renewing your licence, see Driver's Licence (Expiry & Renewal);

For information on replacing your licence or changing your name or changing the address on it, see Driver's Licence (Additional Information, E, F and G).

Graduated system : Because we have a Graduated Driver Licensing system, there are 3 levels of motorcycle licences in Nova Scotia:
(1) Learner Motorcycle Licence -- Class LM;
(2) Newly Licensed Motorcycle Driver's Licence -- Class 6N; and
(3) regular Motorcycle Driver's Licence -- Class 6.
Each of these is explained later in this section.
Visitors or newcomers who already have a valid Motorcycle Driver Licence from another part of Canada, or from another country, can drive in Nova Scotia for up to 90 days without getting a Nova Scotia Motorcycle Driver's Licence. After that, you need a Nova Scotia licence. [For more on this, see Driver's Licence, Application Forms & Process, Group 4.]
Issuing Department / Agency:
Registry of Motor Vehicles
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
Where can you get this Licence and / or further information?
Phone: (902) 424-5851 or if calling long distance, 
call 1-800-898-7668 (toll-free)
Visit:

Registry of Motor Vehicles Offices are located in Most Access Nova Scotia locations

E-mail: Send us an e-mail through our online enquiry form.
Website: http://www.novascotia.ca/snsmr/rmv
Write:

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
PO Box 1652
Halifax, NS  B3J 2Z3
Canada

Fax: (902) 424-0720
Application Forms & Process:
Apply in person: You have to come to one of the offices listed above to apply for a Motorcycle Driver's Licence, because a photo must be taken for the licence.
Under certain circumstances, you can get an exemption (and a licence with no photo on it). For more information, contact the Department (see Where can you get ...., above).
Form : An Application for Driver Licence form can be picked up at the office when you come in to apply.

Groups: People who apply for a N.S. Motorcycle Driver's Licence fall into one of two groups :

(1) people who do not have a Driver's licence -- in other words, they are not experienced drivers; and

(2) experienced drivers who already have a Driver's Licence. Each of these is explained below.

1) FIRST GROUP -- people without a regular Driver's Licence:

In Nova Scotia, all new drivers have to proceed through the Graduated Driver Licensing system before they can get a Driver's Licence .

For people who want to drive a motorcycle, the Graduated Driver Licensing system has 3 levels :

(Level 1) Learner Motorcycle Licence (Class LM) .
For motorcycle drivers, this licence is the first level in the graduated system. To get this licence, you have to do 3 things:

(a) Get a regular (Class 7) Learner's Licence. This is where every new driver has to start, because it covers the basic tests everybody has to pass: the vision test and the Knowledge test. [See Learner's Licence, Application Forms & Process; (7) Knowledge Tests .]

(b) When you take the Knowledge Test, there will be special questions in it dealing with motorcycle rules and safety. These rules are explained in the N.S. Driver's Handbook .

(c) For this licence, the Knowledge test will also have a 3rd part, sometimes called a "balance" test . It includes such things as a pre-trip check, basic balancing on the motorcycle, driving basic patterns, panic stops, etc.

You have to pay for this test in advance. How you arrange for this test, pay for it in advance, etc., is explained in Learner's Licence, Application Forms & Process, (8) Test Receipt .]. However, if you take an approved motorcycle training course, this fee is usually included in the cost of the course.

For information on exactly what you have to do to set up a road test, see Newly Licenced Driver's Licence, Additional Information (F) .

Until you actually have this licence, you are NOT allowed to drive a motorcycle on any highway.

Once you have this licence, there are special restrictions on your motorcycle driving; see Additional Information (B), below.

(Level 2) Newly Licensed Motorcycle Driver's Licence (Class 6N).
For motorcycle drivers, this is the second level in the graduated licensing system. To get this licence, you have to do 3 things:
(a) Have a Learner Motorcycle Licence.

(b) Pass an "advanced skills" test -- which is a road test (Driving Examination). If you take the “advanced skills” test on a motorcycle with an engine size of 100 cc’s or less, you will receive a “D” endorsement on your licence. The “D” endorsement only allows you to operate a motorcycle with an engine size of 100 cc’s or less.

The fee for this test is $51.45 (tax included) which must be paid in advance. An appointment is required. See the Newly Licenced Driver's Licence, Additional Information (F), on how to arrange a road test. See also the N.S. Driver's Handbook.
(c) Complete a waiting period . Before you can take your "advanced skills" road test, you usually need to have your Learner's Motorcycle Licence for at least 6 months .
However, that can be reduced to 3 months if you pass an approved motorcycle driver training course. [For more information, contact the Department; see Where can you get ...., above]
Once you have this licence, there are special restrictions on your motorcycle driving; see Additional Information (C), below.
(Level 3) Regular Motorcycle Driver's Licence (Class 6).
For motorcycle drivers, this is the third level in the Graduated Driver Licensing system. To get for this licence, you have to do 3 things:
(a) Have a Newly Licensed Motorcycle Driver's Licence.

(b) Complete a waiting period of at least 2 years .

(c) Pass an approved motorcycle Driver Improvement Program (including a 6-hour "defensive driving" course).

There are 2 kinds of Driver Improvement Programs; for more information, see the N.S. Driver's Handbook or contact the Department (see Where can you get ...., above.)

Note: you have to give the Department a copy of the Certificate you get when you pass the Driver Improvement Program. (This is kept in the Department records.)

2) SECOND GROUP -- Experienced Drivers -- people who already have a regular Driver's Licence:

If you already have a valid N.S. Driver's Licence (Classes 1-2-3-4 or 5), you can be licensed to drive a motorcycle without getting a brand new licence. Instead, you can get an add-on (called an "endorsement" )to the licence you already have. That means you still have the driving privileges given by your regular licence and you have motorcycle driving privileges besides.

There are 2 stages involved in getting a Motorcycle Endorsement on your present Driver's Licence.

(Stage 1) Interim Learner Motorcycle Licence (Class 5 LM):
To get this, you have to pass the same 2 tests required for a Learner Motorcycle Licence:

(a) a written test on motorcycle rules; and

(b) a "practical skills" test -- sometimes called a "balance" test (See Level 1 -- Motorcycle Learner Licence (c), above.)

Licence : When you pass those two tests, you will get a paper licence indicating that you are qualified as a Motorcycle Learner.

Note: whenever you are driving a motorcycle, you must always carry this licence with you -- AND you must also carry your regular Driver's Licence with you as well.

Note: until you actually have this licence, you are NOT allowed to drive a motorcycle on any highway.

Once you have this licence, there are special restrictions on your motorcycle driving; see Additional Information (B), below.

(Stage 2) Motorcycle Endorsement:
To get a regular Motorcycle Endorcement, you have to do 3 things:

(a) Have an Interim Learner Motorcycle Licence.

(b) Complete a waiting period, usually 3 months (but it can be reduced to 1 month if you pass an approved motorcycle training course); and

(c) Pass "advanced skills" test -- which is another road test (Driving Examination). (See Level 2 -- Newly Licensed Motorcycle Driver's Licence (b), above.)

Note: if you pass an approved test with an authorized tester, you will NOT have to take this road test.
Once you fulfill those 3 requirements, a Motorcycle Endorsement is placed on your regular Driver's Licence . (This is in the form of a large letter: A, D, etc.) There is no further waiting period, and all special driving restrictions are lifted.
Issuing the Licence:
Once you have met the conditions listed above, there is no further waiting period; you pay the fee and your licence is processed at the counter (including taking a photo for your licence, if needed).
Expiry & Renewal:

A Learner's Motorcycle Licence is good for 1 year. Once it expires, it is invalid and you have to apply for a new one (and take all the tests over).

A N.S. Motorcycle Driver's Licence is valid for 5 years. It can be renewed, and the Department will send out a renewal notice before it expires.  (So be sure to let the Department know if you change your address!)

You renew this licence the same way as a regular Driver's Licence. (See Driver's Licence, Expiry & Renewal.)

Price:

Payment at counter:  cash, Interac  debit card, Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card, cheque or money order made out to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Road Test or Knowledge Test Receipts Only - Payment Online: You can pay for a Knowledge Test Receipt (written  test) or a Road Test Receipt online using your Debit card (Interac® Online), or Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card. Driver Test Payment

1) Motorcycle Driver's Licences:   (No tax is charged)

Class 6 (regular) $77.80 [first one or renewal]

Class LM (Learner): Free
Class 6N (Newly Licensed): first one $65.00, renewal $77.80

2) Road test (Driver Examination Receipt): $51.45 (tax included)

3) Motorcycle Endorsements: A, C, D & E:  $11.55

For other prices, see Driver's Licence, Prices.
Related Requirements:
Under some conditions, Medical certificates or Optical certificates may be required.
Additional Information:
A) PHOTO:
A photograph of the licence holder is on all N.S. Driver's Licences.
Under certain circumstances, you can get an exemption (and a licence with no photo on it). For more information, contact the Department (see Where can you get ...., above).

B) SPECIAL DRIVING RESTRICTIONS on LEARNERS -- Learner's Motorcycle Licence (Class LM) and Interim Learner Motorcycle Certificate :

(1) First restriction -- zero blood alcohol level: When you have a Motorcycle Learner's Licence, the tolerance for alcohol content in your blood when you are driving is ZERO. That means, if you are stopped while driving, and asked to take a breathalyzer test, and it shows ANY ALCOHOL CONTENT AT ALL in your blood, your licence will be suspended for 6 months. If your blood alcohol level is over .05, you may get an immediate 24-hour roadside suspension ; and if it is over .08, you will be arrested and your licence will be suspended for a full year

For more information on breath samples and roadside suspension, see Driver's Licence, (D) Failing a Breathalyzer Test.

After your suspension is over, then, no matter how long you already had your licence, you will have to go through the full "waiting period" again before you can advance to the next stage in the graduated licensing system.

(2) Second restriction -- no passengers: a Motorcycle Learner cannot carry any passengers at any time;

(3) Third restriction -- daylight driving only: a Motorcycle Learner is allowed to drive ONLY during the period from 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour after sunset.

C) SPECIAL DRIVING RESTRICTIONS on NEWLY LICENSED motorcycle drivers -- Newly Licensed Motorcycle Driver's Licence (Class 6N) :

(1) First restriction -- zero blood alcohol level: Same as for Motorcycle Learners; see (B-1) above.

(2) Second restriction -- no late-night driving: A Newly Licensed Motorcycle Driver is not allowed to drive between midnight and 5 a.m. (unless you have gotten a written exemption from the Department because of your job).

The application fee for this exemption is $32.15. You can apply at any of the offices listed in this section.  For more information on this, contact the Department (see Where can you get ...., above).
D) OTHER MATTERS :
See Driver's Licence, Additional Information, for more on any of these matters:
Points & Suspensions
Failing a Breathalyzer Test
Penalties for Impaired Driving
Changing your address on your licence
Changing your name on your licence
Replacing a lost or stolen licence
Driver "Master Number"
E) OTHER INFORMATION : For more information on any matters discussed in this section, contact the Department (see Where can you get ...., above).
Legislative Authority:
Motor Vehicle Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Chapter 293, Section(s) 64-78

Last Updated: July 2013

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