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Registry of Motor Vehicles - Vehicle (Safety) Inspections

A "new vehicle" that passes a Motor Vehicle Inspection will receive a Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker showing a three (3) year expiry date for a “type 1 vehicle” or one (1) year expiry date for a “type 2 vehicle” from month of inspection.

A “used vehicle” that passes a Motor Vehicle Inspection will receive a sticker showing a two (2) year expiry date for a “type 1 vehicle” or one (1) year expiry date for a “type 2 vehicle” from month of inspection.

If a roadworthy vehicle does not pass inspection, but the existing inspection sticker is valid for 10 or more days from the date of inspection, the vehicle owner may request to leave the existing inspection sticker on the vehicle to obtain a second opinion.

The owner or operator of a "rejected vehicle" has 10 days from the date of rejection to have defects corrected and the vehicle re-inspected. This does not permit the operation of an unsafe vehicle during this time. The original inspection station may not charge an additional inspection fee for re-inspection of rejected items provided the client returns within the 10 day rejection period.

An inspection sticker that has become defaced may be replaced for a nominal fee at any inspection station. The motor vehicle inspection report must be produced for this purpose.

Vehicles Purchased from a Nova Scotia Dealer
If a “new vehicle” is purchased from a licenced Nova Scotia Dealer, the buyer will receive a Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker showing a three (3) year expiry date for a “type 1 vehicle” or one (1) year expiry date for a “type 2 vehicle” from time of inspection.

If a “used vehicle” is purchased from a licenced Nova Scotia Dealer, the buyer will receive a Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker, issued within 30 days prior to the date of sale, showing a two (2) year expiry date for a “type 1 vehicle” or one (1) year expiry date for a “type 2 vehicle” from time of inspection; OR

The dealer may sell the vehicle “as is”, remove any previous Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker and complete a “Sale of Vehicle Not Safety Approved” form. If a dealer sells a vehicle not safety approved a vehicle permit may not be issued until a valid Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker is obtained in name of the buyer.

Vehicles Purchased Privately
If a "used vehicle" is purchased privately the vehicle must display a valid Motor Vehicle Inspection issued within 30 days prior to the date of sale in the name of the seller, showing a two (2) year expiry date for a “type 1 vehicle” or one (1) year expiry date for a “type 2 vehicle” from time of inspection; OR

A valid Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker must be obtained by the buyer prior to transfer; OR

The buyer may obtain a letter from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, at the time of transfer, providing an additional 10 days to obtain a valid Motor Vehicle Inspection.

However, if the seller and buyer complete a “Sale of Vehicle Not Safety Approved” form, a vehicle permit may not be issued until a valid Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker is obtained in name of the buyer.

Vehicles Entering from Outside Nova Scotia
A “used vehicle” entering the province, that is required to be registered (titled) in the province, will require a Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Inspection no later than 30 days after the date of the vehicle’s entry into the province and prior to registration (titling). A “used vehicle” that passes a Motor Vehicle Inspection will receive a sticker showing a two (2) year expiry date for a “type 1 vehicle” or one (1) year expiry date for a “type 2 vehicle”.

However, if the vehicle is not inspected prior to registration (titling), the owner may obtain a a letter from the Registry of Motor Vehicles providing an additional 10 days to obtain a valid Motor Vehicle Inspection after it is registered (titled and permitted) in Nova Scotia.

MVI Exemptions

Vehicles Exempt from Motor Vehicle Inspection:

  • antique vehicles;
  • mobile homes being towed to retail sales outlets or to permanent locations;
  • vehicles that are required to display a slow-moving vehicle sign as prescribed under the Motor Vehicle Act;
  • buses licenced as public passenger vehicles under the Motor Carrier Act, except buses that are passenger vehicles as defined in subsection 2(h) of that Act;
  • vehicles bearing a valid New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island inspection in the name of the vehicle registrant; and
  • vehicles with a registered gross vehicle weight over 4500 kg bearing a valid inspection from another Canadian jurisdiction, in the name of the vehicle registrant.

Vehicles that do not require Motor Vehicle Inspection within 30 days before Date of Sale:

  • a transfer of a vehicle exempt from Motor Vehicle Inspection (see above list);
  • a transfer of ownership to an immediate family member, as defined in the Income Tax Act;
  • a transfer of ownership from lessor to the lessee, if the lessor is not a dealer;
  • a sale between licensed dealers;
  • a sale to a licensed dealer;
  • a sale to a salvage yard;
  • a transfer from a deceased person to the deceased person’s estate; and
  • a transfer into or from joint ownership, if one of the original owners remains an owner.

Official Inspection Station Manual, Passenger and Light Commercial Vehicles, 4500 kg or Less Revised April 2009  [PDF - 1.47 MB]

Vehicle Registration and Plates Information Index


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