Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

By Dana Hall

Posted on April 19, 2021

Nova Scotia

Official Language: English
Age of Majority: 19
Legal Drinking Age: 19

Getting a Health Card

Health coverage in Nova Scotia is offered through the Medical Services Insurance (MSI). To register, you must have an address in Nova Scotia. You must also live in Nova Scotia for at least six months of the year.

  • If you have Permanent Residency, you can apply for health coverage the day you arrive.
  • If you are a student, you will not be able to get MSI until you have lived in Nova Scotia for 12 months. If your visa is longer than 12 months, you can apply at the start of the 13th month.
  • If you have a work permit that is at least 12 months long, you can apply for MSI the day you arrive in Nova Scotia. You cannot be absent from Nova Scotia for more than 31 days unless it is for work.

To apply for MSI, you will need to call MSI Registration. If you are in Nova Scotia, call 1-800-563-8880. If you are not in Nova Scotia, call 1-902-496-7008. You will need to have your immigration documents ready when you call.

Driving Information

How to get a licence The legal age to drive in Nova Scotia is 16. The first thing you need to do is to take a knowledge test. You can study for this test using Nova Scotia’s driver’s handbook. You do not need an appointment to book the test, but it is best to call a Registry of Motor Vehicles office near you in order to find out the times at which the tests are given.

You will need to fill out an application form and bring the necessary identification. You can get an application form at any Registry of Motor Vehicles location. After passing your knowledge test, you’ll earn a learner’s licence. This allows you to drive with someone who has a full licence. You will also need to maintain a zero-alcohol level at all times while driving.

The next step is to take a road test. You will need to have your learner’s licence for at least a year in order to take the test. If you have already taken a driver’s education course, you will only need to wait nine months. When you pass your road test, you will become a “Newly Licenced Driver.” This is a specific type of licence that you need to keep for a minimum of two years. People in Nova Scotia often call this a “Cinderella Licence” because it does not allow you to drive between midnight and 5 a.m. To graduate from this licence, you will need to take a six-hour defensive driving course or complete a recognized driver’s training course. If you have already done this for your learner’s licence, you will not need to do it again.

After two years, you can take a second road test. You will need to bring confirmation that you have completed a driver’s course with you. If you pass, you will receive a “Restricted Individual” licence. This means you’ll receive a full licence on the condition that you have a zero-alcohol level whenever you are driving. You cannot teach someone with a learner’s permit how to drive if you are in the Restricted Individual stage of your licence.

After having this licence for two years, these restrictions will go away, and you will be considered a fully qualified driver. You are not required to do anything to lift the restriction. It will simply end once you have had this licence for two years.

Pricing to obtain your licence can be found here.

How to transfer a licence: If you have a licence from another country, you will need to transfer it to a Nova Scotia licence. You should do this in your first 90 days of living in Nova Scotia.

If your country has an exchange agreement with Nova Scotia, you will only need to visit an Access Nova Scotia centre to take an eye test and exchange your license. The following countries have exchange agreements with Nova Scotia:

  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Isle of Man
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

If your country is not on this list, you will need to pass a knowledge test and a road test before exchanging your licence. You can do this whenever you feel ready.

Nova Scotia Public School Information

Children in Nova Scotia can start school as early as age four, but it is not mandatory until age five. These are the different levels of education in Nova Scotia:

  • Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten: Ages 4–5
  • Elementary school (Grades 1–6): Ages 6–11
  • Junior high school (Grades 7–9): Ages 12–14
  • High school (Grades 10–12): Ages 15–17

Your child’s grade is determined by the year they are born. For instance, everyone born in the year 2015 will go into Grade 1 in 2021. That’s because they will be turning six in 2021. The school year starts in early September and goes until the end of June. There is a short break at the end of December that lasts for two to three weeks. This is called winter break. School starts again in January. There is another week-long break in March called march break.

If you would like to homeschool your child, you can visit this website for more information on how to register.

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