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International Student Guidebook

Driving & Identification Cards


This card is often needed in order to take part in age-restricted activities (for example, attending certain movies or going to bars) or purchasing age-restricted products (for example, alcohol or tobacco products). We recommend that you get a Nova Scotia ID card when you arrive so that you do not have to carry your passport to prove your age and identity. To apply for your Nova Scotia ID card you will need to present your passport, your study permit and your NSCC ID card at an Access Nova Scotia location.




You can apply for a Nova Scotia driver’s license. You will have to pass a written test and a road test before receiving your driver’s license.

If you have never driven before, you must successfully complete the 3 stages of Nova Scotia’s Graduated Drivers License System.

It is expensive for most international students to own and operate a motor vehicle in Canada. If you decide to buy and own a motor vehicle, it is mandatory in Nova Scotia to register it and to hold an insurance policy on the vehicle.

Also remember that in Canada, we drive on the right-hand side of the road. The use of seat belts is mandatory for all car passengers.

Important: It is against the law in Nova Scotia touse a hand-held cellular phone, or text messaging device, while driving. Under this law, you may only drive and talk on a mobile phone by using the hands- free function. You may still use a cell phone to report emergency situations.