Nova Scotia License Plate Renewal

Nova Scotia License Plate Renewal

If you have just acquired a car in Nova Scotia, you must register it to guarantee that it can be driven on public roads.

You must follow the Nova Scotia automobile registration process to do so. Here’s what you should know after purchasing a car:

When you buy a used car in Nova Scotia that will be driven on public roads, you must complete the Nova Scotia vehicle registration process within 30 days.

This procedure will allow you to transfer car ownership and get license plates.

It is possible to buy a car and finish the Nova Scotia automobile registration procedure on the same day if you plan ahead of time.

However, you must first become acquainted with all of the procedures and schedule all essential papers and appointments.

We will offer a full description of the procedure in the following parts, including all of the processes necessary to register your car and more.

License plate renewal in Nova Scotia

Follow these procedures to renew your license plate sticker in Nova Scotia:

  • Fill out the renewal form, which is accessible online.
  • Check that you have all of the required supporting papers listed on the form.
  • Pay with the form.
  • Submit your completed form, along with any supporting papers and payment.
  • The Registry of Motor Vehicles will send you an email with a renewal confirmation.

Commercial license plates

If you have commercial plates and renew your car permit after it has expired, the month of renewal counts as a full month.

Confirmation of renewal

Keep your renewal confirmation and the old permit in your car until the new permit and license plate sticker come in the mail.

 You have the option of printing the confirmation or having it ready on your mobile device.

Interim vehicle permit for 30 days

When you renew your car online, you will get a 30-day interim vehicle permit, enabling you to drive your vehicle while you wait for your new permit and sticker to arrive. Even if the previous sticker has expired, keep your license plate on your car.

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Who is allowed to use this form?

This form is for anyone who wants to renew their driver’s license under the following conditions:

  1. The permission has either already expired or will expire within the next two months.
  2. There are no outstanding penalties or fees for privilege reinstatement.

You cannot renew your vehicle permit online if you hold ambulance plates, business plates with ‘condition 105 – one way allotted (prorate)’, firefighter plates, ground search and rescue plates, prorate plates, or volunteer firefighter plates.

If you are unable to renew your car permit online, you may do it by mail or by visiting the Registry of Motor Vehicles or Access Nova Scotia.

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How to register your vehicle in Nova Scotia

To establish car ownership and receive license plates in Nova Scotia, you must register your vehicle. The procedure is simple, and the instructions below clarify what you must accomplish.

1. Perform a vehicle pre-sale inspection

Private-party used car transactions in Nova Scotia are required by provincial legislation to undergo a pre-sale safety assessment no later than 30 days before the sale. The vendor is responsible for completing the examination and providing a Motor Vehicle examination (MVI) number.

Alternatively, the buyer may agree to get the MVI on his or her own and receive a letter from the Registry of Motor Vehicles saying that they have 10 days from the date of sale to complete the MVI.

A third alternative is to sell the car without obtaining a safety clearance and filling out a “Sale of Vehicle Not Safety Approved” form. In this instance, the buyer may buy the car but will not be able to get a license until the MVI is completed in their name.

The new owner must get a Motor Vehicle Inspection Number sticker within 30 days of bringing the vehicle into the province and before registering it if it isn’t from one of the Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador).

Exempted vehicles

Certain vehicles are not subject to Motor Vehicle Inspection (MVI) and are considered exempt. These include:

  • Classic cars
  • Mobile homes being transported to retail sales outlets or permanent locations
  • Vehicles required to display a “slow-moving vehicle” sign as per the Motor Vehicle Act
  • Public passenger buses (excluding buses licensed as passenger vehicles)
  • vehicles registered in the owner’s name that have current inspections from Prince Edward Island or New Brunswick
  • vehicles with a registered gross vehicle weight (GVW) of more than 4,500 kg that have the owner’s name on a valid inspection from another Canadian province.

2. Obtain the completed and signed certificate of registration

To initiate the vehicle registration process in Nova Scotia, either the person selling the vehicle or the registered owner must sign the “Seller” section on the back of the Certificate of Registration (Transfer of Ownership).

The seller should also complete the “Transfer of Title Certificate of Sale (Part 1)” section, which serves as the vehicle’s bill of sale.

Notice of sale

Additionally, the seller needs to fill out the “notice of sale” portion on the Certificate of Registration and submit it to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).

This informs the provincial government that the original owner has authorized the vehicle’s sale to the buyer, relieving the owner of any associated responsibilities like taxes and liabilities.

This signed document acts as evidence of ownership for the purchaser. The vehicle will be registered in the buyer’s name for a period of 30 days.

If the buyer possesses license plates in their name, these can serve as a temporary permit. The owner can affix the plates and legally operate the vehicle for 30 days.

Upon receiving this document, it is important to verify that the vehicle identification number (VIN) stated on the papers matches the VIN on the actual vehicle.

3. Get a car insurance

Contact an insurance carrier to receive the minimum liability auto insurance coverage of $500,000 that Nova Scotia requires.

Unlike certain other Canadian provinces, like British Columbia, Nova Scotia does not have a government-operated insurer, and the auto insurance market is open.

4. Fill out a statement of insurance

As part of the Nova Scotia vehicle registration process, you will also need to obtain your passenger vehicle permit, which includes receiving license plates for your vehicle.

This begins with completing a Statement of Insurance that includes details about your insurance provider, policy number, and effective and expiry dates.

5. Submit an application for a registration certificate

The buyer must submit an Application for a Certificate of Registration within 30 days of acquiring the car. A tax declaration will be required as part of this application form. In most cases, the buyer simply has to complete Parts 1 and 4 of the application.

Part 3 of the application is necessary only when the buyer and the intended license plate owner are different individuals. Part 2 applies solely to vehicles purchased through licensed car dealerships.

6. Submit an application for a certificate of registration and the required fees

Mail or deliver the completed application, Certificate of Registration, relevant sales tax, transfer and registration fees, and vehicle permit fee to the closest RMV.

If you want to attend in person, you must make an appointment with the RMV via Access Nova Scotia.

The current recording and/or transfer costs for automobile registration in Nova Scotia (as of March 8, 2023) are $13.20, and the vehicle permit charge ranges from $143.30 to $333.90 based on vehicle weight.

Nova Scotia calculates sales tax at 15% of the purchase price for vehicles acquired from licensed dealerships. Privately purchased vehicles are subject to 15% tax on the higher value between the purchase price and the Canadian Red Book value at the time.

If the car was given as a present by a relative, there will be no taxes involved. Approved family members include:

  • Father
  • Mother
  • Son
  • Daughter
  • Step parents
  • Step child
  • Father-in-law
  • Mother-in-law
  • Son-in-law
  • Daughter-in-law
  • Spouse
  • Grandfather
  • Grandmother
  • Grandson
  • Granddaughter
  • Brother
  • Sister

Remember to bring valid identification, as indicated on Nova Scotia’s service page, such as your driver’s license, passport, citizenship card, and so on.

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7. Obtain registration and vehicle permit

Upon submitting your documents to the RMV, you will immediately receive your Nova Scotia vehicle registration and license plates.

If you have applied by mail, processing may take up to two days, and additional transit time will be required.

Thanks for checking out Nova Scotia license plate renewal!

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FAQs about Nova Scotia license plate renewal

Can I renew my Nova Scotia license plate sticker online?

Your Nova Scotia license plate sticker may be renewed online, yes. You may easily renew your license plate sticker online on the Service Nova Scotia website without going to a physical location.

How to renew license plate in Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, there are various methods to renew your license plate. 1. Renewing Online: To renew your license plates online, simply visit the Service Nova Scotia website and access their renewal portal. 2. Renewal in person: If you would like to renew your documents in person, you can simply visit any Access Nova Scotia office. 3. Renewal via Mail: You also have the option of renewing your license plate via mail. Get a renewal application at your neighborhood Access Nova Scotia office.


May 11, 2023
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