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Registry of Motor Vehicles

Changes to Driver's Licence and Photo ID Cards

New Secure Delivery Process

The province is changing the way you receive your new Driver's Licence and Photo ID cards

Starting in November 2017, Driver's Licence and Photo ID cards will be mailed to you.

You will continue to visit an Access Nova Scotia or Registry of Motor Vehicle Office to apply for your Driver's Licence and/or Photo ID Card.

You will keep your existing card (if you have one) and will receive a temporary document, which is valid for 30 calendar days.

You will receive your new card in the mail within 14 days of visiting an Access Nova Scotia or Registry of Motor Vehicle Office.

Don't wait until the last minute to renew your Driver's Licence.

Plan ahead.  Give yourself enough time to receive your new card in the mail.

You can renew your Driver's Licence up to 6 months before your current expiry date.

Enhanced Security Features

The computerized facial recognition software will help prevent suspended drivers or fraudsters from getting a Driver's Licence or Photo ID Card.  It takes a few days to complete this process and print your card.  You should receive your new card in the mail within 14 days.

There is no fee increase associated with the new secure cards.

Some new secure card features

  • Changeable Laser Image (feature that enables two or more images to occupy the same area)
  • Polycarbonate Card Body (more durable, secure and tamper-resistant card body)
  • Tactile Text (laser engraving on the card raises the print and makes it difficult to tamper with or modify)
  • Inventory Control Number (a unique number and accompanying barcode to verify the card was issued to you)
  • Laser Engraving (provides maximum protection)

 

Other features:

  • Photos will be in black and white
  • Wearing eye glasses in photos will no longer be allowed

Questions and Answers

  1. Why is Nova Scotia introducing a new driver's licence and photo ID card?

    The current card design is over 10 years old.  While the old cards are secure, the new card has improved security features that make them even harder to counterfeit.
  2. Why do I have to wait for my new card to arrive in the mail?

    Registry of Motor Vehicles uses computerized facial recognition software to prevent suspended drivers or fraudsters from getting a driver's licence or photo ID card.  It takes a few days to complete this process and print your card.  You should receive your new card in the mail within 14 days.
  3. Why can't I wear eyeglasses or smile in my photo?

    Registry of Motor Vehicles uses computerized facial recognition software to help confirm your identity.  Eyeglasses and smiling can prevent the facial recognition software from working its best.
  4. How does this new process benefit me?

    Road safety is improved - suspended drivers cannot get a new licence by using another person's identity.  
  5. Is computerized facial recognition reliable? 

    Yes.  Facial recognition software has been used for many years by governments and businesses all over the world.  It is a powerful and proven technology.  However, it is not the only tool the Registry of Motor Vehicles uses.  Every photo flagged by the system is double-checked by a person who is trained in facial recognition.
  6. Will you share facial recognition data with anyone else?

    The Province of Nova Scotia is committed to protecting your privacy. Facial recognition data will not be shared with outside parties, except when required by court order.
  7. Where is my new card printed?

    Your card will be printed in a secure facility located in Burlington, Ontario, by a company called Gemalto.  They are a world leader in digital security. 
  8. Can I drive while I wait for my new licence to arrive?

    Yes.  You will receive a 30-day temporary driver's licence.  Keep it with you when you are driving until your new card arrives in the mail.   
  9. I need my driver's licence or photo ID card to board an airplane.  What can I do?

    First, apply for your new card early.  You can renew your driver's licence up to six months before it expires.  You can apply for a photo ID at any time.  Second, check with your airline.  There are other documents they might accept.
  10. What can I use as photo ID while I wait for my new card?

    When you renew your driver's licence or photo ID, you can keep your old card to use as ID while you wait.

    Consider purchasing a Nova Scotia ID card if you only have a driver's licence.  This way, you will always have photo ID when you need it.

    Many businesses also accept other photo IDs, like passports.   Check ahead with the business you plan to visit to see what they accept.

  11. I just renewed my driver's licence and got the old-style card.  Why didn't I get the new-style card?

    The new-style card will be phased in over the next few months. The new-style card may not yet be available in your area.   Don't worry, old-style cards are valid until they expire - you do not need to purchase a replacement.      

We now offer the following transactions through our Online Express Services

  1. Vehicle Permit Renewals
  2. Change of Address
  3. Motor Vehicle Fine Payment
  4. Driver Test Payments

Use keywords to find information on the
Registry of Motor Vehicles website:

Our Services

Staff at the Registry of Motor Vehicles throughout the province are trained to direct you to the appropriate information sources with a minimum of fuss. We will make sure you get the information you need.


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