To get your motorcycle licence, you must first qualify for a Class 7 learner’s licence for cars, to ensure you know all the rules of the road. Then, you must pass a written test on motorcycle safety rules, and then pass a test on practical motorcycle skills — you have to know how the bike’s brakes work, how to balance the machine, how to do a pre-trip check, etc. There is a fee for this test, but if you do an approved motorcycle safety course, you get to skip this practical skills test.
All this earns you the Class LM licence. You cannot carry passengers or ride after dark with a Class LM licence, and you must have a 0% blood alcohol content.
After six months (three months, if you do an approved motorcycle safety course), you can take an advanced road test, to get your Class 6N licence. There is still a requirement for 0% blood alcohol content and a ban on riding after dark (unless you apply for an exemption, and there’s a fee for that.)
After two years of holding your Class 6N, you can get your unrestricted Class 6. You must also complete a motorcycle rider improvement program before you can get your Class 6.
To further complicate matters, Nova Scotia also allows drivers with a Class 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 licence to get a motorcycle endorsement added to their car licence. To do so, you must first pass a written test on motorcycle safety, as well as a test on practical motorcycle safety. This gives you a Class LM licence in addition to your car licence, with the standard rules: no riding after dark, 0% blood alcohol content, no passengers.
There are two endorsements: A is valid for any motorcycle, D is valid for motorcycles 100 cc or smaller. After three months of holding a Class LM licence in addition to a car licence, you can take an advanced skills test. This three-month period can be reduced to one-month, if you take an approved motorcycle training course.
After jumping through these hoops, you can get an A or D endorsement.
Find more details on Nova Scotia’s motorcycle licencing here.