How to get your motorcycle licence in Canada


Nova Scotia

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.


  1. Someone once told me that here in BC, when he got his licence back in the 70s, the clerk walked out into the parking lot and told him, “Ride out that gate there, and ride back in that gate over there.”

    Exiting through the one gate put you on a one-way street, and the only way to get back was to take a long loop around the block that went through a couple of intersections and over some railroad tracks. If you made it back in one piece you got your endorsement.

  2. Maybe check your info on the ON licence – you state in the article “You must hold your M1 licence for at least 60 days before taking a road test to advance to an M2 licence”….incorrect, you can take a recognized course anywhere in that time period, do the test within the course & be M2 qualified – the Ministry just waits until the 60 days to recognize it. Also you write “After 22 months you may then take a second road test to get your unrestricted M licence.” It is only 18 months if you take a recognized course.

    • Nope wife and I did the Ontario M licencing and the ministry states you have your M1 for ONLY 90 days after passing the written test, but after 60 days can you take your M1 exiting test and after the 90 days are up you either have your M2/ML or you have to start the process all over again.

  3. My dad took his car test back in the 50s and the examiner said, “Oh, do you want this to be good for a motorcycle too?” When my dad said “Sure!” The examiner ticked a second box and there you go – licensed for a bike for life.

  4. I had always assumed that to get your motorcycle licence in Alberta that you just went through the same process as a regular drivers’ licence there – fill out the form on the back of the cereal box, cut it out and mail it in with your proof of purchase.
    Learn something new every day.

  5. Times have changed…my dad took his test in Windsor Ontario in the late 60’s and it was basically ride around the block from the mto office and if you made it back in 1 piece you passed

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