• Pete

Nova Scotia Road Tests and Routes

Updated: 4 hours ago


On this page we will look at Nova Scotia road tests and routes. The routes themselves will always change depending on the day and the examiner, but these are the common areas. Note that these areas are around Halifax, Nova Scotia. The most important thing on test day is to have your vehicle permit, insurance card, driving school certificate, and beginner’s permit, but most of all you'll need to be chill. It’s completely normal to be nervous but remember that you have put in the work and practiced for months. Now it’s time to show the examiner that you know how to drive.


A little bit of music at a low volume is excellent for practicing driving. You have to be relaxed when learning to drive.



Note: The examiners don’t always take you on the highway. They mix the routes up here and there, but the key to passing these tests is to have practiced a solid amount and to be generally familiar with the area you are testing in. If you don’t want to wait 6 months (current wait time) for a road test, then call Access NS at 1-902-424-5200 option 1-2-1 as often as possible to check for cancellations. They pick up right away most of the time, it’s quite impressive compared to most call centers. You will get a cancellation. One example: I needed to book a road test and the earliest I could find when I called was Dec 21 2022. I called back ten minutes later and got a road test the next week.


Access Nova Scotia’s Dartmouth Road Test Route


Dartmouth has the loopy style parking lines which give you extra room. Drive 1 and 1/2 spots ahead of the spot you want, to line it up.



On the test you will have to do hand over hand steering. It can be confusing at first, but once you master it you will never steer any other way. It will add so much more flow to your driving.


Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Hand Over Hand Steering


For the best steering control you should hold the wheel from the outside with thumbs resting on the wheel. This is how you have to hold the steering wheel on the test, with your thumbs resting on the outside of the wheel.



Students often get confused about when to shoulder check at stops. Don't shoulder check before you stop. What could happen is you may end up sitting at the intersection looking at cars for 30 seconds and a pedestrian could walk up in your blind spot. The shoulder check is the very last thing you do when you are ready to make your turn and go. I find it helps to break it down into a step by step procedure. See below.



Check Yourself Before You Make Your Move



The Critical Parts Of Your Test


Pretty much anything that is critical on the test is going to start with the letter S.

  • Shoulder Checks – shoulder check anytime you signal, turn, or change lanes.

  • Speed Control – is essential, aim for 3 km/hr under every speed limit unless in a neighborhood.

  • Signal Lights use them when required but don’t signal if there’s no reason to.

  • Stops – make sure to stop gradually and completely before the line, or at the sign if no there’s no line. If you are at an all way stop and you are there first, don’t stare at the other cars approaching the intersection as they stop. Many students will sit at all way stops and stare at the approaching cars as though they aren’t going to stop, but once it’s your turn, just go.

  • Scanning Intersections – before entering any intersection be sure to check for hazards by looking left and right. I see people run red lights all the time so this is a lot like shoulder checks in the sense that checking what’s around you will save your life or someone else’s at some point.

Access Nova Scotia’s Lower Sackville road test route


To reverse park at Access in Lower Sackville, line up your passenger side door lock with the 3rd line. Like right up on the line.



Literally all you have to do is line up the middle headrest of your car with the sign. Don't rush.



Reverse Parking at Access NS Sackville


If you are taken down to the Highway 101 interchange and then exit right to Sackville Drive, note that the speed limit is 50 km/hr and the right lane exits only. There is no sign here to indicate this.



If you go down Glendale Drive and are exiting onto Highway 102, make sure you slow gradually into the ramp. You may have to yield to traffic turning left from the intersection.



When exiting the highway be sure to maintain speed until all four wheels are in the exit lane.



Access Nova Scotia Bridgewater Road Test Route – Part 1


Access Nova Scotia Bridgewater Road Test Route – Part 2


Bridgewater Access



Stellarton Route

  • From Access N.S. turn right on Lawrence Street from Access

  • Continue on Lawrence Street to the roundabout

  • Exit the roundabout (signal to exit not while entering) to N Foord Street (trunk 374)

  • Continue to the first set of lights at Bridge Ave. They may turn you right here into a school zone and curb park you.

  • Also, they may NOT turn you on Bridge Ave and instead continue to the stop sign after the first set of lights at Bridge Ave. This stop sign is at Jubilee Ave and they would turn you right and curb park you here.

  • After any of these scenarios (which are sort of all the same) they will take you back to Bridge Ave. They could turn you left at N Foord Street and go back to Access NS.

  • Or, you could continue on Bridge Ave passing the Esso station then onto Highway 104.

  • You don’t merge onto Highway 104. Instead they take you up to the next exit in the acceleration lane and then back through the roundabouts to Access NS.


What to do on test day

  • Don’t lose your license or certificate in the car

  • Road Tests are usually 15-20 minutes max

  • It’s okay to be nervous, that’s normal. You are getting your drivers license. This is one of the most significant days of your life, so yeah, it’s a big deal. But don’t let the nervousness affect your confidence.

  • Make sure your car is ready with proof of insurance, the permit, your beginners license card, and driving school certificate if you have one.

  • Bring a mask.

  • Lay all of your paperwork on the dash while you wait for the examiner to come out, they appreciate that.

  • The examiners are friendly so don’t be intimidated.

  • Check your headlights, high beams, signal lights, and brake lights to ensure they are working.

  • After you get your fulls you will go inside at Access NS and it’s optional whether you get a new photo for your license.

  • Shoulder checks, scanning intersections, speed control, and hand over hand steering are what you should focus on.

  • When reverse parking you have to be looking back if the vehicle is moving backwards. You can look around if the vehicle is stopped. I recommend that you practice stopping a couple of times because it is so easy to look around while the car is moving back and every new driver does this naturally. This will cost you points so just get used to stopping and looking around.

  • Whichever direction you turn your signal light onto is the direction you will shoulder check, every time.

  • Lane flow is just as much of a priority as speed control. The left lane should always be going faster than you in order to avoid lane conflicts and so that you are never in their blind spots and they can safely pass you if needed.

A trick to remember your hand signals is:

  • Left if left – Straight out horizontal

  • Slow down or stop is down – All the way down

  • Right is up – Straight up



Tesla Braking System Causes Young Driver To Fail His DMV Driving Test



Truro Route


If you have time to kill while waiting for your test, I totally recommend that you visit Victoria Park in Truro. It’s the nicest park in Nova Scotia.


Victoria Park in Truro Nova Scotia


The Truro Route

  • Exit Access NS, turning right to McClures Mills Rd

  • Down to lights at Willow Street and turn left

  • Continue straight to Arthur and turn right

  • Left at one of next two stop signs to Victoria Street

  • Left on Victoria Street

  • Then Curb park Victoria St

  • Continue straight to Willow Street and turn right

  • Continue on Willow Street then turn left at the lights onto Prince Street

  • Then turn right at at Juniper Street by Fletcher’s Restaurant

  • Then left on Robie Street (inside lane then move right – ALWAYS stay in the right lane unless turning left) all the way to Rotary

  • Continue straight through underpass

  • Left onto Highway 102 southbound (second entrance NOT the first)

  • Leave the highway at Exit 13 and go back up McClures Mills Road to Access

Access Nova Scotia’s Truro Road Test Route


Access Nova Scotia’s Bayers Lake Road Test Route



The Bayers Lake Route


When reverse parking at Access in Bayers Lake, line up your passenger side door lock slightly behind the third line.



If you turn left out of Access and go straight through the lights, note that the right lane exits only but the sign is missing.



If they take you to Timberlea on the Saint Margarets Bay Road, be aware that as you are driving back to Access the speed limit as you approach the curve (just before the lights) is 70 km/hr. The sign is completely blocked by a bush.



After you merge onto the highway there will be a gigantic pothole in the right lane just before the Highway 102/103 interchange. It has been here for over a year.



Reverse Parking


Reverse parking makes every new driver nervous, but like with everything else in driving, there is a secret that will make it super easy. The secret tip is the same as every other secret tip I give in any challenging situation related to driving: slow down and take your time. This is Superstore in Bedford is the only place other than Access with a reference point in the center of the space. Keep this spot on the DL.



It's going to be 10 times easier to reverse park at the Access location you test at compared to any other parking lot as they will have a sign as a point of reference in the parking space. The reason it's more difficult in a regular parking lot is because you have to look back the entire time that you are reversing, and without a point of reference that can be difficult. You would have no choice but to stop and check your side mirrors to reference the painted lines.


Reverse Camera View


You won’t be allowed to use the reverse camera on your car so it’s good to get use to looking back the whole time. Also note, when students actually do look back the whole time, they always do a better job parking than if they were looking around or mixing looking around with the camera. Just look back the entire time.


Reverse Parking and Curb Parking; Take-Your-Time



HOW TO REVERSE PARK - Easy Basic Steps For How To Back Safely Into A Stall Or Bay Parking Spot

Curb Parking



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