Province of Nova Scotia
*** NOTICE ***
This page includes a brief summary of provincial/state laws regulating ATV / Off-highway vehicle use current to April 2012. It is not intended as an absolute reference as laws are subject to change without notice and many potential prohibited acts may be covered by other legislation or statutes. It is recommended that you consult with the latest version of state statutes or provincial legislation.
General prohibited acts that may not be covered by specific OHV legislation include trespassing on private property, unlawful use of OHV on public highways, reckless use of off-highway vehicles, operation of off-highway vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, damage to public or private property or damage to natural habitats or protected areas which are all unlawful in every province and state.
Preamble

The use of off highway vehicles within the province of Ontario is regulated by the Nova Scotia Off Road Vehicles Act.

For more information on Nova Scotia ATV/OHV regulations, please download a copy of the Nova Scotia ATV Act


Summary of legislation regulating ATV use
Minimum Age
Minimum age to operate an adult sized ATV is 14.

Children age 6-15 may operate youth size ATV ONLY if directly supervised at all times by a parent/guardian AND both child and parent/guardian successfully complete an approved ATV safety course.
Children under 14 can operate an ATV in a closed course provided they are supervised by an adult, have completed an approved safety training course, are wearing protective equipment, are operating an ATV that is fit for their age, size and capability and a trained official and trained first respondent are present.


Residents required to complete ATV safety course
All operators, unless specifically exempt, must complete an approved ATV safety course.
Specific exemptions are for those who were 19 years or older before April 1, 2006 (born before April 1, 1987); and,
- Purchased an OHV before April 1, 2006; and,
- Registered an OHV on or before September 30, 2007; and,
- Have a valid driverís license; and,
- Are not a parent/guardian of an operator under 16 years old.


Helmets required
All ATV operators and riders are required to use DOT approved helmets at all times on public and private lands.



Registration required
All Nova Scotia residents are required to register off highway vehicles.

Non-residents are exempt provided that they meet all the requirements to operate off highway vehicles in their home province or state.

Insurance Required
All ATV operators are required to carry insurance consisting of a minimum of $500 000 liability insurance in addition to uninsured motorist coverage and accident benefits coverage.

Non-residents are required to carry equal coverage that their home province or state would require or to purchase temporary coverage while operating their off highway vehicles in Nova Scotia.
Operation prohibited on highways and public roadways
Operation of off highways vehicles on public roadways or highways is prohibited, including the shoulder areas or median areas, other than to cross such a roadway.

Operation in ditch areas of a public roadway are areas parallel to the public roadway is generally permitted. From sunset to sunrise such operation is only permitted in the same direction as the normal flow of traffic.
Operation prohibited in sensitive areas
Operation an off-highway vehicle is prohibited in or on
(a) a wetland, swamp or marsh;
(b) a watercourse as defined by the Environment Act;
(c) a sand dune;
(d) a coastal or highland barren; or
(e) a sensitive area

No person shall operate an off-highway vehicle
(a) on a beach as defined by the Beaches Act;
(b) in a core habitat as defined by the Endangered Species Act;
(c) in a provincial park or park reserve as defined by the Provincial Parks Act;
(d) in a protected site or ecological site designated pursuant to the Special Places Protection Act;
          except as provided by the Beaches Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Provincial Parks  
          Act or the Specials Places Protection Act or regulations made pursuant thereto. 2005, c. 56, s.


7. Wilderness area
No person shall operate an off-highway vehicle in a wilderness area as defined in the Wilderness Areas Protection Act except in accordance with that Act. 2005, c. 56, s. 7.

No person shall operate an off-highway vehicle in a drinking-water supply area contrary to an order made pursuant to subsection (1). 2005, c. 56, s. 7.
Operation on private lands or restricted lands
No person shall operate an off-highway vehicle on a sidewalk, walkway, school grounds, utility service lane, cultivated land, private forest land, campground, golf course, park, playground or any private property, without the written permission of the owner or occupier.


Required safety equipment
Operation of an off highway vehicle from sunset to sunrise requires a minimum of one white headlight, visible for a minimum of 200 feet from the vehicle and a minimum of one tail lamps, red in color and which are visible for a minimum of 200 feet from the vehicle.

In order to operate a off highway vehicle on public or private lands, the vehicle requires a muffler system with a built in spark arrestor.




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OHV Registration / Permit

All residents of Nova Scotia are required to register their off-highway vehicles and display valid decals on the vehicle.
Non-residents are exempt provided that they meet all the registration requirements of their home province or state. Operators or vehicles not meeting these requirements are required to register their vehicle.
For more information on Nova Scotia ATV/OHV regulations, please download a copy of the Nova Scotia ATV Act