Selling and buying a used car in Nova Scotia

At this time, we do not assist with the private car sales transactions in Nova Scotia; however, we are exploring the possibilities.  In the meantime, here is the information on what you need to do to sell or buy a car in Nova Scotia privately.

You can buy a vehicle history report for any Canadian registered car here.

Selling a used car

The seller (registered owner) must sign the reverse of the certificate of registration (Transfer of Ownership portion). The seller must also fill out the section headed Transfer of Title Certificate of Sale (Part 1) and give it to the buyer.  This document serves as a proof of new ownership.  

The seller must sign the notice of sale portion of Certificate of Registration, indicating to whom the vehicle was sold, and return the Notice of Sale to the Registry of Motor Vehicles to notify the government that the owner is selling the vehicle.  

Seller has to remove the plates from the vehicle. These plates may either be re-used with a different vehicle of the seller or returned to the Registry of Motor Vehicles for a refund on the unused portion.

Buying a used car


When a vehicle is bought, it is deemed to be registered under the name of the buyer for a period not exceeding 30 days from the date of sale. After this time, registration is expired until the vehicle is re-registered by the new owner. 

To register the vehicle, the buyer must complete an Application for Certificate of Registration (Part 4), including the tax declaration, within 30 days of the date of purchase.  The buyer must remit any applicable tax, along with the appropriate transfer, and/or registration fee to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

All blank spaces in Part 1 and Part 4 of the certificate of registration (see above) must be completed. Part 2 is only to be completed when the vehicle is sold through a licensed dealer. In situations where the applicant and the owner of the licence plate being attached to the vehicle are different, Part 3 must be completed by both parties.


The buyer has to obtain a valid Motor Vehicle Inspection Number.  A valid Motor Vehicle Inspection is an inspection done by the seller less than 30 days before the sale or by the buyer prior to the vehicle transfer.   The buyer may also obtain a letter from the Registry of Motor Vehicles providing an additional 10 days after the transfer to obtain a valid Motor Vehicle Inspection.


The buyer has to obtain a valid insurance.  Upon registering the car, the buyer has to complete a Statement of Insurance form to be able to get license plates.  The insurance can be obtained from any licensed private insurer.  

Applicable tax must be paid to the Registry of Motor Vehicles at the time of the transfer/registration.

A temporary permit is available from any provincial Registry of Motor Vehicles office.  Temporary permits are valid for 30 days and the fee is $13.20.

TAXES & FEES: Tax (15%) is based on the Red Book Value of the vehicle or the purchase price, whichever is greater.  The registration feee is $13.20, and the vehicle permit fee ranges from $143.30 to $276.50, depending on the vehicle’s weight.

Nova Scotia Resources

Access Nova Scotia logo

Access Nova Scotia Locations

inspecting a vehicle under the hood with a checklist

Vehicle Safety Inspections

Nova Scotia logo

Registry of Motor Vehicles

Canadian Redbook logo

Canadian Red Book

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