Nova Scotia has unveiled a new licence plate design to try to promote buying local produce.

The new plates — adorned with the Select Nova Scotia logo and the 'Buy Local' slogan — are available immediately for passenger and light commercial vehicles up to 5,000 kilograms. It costs $50 to buy the specialized plate, on top of the standard licence plate fee associated with the class and weight of vehicle being registered.

The $50 is considered a donation and officials at Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations said 100 per cent of it will go toward public awareness and helping to sponsor events supporting local products and industries.

No tax credit will be given for the $50 donation.

"Nova Scotians have told us they want to buy local products to support local industries such as the agriculture and seafood sectors," John MacDonell, the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, said in a statement.

"Nova Scotians can help promote local products by purchasing the new licence plate. This is an optional plate for drivers who want to use it on their vehicle."

MacDonell said the idea for a Buy Local licence plate was proposed by David Baldwin, a Nova Scotia fruit grower, who saw a similar licence plate when he was travelling in the United States.

"Every time someone sees the Buy Local licence plate on a car stopped at a traffic light, or even in a parking lot, it will serve as a reminder to those not directly involved in agriculture and food production of how important it is to eat good food grown in Nova Scotia," Baldwin said in a statement.

MacDonell said there is no significant cost difference to produce the specialized plate over a normal licence plate.