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Driving in Norway


The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) is responsible for the planning, construction and operation of the national and county road networks, vehicle inspection and requirements, driver training and licensing.    

They provide a downloadable brochure of Norwegian traffic rules in English. It is the responsibility of all drivers to be aware of the traffic rules. 

You should contact them with any questions you might have about driving in Norway.  

Important things to know about driving in Norway:

  • You must be 18 to drive a car, and 16 to drive a moped or tractor. There are separate rules/tests for large vehicles and motorcycles.
  • You must have a valid driver's licence. The NPRA is responsible for providing information about the validity of driving licences in Norway from EEA countries and driving licences from outside the EEA (i.e. The US.). If you plan to reside long-term in Norway, licenses issued outside the EEA must be converted. Special rules apply in the first year so it is well worth looking in to the process as soon as you arrive.
  • Third party insurance is compulsory. 
  • Norwegians drive on the right side of the road.
  • Seat belts are required to be word by all passengers in moving vehicles, with special requirements for children through 11 years old.  View this brochure by the NPRA for more details on child seat requirements.
  • Vehicles are required to have their headlights on when in motion regardless of the time of day (24/7!).
  • Speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour. Unless otherwise posted, speed limits in Norway are as follows:
    Residential Areas 30/kph
    City 50kph 
    Open Roads 80kph
    Highways 90kph or 100/kph

  • Speed cameras are in use to catch those with a lead foot. They photograph the license plate and a fine notice is sent to the registered car owner.  
  • Vehicles approaching an intersection from the right have the right of way even if it is entering from a small road onto a major thoroughfare. There are exceptions to this rule and these are indicated with appropriate traffic signs on both the small roads (yield or stop signs) and large roads (a yellow diamond-shaped sign).
  • Traffic circles (or roundabouts) are numerous. Traffic in the circle or coming from the left has the right of way. The rule of thumb when negotiating a round-about is to stay to the right if driving less than 180 degrees around and stay to the left if driving more than 180 degrees around. It is customary to indicate the intention to leave the round-about with the right blinker.
  • Trams always have the right of way and should be passed on the right.
  • Pedestrians in cross walks have the right of way.
  • It is an offence to use a handheld mobile phone while driving. No chatting, no texting!  
  • Do not drink and drive. The legal limit is 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitre of blood. Some medications can cause you to fail a breathalyzer test. These medications are labeled with a red triangle, make sure to avoid these if you plan to drive. If you are caught drinking and driving, you lose your license for 2 years but stiffer penalties exist including permanent loss of license and jail sentences. 
  • There are automatic tolls on the highways. Information on toll roads and paying tolls, including visitors' passes and AutoPASS for tolls, is available here.
  • There must be a minimum of 1.6 millimetre tread on summer tires and a minimum of 3 millimetres on winter tires.
  • There are specific times of the year when you are permitted to use studded winter tires: in southern Norway from 1 November to the first Monday after Easter Monday. In the counties of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, studded tires are allowed from 16 October to 1 May. There is a fee for driving with studded tires within the city limits of Oslo and Bergen.  
  • It is compulsory to have a red warning triangle and at least one, yellow, fluorescent vest in a roadworthy car in case of breakdown.
  • In parking garages, it is customary to takes a ticket upon entering a parking garage and to pay before leaving at a centrally located automat. In parking lots and with some street parking, one must estimate the amount of time needed and purchase a ticket that must be displayed in the front window of the car. NB  Many shopping centers and malls allow 1, 2 or 3 hours free parking as long as a ticket from the automat is displayed in the car window - just go to the automat and press the (usually green) button to get your ticket. 
  • If you require salvage or technical assistance with your vehicle you can call the following 24 hour numbers:
    NAF: 810 00 505 (local rate)
    Falken: 02 222 (toll-free)
    Viking: 06 000 (toll-free)
  • Information about roads, distances, driving conditions
     Phoning from inside Norway: 175
     Phoning from abroad: (+47) 815 48 991
     Please note that certain roads are closed during winter.

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American Women’s Club of Oslo
P.O. Box 3138 Elisenberg 0207
Oslo, Norway
+47 400 42 917
info@awcoslo.org

 

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