In fact, the driver’s confession was so unusual that police and judicial authorities struggled to find a precedent when deciding on an appropriate punishment for the undocumented driver from Sogn og Fjordane.
Sogn district court eventually settled on a two-month suspended sentence and a 10,000-kroner (€1,700) fine, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.
Police said they had found the man's story almost impossible to believe and double-checked with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration before confirming that the 73-year-old really hadn’t held a licence since 1975.
“This is out of the ordinary, it must be said. This case is so unusual that we haven't been able find any relevant guidelines,” said police inspector Ronny Iden.
The lawless motorist told the court he had driven his car around ten times a week for 36 years without ever being stopped.
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He was never involved in an accident in that period, he said, and had mainly driven in an area with very little traffic.
Prosecutors had called for him to be given a custodial sentence and are currently considering whether to lodge an appeal.