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DRIVING

What happens if you are caught driving without a valid licence in Norway? 

Accidents happen, and sometimes people may take to the road without realising that their licence is expired or was meant to be exchanged for a Norwegian one.

A car on the Atlantic Road in Norway.
This is what happens if you are caught driving without a licence in Norway. Pictured is a car on the Atlantic Road. Photo by Leonardo Venturoli on Unsplash.

Norway’s driving licence rules can be complicated. Some motorists can use their foreign licence for as long as they like, others can only use their foreign licence for a limited period of time before having to exchange, and a small minority will need to go through the full process of getting a Norwegian one. 

Sometimes the rules can be difficult to understand, which can lead to people unknowingly taking to the roads with a licence that isn’t valid to drive with on Norway roads with. 

So, what is the punishment if you do get caught? 

Olav Markussen, police inspector at the Norwegian National Road Policing Service, informed The Local that the fine for driving without a legal licence was 8,500 kroner. 

If you are caught more than once, then the fine will increase. 

The police inspector added the punishment was the same if the licence was one that needed to be exchanged within three months and hadn’t been, or if it was valid and expired, or was not fit for use on Norwegian roads.  

READ ALSO: How much does it cost to get a driver’s licence in Norway? 

What are the rules for foreign licences in Norway? 

If you have a valid driving licence from an EU or European Economic Area/EEA (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) country, you can use it in Norway for as long as you like. 

However, you can still choose to exchange it for a Norwegian one, although there is no obligation

Driving licences issued in the UK are treated as ones from within the EU, even if it was issued after the UK left the EU. 

You can typically use licences from non-EEA countries for up to three months before exchanging them for a Norwegian one. 

To tell whether somebody is driving on a licence that was meant to have been exchanged but wasn’t, “the authorities will need to do more investigation, check travel documents,” according to inspector Markussen from the traffic and roads police. 

Depending on where you come from, you may need an international driving licence to get on the road in Norway. 

This applies if it was issued in countries not a part of the Geneva and Vienna driving conventions, doesn’t have a photo, or is written in an alphabet other than the Latin one. For example, if the licence is printed in Arabic or Japanese, you need an international licence. 

Additionally, people with certain licenses will need to obtain a Norwegian licence under the same rules as first-time applicants. 

READ MORE: What are the rules for using a foreign driving licence in Norway?

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DRIVING

Trollstigen: Tips for driving Norway’s most famous road this summer

One of the country's most iconic roads, Trollstigen, has reopened for the summer season. But, before you buckle up and take in the spectacular scenery, there are a few things you should know. 

Trollstigen: Tips for driving Norway's most famous road this summer

Trollstigen, famous for its 11 hairpin turns draped over a breathtaking mountain pass, reopened for summer traffic on June 10th. 

Up to one million tourists, motorists, cyclists and motorcyclists are expected to take to the road in Møre og Romsdal, Western Norway. 

The road’s original reopening was delayed due to a series of avalanches in the valley this winter. The mountain pass is probably the most iconic of Norway’s 18 tourist route roads. So if you plan a trip this summer, you’ll want to know what to expect from the route. 

Where is Trollstigen? 

The road is located on country road 63 in the Rauma and Fjord municipalities in the Møre og Romsdal county of west Norway. The Geiranger to Trollstigen stretch is 104 kilometres long and has an elevation change of 1,000 metres. 

However, the most famous part of the road is the section which ascends, or descends, from Stigøra. This stretch of road is blanketed with 11 hairpin bends and is notable for being carved into the mountain, supported by stone walls and the impressive bridge which crosses the Stigfossen waterfall. 

What to see? 

Looking out of the windows will be the easiest place to start, but you shouldn’t just pass through the road and valley as there are plenty of places to stop. 

For starters, there is the large viewing platform which hovers 200 metres above the most picturesque stretch of road, with different observation points for both bold and more cautious visitors. 

Near the road’s end is Flydalsjuvet, located on the steep mountains that back onto the inner Geirangerfjord. The fjord is a UNESCO world heritage site, and the rest stop at Flydalsjuvet is excellent for taking photos.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Kristina Laurynaitytė (@kristina_lauryna)

If you get hungry, you can stop at the Gudbrandsjuvet viewing point. The café there is open from 10am until 5pm every day during the summer season. 

For more inspiration on where to stop and what to see, click here

Expect some congestion too

You may be left disappointed if you dream of having the open road ahead of you and the mountain pass all to yourself. The reason for this is that during the high season, 2,000 vehicles pass the Trollstigveien Plateau. This is the equivalent of a car every 10 seconds. 

Furthermore, the route is becoming a popular cycling destination, and slower vehicles such as mobile homes, which can struggle with the inclines, also use the road. Therefore you can expect slow-moving traffic. 

This may not be the worst thing in the world, as it means you’ll have more time to take in the views. If you prefer quieter roads then it is best taking the route outside of peak hours. 

Weather in the west of Norway can’t always be relied on

Perhaps after seeing a picture of the road, it’ll be easy to imagine yourself pootling down it, or meandering up it with the sun shining, windows opening and clear skies above. 

This may not be the case as the weather in west Norway doesn’t always cooperate, and grey skies and rain are relatively common during the summer. 

Due to the altitude, weather can also affect visibility significantly, so if you plan a trip to see the road especially, you should do so when the forecast is on your side. 

Checking the weather will help give more nervous drivers a heads up to whether they can expect wet or greasy roads, while cyclists and motorbike owners can avoid having their trip ruined by bucketing rain. 

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