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Norwegian citizenship For Members

Can driving offences prevent you from getting Norwegian citizenship?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Can driving offences prevent you from getting Norwegian citizenship?
Could a speeding ticket block you from becoming a Norwegian citizen? Here's what you need to know. Pictured is a Norwegian flag.

When applying for Norwegian citizenship, you’ll need to obtain a good conduct certificate from the police. But could driving offences and fines block you from becoming a citizen of Norway?

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It is common for drivers in Norway to pick up minor driving offences at some point, especially foreign drivers not used to the rules or changing speed limits. 

Whether you are caught speeding, haven’t stopped at a stop sign, or have forgotten to change to winter tyres in time, these offences can lead to fines or points on your licence. 

But could these driving offences stand in your way of becoming a Norwegian citizen? 

The answer, in short, is probably not. However, there are some caveats to the rule.  

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Even though applicants for Norwegian citizenship are required to submit a certificate of good conduct from the police with their application, and some nationals see their bid to become Norwegian rejected because they don’t meet this requirement- minor driving offences are unlikely to prove a substantial roadblock. 

To explain why we’ll need to go a little bit into detail on the police certificate requirement. When applying for Norwegian citizenship, you’ll this certificate. This confirms that you haven’t been convicted or fined for a criminal offence. 

If you have been convicted or fined for a criminal offence, you will be barred from obtaining citizenship for several years. This disqualification period can range from 2.5 years up to 39 years, depending on the severity of your punishment. You can get an overview of the waiting times here.

However, you will not be disqualified from becoming a Norwegian citizen if you have only been issued a fixed penalty notice, a parking ticket or have had a charge or suspected case dropped.

The difference between a fixed penalty notice and a criminal fine is that the fixed penalty notice doesn’t come with a conviction or affects your criminal record. An example of a fixed penalty notice would be a fine for minor or moderate speeding. 

A criminal fine, which is typically accompanied by the option of an alternative prison sentence if the penalty can’t be paid or if the recipient fails to pay, will disqualify you from obtaining Norwegian citizenship. 

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Examples of driving offences that would lead to this kind of punishment would be drink-driving and serious traffic violations that lead to serious personal injury or death. 

Extreme speeding can also see foreigners blocked from citizenship, as, under the Road Traffic Act, speeding can land drivers in prison for a year. 

If you commit driving offences after being granted citizenship or are convicted of other crimes, it is unlikely that your Norwegian citizenship will be revoked. According to the Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI), citizenship is typically only revoked when it is granted on false pretences. 

This means the information you provided was false or misleading. 

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