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EXPLAINED: The ways you can lose your driving licence in Norway

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: The ways you can lose your driving licence in Norway
There are a number of ways in which you can lose your licence in Norway. Pictured is a car on the road in Norway. Photo by Anton Khmelnitsky on Unsplash

Norway has rather strict driving rules in place, and there are several ways both locals and foreign nationals can lose the right to drive in the Scandinavian country.


If you don’t live in Norway’s biggest cities – and even if you do – a car will be pretty important for getting around. 

Taking to the roads in Norway means familiarising yourself with the country’s traffic rules. This is important because otherwise, you could lose your licence and have your right to drive a car revoked. 

Losing your licence can make every day harder, as well as have other knock-ons like limiting your career opportunities or having to pay a fortune to retake your licence. 

There are several obvious and not-so-obvious ways in which motorists in Norway can have their licences ripped up. 

Not exchanging your licence for a Norwegian one 

This is especially important for foreign residents in Norway. Essentially, some foreigners can use their licence obtained in another country on Norwegian roads for as long as they like. 

Meanwhile, others may need to exchange it for a local tine within a certain amount of time or resit driving tests to get behind the wheel legally. 

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. You can also choose to exchange it. 

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

However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Some will need an international permit to take the roads, and others will need to take a driving test. 


While not the same as losing a licence, you can have the right to drive revoked if you aren’t on top of what applies to you. 

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


Erring on the wrong side of the speed limit will most likely result in a fine. However, serious or repeat offences will see you stripped of your licence. 

In Norway, you can receive up to eight points on your driving licence in three years. If you exceed this limit, you will lose the right to drive for six months. 

Once you go above four points, you will receive a warning letter from the police reminding you to change your driving behaviour. 

In serious speeding cases, your licence can be taken on the spot. The police have the power to do this if they feel that your driving would result in you being convicted of a criminal offence in court. 

When your licence is taken on the spot, it is temporary until a final decision is made. There are long processing times, though, so you can expect a lengthy spell off the road. 


Driving while intoxicated 

Like most countries, Norway also has tight laws on drunk driving. The legal limit is 0.02 percent blood alcohol. 

Medications that may cause you to fail a breathalyser test are marked with a red triangle, so you shouldn’t drive after consuming these. 

If you have a blood alcohol content above 0.05, you will lose your driving licence and could even face prison time. When your driving licence is suspended for drunk driving, you will lose it for between 12-18 months and up to more than two years in extreme cases. 

Accumulation of points 

There are a number of traffic offences which can combine and will see you lose your licence if they accumulate. 

Running a red light, tailgating, driving on the wrong side of the road, entering a public transport lane, and using a phone while driving will all result in three points on your licence, in addition to a hefty fine. 

An illegal overtake, driving a car on pavement, cycle lane, or footpath, will also result in three points. Failure to give way and having passengers under 15 in the car without a seat belt will also result in points, with three being given for not giving way and two for having kids without their seatbelts on. 

Serious traffic violations that could or do lead to death or serious injuries

Like speeding, you can have your licence taken away if the police decide your driving was a criminal offence as it could cause death or serious injury. 

This will lead to the police confiscating your licence temporarily and could lead to you losing it if tried and convicted in court. 

Some of these may be situational, so they can be hard to spell out. However, they will likely be a lot of scenarios in which you can receive points on your licence when life is at risk. 

For example, if you fail to stop at a zebra crossing when children and elderly people are trying to cross or speeding down a pavement when they are plenty of pedestrians. 


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