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Can Norway confiscate your foreign driving licence?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Can Norway confiscate your foreign driving licence?
Police in Norway can confiscate the driving licenses of foreign drivers. Pictured is traffic in central Oslo. Photo by Mattyas Lamar on Unsplash

Driving in a new country means a new set of traffic rules. So, can Norwegian police take your foreign driving licence if you fall afoul of the road rules in the Scandinavian country?

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Whether you've just moved to Norway, live in the country but continue to use your foreign licence, or have always dreamed of a road trip across Norway, there are plenty of reasons why you'd be using a foreign licence while behind the wheel. 

Police officers in Norway can confiscate a person's driving licence on the spot if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a serious criminal offence that would result in the licence's loss. 

One example is extreme speeding, which, under the Road Traffic Act, can land drivers in prison for a year.

READ ALSO: Can driving offences prevent you from getting Norwegian citizenship?

Other examples include drunk driving and serious traffic violations that lead to serious personal injury or death. 

The penalties for driving under the influence in Norway are strict, and the country has a blood alcohol limit of 0.02. 

When a police officer seizes a driving licence, the person can't drive until the case is investigated. 

Drivers subject to licence seizures can decide to withdraw their consent to have their licence revoked. In minor cases, this can lead to the licence being released. However, in cases where the offender risks losing their licence, police will still be able to confiscate it for three weeks, according to several law firms in Norway

What about foreign drivers? 

Police in Norway can also confiscate the licences of foreign drivers using overseas licences, according to Norwegian law.

"In cases of a driving ban (loss of driving license in Norway) for the holder of a foreign driving license, the same rules apply as in the case of loss or revocation of a driving license and seizure of a Norwegian driving licence, as far as it is appropriate and nothing else is stipulated," the Norwegian law on driving licences states. 

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However, for those who are not permanent residents of Norway, the police can issue a temporary licence so that the party in question can drive out of Norway

What happens next for those who don't live in Norway depends on where you are from. 

Those with a licence issued in the EEA can expect the Norwegian authorities to forward their licence to the country where it was issued. 

The Norwegian authorities will also disclose the outcome, such as whether the person's licence is being returned without conditions or if they have been issued a driving ban in Norway. 

Whether your home country will adopt this ban will depend, but in most cases, the ban may just apply to Norway. 

For those whose licence was issued outside the EEA, police will keep the driving licence for the duration of the ban if the person is later issued a driving ban or until the person in question decides to leave the country. 

Those living in Norway can expect the police to hold onto their driving licence for as long as the driving ban lasts. 

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