Using a driving licence from a non-EU/EEA country in Norway
Complete Info About Using A Driving Licence From A Non-EU/EEA Country In Norway 2023 – Until the end of the three-month period, you are allowed to use a valid driving license from any country. In order to become a Norwegian citizen, you must be at least 18 years old.
You are still required to comply with this regardless of whether you live in Norway permanently or temporarily. In the information section about each category of licence, you will find information about age requirements.
During your stay in Norway, you can drive with a driving licence from another country if you do not have normal residence in Norway but have a temporary residence permit associated with temporary employment for up to six months. If you are driving, you must carry your residency permit and employment contract.
Driving licences from the UK
The holder of a British driving licence has the same rights as if the license had been issued by an EEA country.
Driving licences from Ukraine
One year is the validity period of a Category B Ukrainian driving licence for driving in Norway. Having a valid driving license is required to prove your driving entitlement. Check out our article on Ukrainian driving licenses.
Driving licence requirements
There are two international agreements relating to road traffic that Norway is bound by. As part of each of these agreements, a national driving licence model and an international driving licence model are provided.
As long as one of the points below is correct, you can drive with your driving licence in Norway for up to three months – or for six months if you have a residence permit and a contract of employment:
Developed in accordance with the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic of 1949, it was issued by a member country of the convention.
In accordance with this driving licence model, it was issued by a country that is party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic of 1968.
Neither the Geneva nor Vienna Conventions apply to the driving licence. It was issued by a country that is a party to both conventions. If this is the case, you need a certified translation of your driving licence, such as an international driving licence issued in accordance with the Geneva or Vienna Conventions. It may also be an original translation from the authorities in the issuing country, from an authorised translator in Norway, from a translator from a translator from the Norwegian local government Interpreter Service, or from a teacher at an institution authorised by the government.
This driving licence was issued by a country that is not a party to the Geneva or Vienna Conventions, but follows the model of one of the conventions or the EEA model, and is in English, French or German. According to the Geneva or Vienna Convention, you will also need an international driving license if the text is in a different language.
When do you need an international driving licence?
Additionally to your regular driving license, you need an international driving license if, for instance,
You don’t have a photo on your driving license
You have a driving license with information in an alphabet other than the Latin alphabet, such as Arabic, Cyrillic, or Japanese
In accordance with the Geneva or Vienna Convention, your driving licence categories differ from the international categories
Using an EU/EEA driving licence in Norway
If you hold a driving license from another EU/EEA country, you may drive in Norway. However, you must comply with Norwegian health requirements.
There are no driving license categories from other countries that are valid in Norway.
The European Commission’s website provides an overview of valid driving license models and a searchable database of driving licenses by date of issue.
EU/EEA driving licences issued after an exchange from a non-EU/EEA country
In most cases, you’ll need to follow the rules that apply to the country in which the driving licence was issued if you exchanged a non-EU/EEA driving licence for an EU/EEA driving licence. For a period of three months, it is valid in Norway.
An EU/EEA driving licence issued before 19 January 2013 may be used as a regular EU/EEA driving licence if you took up normal residence in Norway before this date. Prior to taking up normal residence in Norway, you must have had valid driving licenses in one or more EU/EEA countries for a continuous period of ten years.
Licences issued in violation of the requirement for permanent residence or student residence
In principle, you can only obtain a driving license in the country where you reside permanently (“normally”) or study. If you do not have a normal residence in the country where your driving licence was issued or if you are a student, you may not be able to drive in Norway.
In the event that information on the driving licence or information from the issuing country indicates that the conditions for issue were not met at the time of issue, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration may begin an investigation to determine whether it is valid in Norway.
Exchanging driving licences issued in EU/EEA countries
You can exchange a licence issued in an EU/EEA country for a Norwegian driving licence for the corresponding category.
If you choose to exchange your driving license, you will not need to take any tests.
The driving licence directive’s international categories do not apply to national categories that fall outside their scope.
Upon receiving your Norwegian driving license, your foreign driving licence will be returned to the country that issued it. You will then be able to drive in any EU/EEA country with your new Norwegian driving license.
By exchanging your non-EU/EEA driving license, did you obtain an EU/EEA driving licence? Depending on the original license, there are different rules for exchange.
Depending on the country that issued the original driving license, your application will be processed according to its rules:
You may exchange your EU/EEA driving licence for a Norwegian driving licence if you exchanged it from one of the non-EU/EEA nations listed in section 10-2 of the Norwegian Driving Licence Regulations (in Norwegian, Lovdata).
If you received a Spanish driver’s license after exchanging an American driver’s license, it will be treated as an American driver’s license.
You cannot exchange your EU/EEA driving licence for a Norwegian driving licence if it was exchanged from any other non-EU/EEA country.
As an example, if you exchanged your Russian driving license for a Polish EU/EEA driving licence, your Polish license will be treated as a Russian license. It is therefore not possible to exchange it for a Norwegian driving license.
It is possible, however, to exchange a driving license issued after exchanging a licence from a non-EU/EEA country if it has been issued after exchanging a driving license from a non-EU/EEA country.
The categories below the category you added are also considered EU/EEA categories if your driving entitlement was upgraded in an EU/EEA country.
You will also be considered Polish if you have a Polish driving license that was issued after exchanging a Russian driving licence in category B, which was later upgraded to include category C in Poland.
In the case of exchanging a non-EU/EEA driving license for an EU/EEA driving license, you may exchange your EU/EEA driving licence directly if you pass the theory and practical driving tests.
You will be treated as a regular EU/EEA driving licence if you have held a valid driving licence in one or more EU/EEA countries for a continuous period of at least ten years before taking up normal residence or moving back to Norway.
For example, if you exchanged your Moroccan driving licence for a Spanish driving licence, you cannot exchange your driving license. It is possible, however, to exchange your Spanish driving license for a Norwegian driving license if you have had your Spanish driving entitlement for at least ten years before moving to Norway.
In the event that you took up normal residence in Norway before 19 January 2013 and have an EU/EEA driving license issued before this date, special transitional provisions apply. Driving licenses issued in this case will be processed like those issued in the EU/EEA.
How to exchange your EU/EEA driving licence
If you wish to exchange your driving licence from another EU/EEA country, you have to submit the following documents:
a completed application form
your original driving licence
Completed forms can be mailed or handed in to your local Driver and Vehicle Licensing Office (trafikkstasjon). In order to submit it yourself, you will need to schedule an appointment.
Temporary driving permit
The applicant must present valid proof of identity if he or she is eligible for a temporary driving permit. Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and Danish temporary driving permits are the only ones that are valid.
Driving licences from the UK
In accordance with the rules that apply to driving licences from EEA countries, you can exchange your British driving licence for a Norwegian driving licence. Even if you received your driving licence after the UK left the EU, you still need to renew it.
For how long are the categories in a Norwegian driving licence valid?
There will normally be a 15-year validity period for light vehicle licence categories.
The licenses for heavy vehicles (C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE) will have the same validity period as the licence you exchanged, or for five years after you take up normal residence in Norway, whichever comes first.
Heavy categories are valid for five years from the date they were issued if you submit a health certificate.
In some cases you must submit a health certificate
The application for an exchange of heavy vehicle categories must be accompanied by a medical certificate from a doctor.
In the category of heavy vehicles, the foreign driving entitlement has expired
For more than five years, you have lived in Norway normally
Was your application to have your licence exchanged rejected before 1 March 2017?
On 1 March 2017, changes were made to the procedures for exchanging driving licenses within the EU and EEA. In the event that your application to exchange your license was rejected based on Section 1-2 of the Regulations relating to Driving Licences, you may file a new application. Regulations change regarding where you reside permanently (“normally”) or as a student at the time of obtaining your driving license.
Exchanging driving licences from non-EU/EEA countries
If you hold a driving license from a country outside the EU/EEA, find out how to get a Norwegian license.
From what non-EU/EEA countries do we exchange driving licences?
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
A Japanese Category B driving license for passenger cars may be exchanged for a Norwegian Category B driving licence without taking a new driving test. Norway requires one year after the date you took up normal residence to exchange your driving license without a test.
A driver who doesn’t exchange his or her license within a year will have to undergo night driving training, first aid training, a safety course on a practice range, as well as passing the theory test and the practical driving test. You have two years from when you took up normal residence in Norway to do this.
You can apply for an exchange if you possess a Japanese driving licence with additional driving entitlements (license categories). However, you must take the practical driving test within the first year after becoming a Norwegian resident in the heaviest licence category and/or any A category.
Greenland passenger car driving licences issued after 1 January 1995 may be exchanged upon passing a practical driving test. In other respects, the same exchange rules apply as in countries outside the EU/EEA. There is no exchange available for other categories. Norway does not allow the exchange of driving licenses issued before 1 January 1995. The process for obtaining a license in Norway is the same as for a first-time applicant.
You can exchange your Swiss driving licence for a Norwegian driving licence with the corresponding driving entitlements (licence categories) without taking new tests. A year after acquiring normal residence in Norway is the deadline for exchanging your driving license without tests
When the one-year deadline has passed, you must take the practical driving test for Category B. If you pass, you will be given a Category B licence, along with any other entitlements (license categories) on your Swiss license. The heaviest licence category you wish to exchange will require you to pass a driving test. The practical riding test for the corresponding category must be passed if your driving licence only has categories A1/A2/A.
Driving licences from the UK
In accordance with the rules that apply to driving licences from EEA countries, you can exchange your British driving licence for a Norwegian driving licence. Your driving licence will still be valid even after the UK left the European Union.
Driving licences from countries that are not on the list
You must obtain your Norwegian driving licence in the same manner as Norwegian first-time applicants if you hold a full driving license from a non-EU/EEA country not listed above. There are some parts of the basic traffic course you are exempt from, however you are required to complete the night driving instruction, first aid instruction, and behavior in case of an accident.
How do you exchange a foreign driving licence?
If you moved here from outside the EU/EEA, you need documentation proving your normal residence in Norway. A residence certificate (bostedsattest) is usually issued by the Norwegian Tax Administration (in Norwegian only). You calculate the exchange deadline based on the date of your normal residence.
To obtain a driving license in a country where you lived normally for at least six months at the time it was issued, you must either show that you lived there at the time, or that you studied there for at least six months before you obtained the license. In the case of obtaining a driving license abroad, you must either prove you were registered with a normal address in Norway at the time of issue.
You must have a full driving entitlement
You must have the same entitlements on your foreign driving licence as on a Norwegian driving licence in the corresponding category in order to exchange your foreign driving licence. Driving cannot be restricted in any way, including when and where you can drive, or who can ride in the car with you. In order to add other categories to the licence, there cannot be any restrictions. It is necessary for you to have completed all training and tests in the country where you are receiving the certificate.
There are several countries with graduated driver licensing systems, including the USA and Canada. Many American states issue “Provisional Driver’s Licenses“, which often contain restrictions that are incompatible with Norwegian driving permits in the same category. A Norwegian driving licence cannot be exchanged if the restrictions on your licence have not expired by the time you left the country where they were issued.
You need a written, stamped and signed confirmation from the driving licence authorities in the issuing country if you believe that you had a full driving entitlement at the time you left the issuing country despite the restrictions on your driving licence that do not correspond to the equivalent Norwegian driving licence categories. In addition to containing the driver’s license number, the document must also certify that he or she has full driving rights as of when they leave the country where the licence was issued.
Your driving entitlement must be valid
When you apply for an exchange in Norway, you must have a valid foreign driving license. Upon expiration of the validity, you must obtain a confirmation from the issuing country that you still hold a valid driving license. The driving licence authorities in the country where the license was issued must stamp and sign the confirmation document.
You must document your studies abroad
If you obtained your driving license while studying abroad and have a regular residence in Norway, you must document that you were studying there for at least six months at the time you obtained your license. The beginning and end of your student stay must be documented. Typically, such documentation comes from the school or university in the issuing country or Norway. In order to prove that the study began and ended on time, you must provide a letter of offer or a school report.
As of the date you returned to Norway, the deadline for exchange has passed. It is therefore necessary for you to document the date on which you returned. You can do this by presenting a copy of your Norwegian return ticket.
Exchanging foreign driving licenses has a deadline, which you can find here.
Motorcycle (A1, A2 and A)
If you have taken up normal residence or moved back to Norway, you have one year to exchange your foreign driving licence for light motorcycles (A1), medium-sized motorcycles (A2) and heavy motorcycles (A).
If you wish to exchange your foreign driving licence, you must pass the practical riding test in the category you wish to exchange. There will be two chances for you to pass the test. You lose your right to exchange your driving licence if you fail twice, or if you don’t make the exchange by the deadline. Once you have obtained a Norwegian driving licence, you will need to get a new one.
Passenger car (B and BE)
One year is the deadline for exchanging your foreign driving license for a Norwegian one after you have returned to Norway or taken up normal residence. Within one year of receiving your driving licence, you must pass the practical driving test for passenger cars (B) or passenger cars with trailers (BE).
Additionally to passing the theory test and the practical driving test, you must complete compulsory night driving instruction, a first aid course, and a safety and skidpan driving course if you fail your first attempt. The same applies if you submit your application for exchange after the one-year deadline or if the exchange cannot be made before the deadline if you submit your application late. If you have taken up normal residence or moved back to Norway within two years of the date you made the exchange, you must make the exchange within two years. Your right to exchange your driving licence expires after this deadline, and you must then apply for a new license as a first-time applicant.
Heavy vehicle categories (C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE)
If you moved back to Norway or took up normal residence, you have one year to exchange your foreign driving licence for heavy vehicles.
You must first pass a practical driving test for passenger cars (B) or passenger cars with trailers (BE) before you can exchange your driving license for heavy vehicles. In order to get your heavy vehicle license, you must pass a practical driving test in the category of light lorry (C1 and C1E), lorry (C and CE), minibus (D1 and D1E) or bus (D and DE).
In the heavy vehicle category, you have two attempts to pass the practical driving test. In order to pass the test, you have one year to do so. The right to exchange your driving license in Norway ends on this date, and you must obtain a new license.
Moped, snowmobile and tractor (AM, S and T)
It is not possible to exchange your driving licence for a moped (AM), a snowmobile (S), or a tractor (T). Norwegian first-time applicants must follow the same procedure for obtaining their driving license in these categories.