Find out how you get a Norwegian driving licence if you hold a driving licence from a country outside the EU/EEA.

From what non-EU/EEA countries do we exchange driving licences?

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • San Marino
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Japan
  • Greenland
  • Switzerland

Driving licences from Japan, Greenland and Switzerland

There are separate rules governing the exchange of driving licences from Japan, Greenland and Switzerland.

Japan

You may exchange a passenger car driving licence from Japan for a Norwegian Category B driving licence for passenger cars without taking a new driving test. The deadline for exchanging a driving licence without a test is one year after you took up normal residence in Norway.

If you have not exchanged your licence within the one-year deadline, you will need to undergo training in night driving, first aid and a safety course on a practice range, as well as pass the theory test and the practical driving test. The deadline for doing this is two years after you took up normal residence in Norway.

If you have a Japanese driving licence with other driving entitlements (licence categories), you can apply for an exchange on the condition that you take the practical driving test in the heaviest licence category and/or any A categories, within the first year of taking up normal residence in Norway.

Greenland

A Category B passenger car driving licence from Greenland, issued after 1 January 1995, may be exchanged upon passing a practical driving test. In other respects, the same rules for exchange apply as for countries outside the EU/EEA. Other categories cannot be exchanged. If your driving licence was issued before 1 January 1995, it cannot be exchanged in Norway. If you wish to have a licence in Norway you will then have to acquire it the same way as a first-time licence applicant.

Switzerland

A driving licence from Switzerland may be exchanged for a Norwegian driving licence with the corresponding driving entitlements (licence categories) without you having to take new tests. The deadline for exchanging your driving licence without tests is one year after you took up normal residence in Norway

After the one-year deadline you need to take the practical driving test for Category B. If you pass the test, you will acquire a Category B licence with any other entitlements (licence categories) that were included on your Swiss driving licence. If you fail, you will need to pass a driving test in the heaviest licence category you wish to have exchanged. If your driving licence only has Category A1/A2/A, you need to pass a practical riding test in the corresponding category.

Driving licences from the UK

You can exchange your British driving licence for a Norwegian driving licence according to the rules that apply to driving licences from EEA countries. This applies even if your driving licence was issued after the UK left the EU.

Driving licences from countries that are not on the list

If you have a full driving licence from a non-EU/EEA country that is not on the list above, you have to obtain your driving licence in the same manner as Norwegian first-time appliers. You are exempt from some parts of the basic traffic course, but you do have to complete the compulsory night driving instruction, first aid and behaviour in the event of an accident.

How do you exchange a foreign driving licence?

When you apply for an exchange of a foreign driving licence, you must go to a driver and vehicle licensing office or submit your application by post. In both cases, you have to submit a completed application form, the original driving licence and documentation of when you took up normal residence or moved back to Norway. If you are entitled to a temporary driving permit when you submit the application, you have to present valid proof of identity.

If your driving licence is in a language other than English, French or German you also have to submit an international driving licence or an approved Norwegian translation.

If you have moved to Norway from a country outside the EU/EEA, you must present documentation of when you took up normal residence in Norway. The documentation for this is usually a residence certificate (bostedsattest) issued by the Norwegian Tax Administration (in Norwegian only). The deadline for exchange is calculated from the date when you took up normal residence.

If you obtained the driving licence abroad after you were registered with normal residence in Norway, you have to document either that you had normal residence in the country that issued the driving licence at the time of issue, or that you obtained your driving licence during a period of study in the country that lasted for at least six months.

Driving licence exchange requirements

If you wish to exchange a foreign driving licence into a Norwegian driving licence, you must fulfil some requirements:

You must have a full driving entitlement

To be allowed to exchange your foreign driving licence, the entitlements on your foreign driving licence must be the same as those on a Norwegian driving licence in the corresponding category. For example, there cannot be any restriction on when or where you can drive, or on passengers in the car. There cannot be any restrictions on the licence with regard to adding other categories. You must have completed all training and tests in the issuing country.

Please note that several countries, among them the USA and Canada, have a system with graduated driver licensing. For example, a “Provisional Driver’s License”, which is issued in many American states, often contains restrictions that do not reflect the entitlements you have with a Norwegian driving licence in the same category. If your licence has such restrictions, and these restrictions had not expired by the time you left the issuing country, it cannot be exchanged for a Norwegian driving licence.

If there are restriction on your driving licence that do not correspond to the entitlements of the equivalent Norwegian driving licence categories, but you still believe that you had a full driving entitlement at the time you left the issuing country, you need a written, stamped and signed confirmation from the driving licence authorities in the issuing country. The document must contain your full name and driving licence number, and it must give an individual certification that you have a full driving entitlement at the time you leave the issuing country.

Your driving entitlement must be valid

You must have a valid foreign driving licence when you apply for an exchange in Norway. If the validity has expired, you will need a confirmation from the issuing country stating that you still have a valid driving entitlement in that country. The document with a confirmation must be individual, written, signed and stamped by the driving licence authorities in the issuing country.

You must document your studies abroad

If you have normal residence in Norway and you obtained your driving licence during a temporary period of studies abroad, you have to document that you were studying in the issuing country for a continuous period of at least six months when you obtained your driving licence. You must document when your stay as a student began and ended. Such documentation could be a confirmation from the school or university in the issuing country or in Norway. It is not enough to provide an offer letter or a school report that does not show the dates of when the study began and ended.

The deadline for exchange runs from the date you returned to Norway. Therefore, you are required to document your return date. You can do this by presenting a copy of your return ticket to Norway.

Deadlines for exchanging driving licences

Here you will find information about the deadlines for exchanging foreign driving licences.

Motorcycle (A1, A2 and A)

The deadline for exchanging your foreign driving licence for light motorcycle (A1), medium-sized motorcycle (A2) or heavy motorcycle (A) is one year from the date you took up normal residence or moved back to Norway.

To exchange your foreign driving licence, you must pass the practical riding test in the category in question. You will have two attempts to pass the test. If you fail twice, or you do not make the exchange within the deadline, you lose your right to exchange your driving licence. You will then have to obtain a new driving licence in Norway.

Passenger car (B and BE)

The deadline for exchanging your foreign driving licence for passenger car is one year from the date you took up normal residence or moved back to Norway. If you want to exchange your driving licence for passenger car (B) or passenger car with trailer (BE), you must pass the practical driving test within the one-year deadline.

If you fail your first attempt, you have to complete compulsory night driving instruction, first aid and a safety and skidpan driving course, in addition to passing the theory test and the practical driving test. This is also the case if you apply after the one-year deadline, or if you submit your application for exchange so late that it is not possible to make the exchange before the one-year deadline. In this case, the deadline for making the exchange will be two years from the date you took up normal residence or moved back to Norway. After this deadline, you lose the right to exchange your driving licence, and you will then have to obtain a new driving licence as a first-time licence applicant in Norway.

Heavy vehicle categories (C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE)

The deadline for exchanging your foreign driving licence for heavy vehicle categories is one year from the date you took up normal residence or moved back to Norway.

To exchange your driving licence for heavy vehicle categories, you first have to pass the practical driving test for passenger car (B) or passenger car with trailer (BE). You then have to pass the practical driving test in the heavy vehicle category – light lorry (C1 and C1E), lorry (C and CE), minibus (D1 and D1E) or bus (D and DE).

You have two attempts to pass the practical driving test in the heavy vehicle category. You will have to pass the test within the one-year deadline. After this date, you lose the right to exchange your driving licence, and you will have to obtain a new driving licence in Norway.

Moped, snowmobile and tractor (AM, S and T)

You may not exchange your driving licence for moped (AM), snowmobile (S) or tractor (T). You have to obtain your driving licence in these categories in same manner as Norwegian first-time appliers.