We use a camera system for the recognition of number plates / licence plates as a tool to carry out inspection tasks.

The camera system is one of many measures we have adopted in order to achieve our inspection objectives more efficiently.

Inspection purposes

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) has the ultimate responsibility for supervision and inspection of vehicles in Norway. The purpose of the camera system is to aid the inspectors in their work to carry out targeted inspections along the road, thus contributing to achieving the NPRA’s objectives regarding

  • Increased road safety
  • Efficient traffic flow
  • Competition on equal terms

If you violate the regulations, you are more likely to be stopped for inspection. If you comply with the regulations, your reward is that you avoid the unnecessary or inconvenient delay an inspection may involve.

Inspection of passenger transport / ordinary passenger cars

The inspection authorities use the camera system simply as a tool to single out for inspection those vehicles that are violating the rules. The actual inspection always takes place in a physical meeting with an inspector who assesses the technical condition of the vehicle and checks whether all due fees have been paid.

This is how the system works

  • The camera photographs the vehicle’s number plate.
  • The system scans the registration number on the photo and converts it to a readable format.
  • The camera reads the registration numbers of all passing vehicles, and checks them against lists of vehicles in violation of the law, such as those for which a deregistration claim has been issued.
  • If the registration number is not found in the lists, the vehicle will often be allowed to pass without inspection.
  • If the registration number is found in one of the lists, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration will decide whether to inspect the vehicle.

Where and when is the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system active?

Where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) has placed an ANPR system, you will also find sign no. 558 indicating the presence of a video surveillance camera. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration only installs this system on and along public roads. The system includes both fixed and mobile cameras. The same sign (sign no. 558) is used by the police and by Norwegian customs.

If an inspector from the NPRA pulls you over for a roadside inspection, he or she is obliged to inform you that it is a roadside inspection and of the main items that will be inspected.

The information from the camera is automatically deleted if the vehicle is not inspected or when the inspection is completed.

However, you may also be pulled over even when there is nothing wrong. The NPRA often runs campaigns in order to spread information and knowledge regarding road safety. For example, we conduct national seat belt campaigns at the beginning of the school year, in order to make sure that children on the road get to school safely. We also conduct winter campaigns targeting heavy vehicles in particular, in order to make sure that these are equipped with appropriate winter tyres and chains on Norwegian winter roads.

What information does the camera system provide?

The number plate recognition system reads the vehicle’s registration number and supplies information regarding prohibition notices or other violations. Checklists are generated by the NPRA’s own systems and vehicle registers.

The camera system only provides the inspector with information if there is a prohibition or some other deficiency linked to the vehicle, and all information is automatically deleted at the end of the inspection.

The NPRA is the owner of the system and the data controller for the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system.

What information is registered about me?

  • The camera system only uses the information at the time of the inspection.
  • The information that is used is linked to the vehicle’s registration number/ licence plates. It is not linked to a name or other personal data.
  • Information linked to passing vehicles with no registered deficiencies is not stored; information about vehicles with deficiencies are stored for 1 hour.

Only the number plate is photographed, not the driver or the entire vehicle. A side effect of this is that you will not be stopped in an unneccessary control if everything is in order. In addition, you no longer need a validation sticker on your licence plate to show that  you have paid the road tax.

How do I end up in the system?

The driver of a vehicle is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is roadworthy and in accordance with regulations, and the owner (or person in the right of possession) of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is not used if it is not roadworthy (cf. Section 23 of the Road Traffic Act).

If the vehicle is not in proper order, this may mean that there is a prohibition on the vehicle, and a deregistration claim may be issued. A vehicle may be prohibited if it is not insured or if it has not been through the obligatory roadworthiness test, or it may have serious defects or deficiencies. Other reasons may be that the vehicle has been sold but a registration transfer has not been registered with the NPRA.

Some examples of what you must have in order at all times:

  • Your vehicle must have passed the obligatory biennial roadworthiness test (“EU inspection”).
  • Your vehicle must have liability insurance.
  • Your vehicle must not be reported stolen.
  • A deregistration claim must not have been filed for your vehicle.
  • Business vehicles over 3500 kg must have a valid toll payment tag.

If you have questions about the road tax, or if you think your vehicle has been deregistrated, contact the Norwegian Tax Administration.

Picture of van with cameras used for roadside inspection
Roadside inspection with cameras Photo: Statens vegvesen