To whom do the rules apply?
Drivers’ hours rules may apply to you if you are driving a vehicle carrying out goods or passenger transport.
The rules apply to you if you
- carry out goods transport by road and the maximum authorised mass of your vehicle, including trailer or semi-trailer, exceeds 3.5 tonnes
- carry out passenger transport by road using a vehicle built for, or permanently adapted for, transport of more than nine people including the driver. The vehicle must be intended for transport of more than nine people.
Exceptions in the EU and the EEA
In the EU/EEA, the drivers’ hours rules do not apply to those who drive
- vehicles used for the carriage of passengers on regular services where the route covered by the service in question does not exceed 50 kilometres
aa. vehicles or combinations of vehicles with a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 7.5 tonnes used to transport materials, equipment or machines that the driver uses during his work and which are used only within a radius of 100 km from the place where the enterprise is domiciled, provided that driving such vehicles is not the driver's main occupation.
- vehicles with a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 40 kilometres per hour
c. vehicles owned or hired without a driver by the armed services, civil defence services, fire services, and forces responsible for maintaining public order, when the carriage is undertaken as a consequence of the tasks assigned to these services and is under their control
d. vehicles, including vehicles used in the non-commercial transport of humanitarian aid, used in emergencies or rescue operations
e. specialised vehicles used for medical purposes
f. specialised breakdown vehicles operating within a 100 km radius of their base
g. vehicles undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, and new or rebuilt vehicles which have not yet been put into service
h. vehicles or combinations of vehicles with a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 7.5 tonnes used for the non-commercial carriage of goods
i. commercial vehicles, which have a historic status according to the legislation of the Member State in which they are being driven, and which are used for the non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods
Exceptions in Norway
The letters refer to the EU regulations and we have only included exceptions that apply to Norway:
- a) Vehicles owned or hired, without a driver, by public authorities to undertake carriage by road which do not compete with private transport undertakings
b) Vehicles used or hired, without a driver, by agricultural, horticultural, forestry, farming or fishery undertakings for carrying goods as part of their own entrepreneurial activity within a radius of up to 100 km from the base of the undertaking
c) Agricultural tractors and forestry tractors used for agricultural or forestry activities, within a radius of up to 100 km from the base of the undertaking which owns, hires or leases the vehicle
- d) Vehicles or combinations of vehicles with a maximum permissible mass not exceeding 7.5 tonnes used by universal service providers as defined in Article 2 (13) of Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 1997 on common rules for the development of the internal market of Community postal services and the improvement of quality of service to deliver
items as part of the universal service.
These vehicles shall be used only within a 100 kilometre radius from the base of the undertaking, and on condition that driving the vehicles does not constitute the driver's main activity.
- e) Vehicles operating exclusively on islands not exceeding 2,300 square kilometres in area which are not linked to the rest of the national territory by a bridge, ford or tunnel open for use by motor vehicles
- f) Vehicles used for the carriage of goods within a 100 km radius from the base of the undertaking and propelled by means of natural or liquefied gas or electricity, the
maximum permissible mass of which, including the mass of a trailer or semi-trailer, does not exceed 7.5 tonnes (in Norway not exceeding 4.25 tonnes) Applicable from 30 April 2021.
- g) Vehicles used for driving instruction and examination with a view to obtaining a driving licence or a certificate of professional competence, provided that they are not being used for the commercial carriage of goods or passengers
- h) Vehicles used in connection with sewerage, flood protection, water, gas and electricity maintenance services, road maintenance and control, door-to-door
household refuse collection and disposal, telegraph and telephone services, radio and television broadcasting, and the detection of radio or television transmitters or receivers
- i) Vehicles with between 10 and 17 seats used exclusively for the non-commercial carriage of passengers (in Norway up to 12 seats)
- j) Specialised vehicles transporting circus and funfair equipment
- l) Vehicles used for milk collection from farms and the return to farms of milk containers or milk products intended for animal feed
- n) Vehicles used for carrying animal waste or carcasses which are not intended for human consumption;
- p) Vehicles used for the carriage of live animals from farms to local markets and vice versa or from markets to local
slaughterhouses within a radius of up to 100 km.
Read also the Norwegian Public Roads Administration's interpretation note on the rules for driving time and rest periods for drivers when transporting live animals (PDF, Norwegian only
Other countries may have other exceptions. If you drive outside of Norway, you must check the rules and regulations in each country.