When do you need to use winter tyres?

For vehicles and trailers to vehicles that each have a maximum authorised mass of more than 3,500 kg, winter tyres are mandatory in the period from 15 November to 31 March. This does not apply to motorhomes with a maximum authorised mass of more than 3,500 kg, but not exceeding 7,500 kg.

For vehicles with a maximum authorised mass of more than 3,500 kg (both motor vehicles and their trailers), tyres are required to have a tread depth of at least 5 mm from 16 October in the counties of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, and from 1 November in the rest of Norway.

This requirement is in force up to and including 30 April in Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, and up to and including the first Sunday after Easter Monday in the rest of Norway.

In the same period, tyres on motorhomes with a maximum authorised mass of more than 3,500 kg, but not exceeding 7,500 kg are required to have a tread depth of at least 3 mm.

Outside of this period, the requirement is a tread depth of at least 1.6 mm.

What is a winter tyre?

Winter tyres can be studded or non-studded. The tyres must be marked with «M+S», «MS», «M&S», «M-S», «Mud and Snow» and/or «3PMSF» or «3 Peak Mountain Snowflake» (the Alpine symbol).

If winter tyres with the right dimensions for your vehicle are not manufactured, you can apply for an exemption from the winter tyre requirement.

Be aware that starting with the winter season 2020/2021, it is mandatory to use winter tyres of type 3 peak mountain snowflake on driveaxles and front steering axles on motor vehicles category M and N with a maximum authorized mass of more than 3,500 kg.

Studded tyres

Studded tyres are permitted only during the period when a tread depth of at least 5 mm is required, unless weather and road surface conditions require their use.

If a motor vehicle with a maximum authorised mass of at least 3,500 kg is equipped with studded tyres, it must have studded tyres on both wheels on the same axle. For dual-wheel assemblies, it is sufficient to have studded tyres on one of the twin wheels.

If a trailer designed for speeds above 50 km/h and which have service brakes, is equipped with studded tyres, it must have studded tyres on all wheels. This applies regardless of the vehicle's maximum authorised mass.

Use beyond the mandatory period

The vehicle must have winter tyres (studded or non-studded), chains or similar also outside of the periods mentioned above if this is necessary in order to ensure sufficient road grip. If snow or ice can be expected on the roads, the vehicle must carry chains regardless of the time of year.

Penalties

The fine for driving with insufficient tread depth or without correctly marked winter tyres during the period when winter tyres are explicitly required by law is

  • NOK 1000 per tyre for vehicles with maximum authorised mass not exceeding 7 500 kg
  • NOK 2000 per tyre for vehicles with a maximum authorised mass of more than 7 500 kg

The fee for driving without carrying proper chains is:

  • NOK 750 for motor vehicles with a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 7 500 kg
  • NOK 1200 for motor vehicles with a with a maximum authorised mass of more than 7 500
  • NOK 1500 for motor vehicles with a with a maximum authorised mass of more than 7 500 that tow a trailer with a maximum authorised mass of more than 3 500 kg

One fine is given per missing chain.

In cases of serious violations of road grip requirements, you may be reported to the police instead of a fine. If the vehicle is not sufficiently equipped according to the conditions, a roadworthiness prohibition notice may be issued regardless of whether a fine or a report to the police is issued.

Remember that correct marking and minimum tread depth are no guarantee of sufficient road grip.