It is important to remember that correct marking and tread depth are no guarantee that your road grip is good enough.

What tread depth is required when?

It is required to have a tread depth of at least 5 mm on tyres for vehicles with a maximum authorised mass of more than 3,500 kg (both motor vehicles and their trailers) between 1 November and the first Sunday after Easter Monday. In Nordland and Troms og Finnmark , a tread depth of at least 5 mm is required between 16 October and 30 April.

Beyond these periods, tyres are required to have a tread depth of at least 1.6 mm

Do you have a motorhome/RV? A minimum tread depth of 3 mm is required for motorhomes/RVs with a maximum authorised mass of more than 3,500 kg, but not exceeding 7,500 kg, in the time periods described above. For the rest of the year, motorhomes/RVs can have tread depth of 1.6 mm. 

When do you need to use winter tyres?

For motor vehicles and trailers to motor 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/RVs with a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 7,500 kg, but you are still required to have tyre equipment that is adequate for the weather and road surface conditions where you drive.

What defines a winter tyre?

A winter tyre is a tyre that is marked by the manufacturer or retreading enterprise with "Mud and snow" (described as M+S, MS, M&S, M-S) or "3 peak mountain snowflake" (3PMSF/Alpine symbol). Winter tyres can be studded or non-studded.

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

New rules applying to winter tyres for 2020/2021

As from the 2020/2021 winter season, there are new rules applying to winter tyres for heavy vehicles:

  • A motor vehicle with a maximum authorised mass of more than 3 500 kg must have winter tyres of the "3 peak mountain snowflake" type on drive axles and front steering axles. On other axles you can use tyres of the type "Mud and snow" or "3 peak mountain snowflake".
  • If the vehicle has studded tyres of the “Mud and snow” type, originally manufactured in the time period from week 40/2017 up to and including week 40/2019 (specified on the side of the tyre), the requirement for "3 peak mountain snowflake" tyres on drive axles and front steering axles does not apply for the winter season 2020/21.
  • Trailers with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3 500 kg must have tyres of the “Mud and snow” or “3 peak mountain snowflake” type.

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 more than 3 500 kg is equipped with studded tyres, it must have studded tyres on all wheels on the same axle. For dual-wheel assemblies, it is sufficient to have studded tyres on one of the twin wheels. There must be approximately the same number of studs in all studded tyres on the same vehicle.

If a trailer with a design speed of more than 50 km/h and service brake is equipped with studded tyres, there must be studded tyres on all wheels on all axles. For dual-wheel assemblies, it is sufficient to have studded tyres on one of the twin wheels. This applies regardless of the trailer’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 following fines are issued for driving with insufficient tread depth or without correctly marked winter tyres during the period when winter tyres are explicitly required by law:

  • NOK 1 000 per tyre for motor vehicles with a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 7 500 kg.
  • NOK 2 000 per tyre for motor vehicles with a maximum authorised mass of more than 7 500 kg.

The following fines are issued for failure to carry chains as required:

  • NOK 750 for motor vehicles with a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 7 500 kg.
  • NOK 1 200 for motor vehicles with a maximum authorised mass of more than 7 500 kg.
  • NOK 1 500 for motor vehicles with a maximum authorised mass of more than 7 500 kg, pulling a trailer with a maximum authorised mass of more than 3 500 kg.

One fine is issued per missing chain.

Instead of a fine, the driver may be reported to the police in serious cases of failure to ensure sufficient road grip. A roadworthiness prohibition notice may be issued for insufficient road grip regardless of whether the driver is fined or reported to the police.

Remember that correct marking and minimum tread depth are no guarantee that your road grip is good enough.