Can I Drive In Norway With A US License? Answered!

Renting and driving a car is by far the best method of getting around in Norway, especially if you’re one of the persons who don’t really enjoy big, guided tour groups, but would rather explore at your own pace.

It’s actually pretty easy to rent a car in Norway, but there are a few things to be aware of when your renting your car. Firstly, are you up to date with the Norwegian driving regulations? For instance, speeding tickets in Norway is incredibly expensive, and taken seriously.

Secondly, do you have the right to drive in Norway? And can you even drive in Norway with a US license?

You can use your US driver’s license for up to 3 months in Norway, both as a resident and as a tourist, as long as you are 18 years or older. If you’re staying for more than 3 months, you will need to get a Norwegian copy of your driver’s license (but don’t worry, it’s cheap and doesn’t require any driving tests or anything like that).

Avis Rental Car in Lofoten
Rental Car in Lofoten. Photo published with permission.

Anyone can drive with their own license in Norway for 3 months

If you’re visiting Norway for less than 3 months, then you generally don’t need to worry about your driver’s license at all. Anyone can use their driver’s license from their own country as long as it’s in English, which all US driver’s licenses are.

So just come to Norway, rent a car, and don’t worry about your driver’s license.

The only big exception is for young adults between 16 and 18, which can get the driver’s license in certain US states. You need to be 18 years old to drive a car in Norway, and you will not legally be allowed to drive if you are below 18 years old, even if you have a driver’s license from the United States.

Driving on Arnøya
Driving on Arnøya. Photo published with permission.

How to trade in your US driver’s license for a Norwegian for (for extended stays)

If you are staying in Norway for more than 3 months, which could be the case for seasonal workers, international students or anyone who are relocating to Norway, then you will need to trade in your US driver’s license for a Norwegian one.

This is actually pretty easy, and can be done at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (known as Statens Vegvesen here in Norway). Start by filling in their form at their website (by clicking here), then submit the form by mail. It should not take long, and most people get their Norwegian driver’s license after a few weeks.

So if you know that you will be staying in Norway for more than 90 days, start the process of getting your Norwegian driver’s license as soon as possible so that it’s ready before 3 months has elapsed.

The US driver’s licenses are accepted by the Norwegian government as equally good as the Norwegian ones, so you do not need to take a test or anything like that. Just fill in the form, wait a few weeks, and enjoy your Norwegian driver’s license.

Make sure to read up on driving in Norway!

Even though you can legally drive in Norway with a US license, it’s important to be aware that the driving conditions in Norway can pose a challenge to many US drivers – especially if you visit during the winter.

The roads on the western part of the country are often very narrow, full of curves, and require careful precision when driving on them. It’s much better on the eastern part of the country, but you might still come across very curved roads.

Trollstigen is well-known for its hairpin bends and frequent traffic jams. Photo published with permission.

If you’re coming during the winter, be prepared for rather difficult driving conditions. It will be icy on the road, and it can be extremely slippery even if it doesn’t look like it. Even the highways can be icy!

My point is that you should aim to learn the local rules, regulations and driving habits when visiting Norway, and not relying too much on what you would do back in the US, since the driving conditions will be very different. Take it slow and easy, and remember to not speed unless you are prepared to spend several thousand kroner on fines.

Norwegian mountain road
Norwegian mountain road in nice conditions. Photo published with permission.

2 thoughts on “Can I Drive In Norway With A US License? Answered!”

  1. Such helpful info, thank you! Do you know the age requirements for renting a car? Will they allow a 24 y/o to pick up and drive a rental?

    • Hi, Meridyth.


      The age requirement depends on the car rental agency. Some have 23 years age limit, while others operate with 25 years. So you should check out their website before you rent one, or give them a call, just to be sure.

      Best regards


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