The business sector comprises a wide variety of services, such as transport at sea, on land and in the air. A number of regulations apply, depending on the type of transport service offered. To start and run certain types of such businesses requires a licence. The application is submitted to the transport board of the county. Licensed businesses include:
- Taxi driving
- Ambulance driving
- Buses and other types of public transport
A licence is recognition from the authorities indicating that one meets the requirements necessary to operate a transporting business. The licence is thus the key to market access. Following an application and subsequently, the licence, one receives one or more documents verifying that the licence is indeed obtained.
The licence document must be at hand in the vehicle and ready for control when licence restricted transport is carried out. If the criteria for licence or other conditions for business activities are no longer met, the licence may be withdrawn by the licence authority.
The provision of licence for business related transport of people or goods by vehicle (car, bus or lorry) or ship is meant to serve the following purposes:
- Safe transport.
- The customers, users and general public are offered a transport service having a satisfactory quality and level of service.
- The transport is carried out according to the rules and legislation dealing with fair competition.
Who is subject to the licence regulations?
Everybody running a transport service for any sort of payment must have a licence.
In this context, “running” encompassing all non-casual transport assignments. Consequently, you may, as a private citizen or as member of a club/society, carry out a single transport assignment without a licence. The condition is that the assignment is a casual incident.
The term "payment" implies any kind of compensation received by one self or other persons as a result of the transport assignment. It does not matter if the payment is monetary or in another form and regardless of any profit.
Even if one, according to the general rule, is required to have a licence, there are exceptions. These conditions are explained below.
When transporting goods, a vehicle with a total weight of more than 3500 kg require a licence. For transport of people, there are no requirements regarding the size of the vehicle or the number of seats. The category of the licence will, however, vary with the type of vehicle.
To get a licence certain conditions must be met. These conditions are discussed below. An application for a licence is sent to the county authorities (fylkeskommunen) in the county where the business is located.
Transport of goods
A licence to transport goods gives the holder the right to transport goods in a vehicle weighing more than 3500 kg. Anyone meeting the conditions for such a licence also has the right to get the licence.
Transport of people – more than 8 passengers (turvognløyve)
This licence gives the holder the right to transport passengers in a vehicle registered for more than eight persons in addition to the driver (minibus or bus).
Public bus transport
Anyone who wants to transport passengers in a public transport capacity must, in addition to holding a licence to transport people (se above), have a special licence to run public bus transport (ruteløyve). The public transport licence is subjected to assessment of the needs. You have to apply to the county authorities where you live or your business is located, and the authorities will assess the need for public transport on that particular route.
A taxi licence gives the holder both the right and duty to offer transport of passengers as an alternative to public transport, driving a vehicle registered for not more than eight passengers. In certain circumstances, the licencing authority may allow taxi transport with a vehicle registered for up to 16 passengers plus the driver.
A taxi licence is subjected to the public needs. This means that the county authorities issues licences following an assessment of the needs in the particular district where the transport will take place. If a licence is available due to decease or termination, applicants with more than two years seniority as full time taxi drivers in the district have priority for the available licence. When new licences are issued, the licencing authorities decide on the conditions following the licence.
The licence covers transport of people not regulated by a taxi licence. The holder has the right to transport of people in a vehicle registered for up to eight passengers plus the driver. The vehicle must be of high standard. The licence is subjected to assessment of the local public needs.
Licence to transport disabled people
This licence gives the holder the right and duty to transport people in a vehicle designed and equipped for transport of disabled people. The vehicle must conform to the current regulations regarding the technical standard of vehicles allowed for transport of disabled people. The licence is subjected to assessment of the needs for such transport.
Exceptions form the licence requirements
Own transport of goods
The term is defined as transport of goods when the transport is part of other business activities. Such transport is not regulated by licences. Note the conditions that must be met for the transport to be regarded as own transport of goods:
- The transport must be a part of other business activities, i.e. the purpose of the business must not be the transport. The transport must be a supporting function to the business’ main activities.
- The driver must be the owner of or employed by the business.
- The business must have the vehicle to its disposal, i.e. own, rent or lease it. If the registration book shows that the business is not owner of the vehicle, the rental or leasing contract must be kept in the vehicle during the transport assignment.
- The own transport declaration must be kept in the vehicle during the transport assignment. The declaration is issued by the local traffic service office of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration at the time of registration of the vehicle.
Conditions for obtaining a licence
The issue of a licence in any category is subject to requirements regarding (legal) conduct, financial status and professional skill.
Who must meet the requirements?
- In a company the manager must meet the requirements regarding conduct and professional skill. If the company is just established, both the manager and the company must meet the financial requirements.
- In limited companies, limited partnerships, cooperatives and inter-municipal companies, the manager must meet the requirements. Each company is treated as an independent legal subject (person). Consequently, it does not suffice that the mother company is qualified.
- In larger companies, the Directorate of Public Roads may grant exemption, allowing that the person in charge of the transport activities is the one qualified. The precondition is that transport is handled by a dedicated unit within the company, however, without that unit being a legal person.
- In a unlimited company (ANS, DA), it is sufficient that one of the partners meet the requirements regarding conduct and professional skill. If a manager is employed, it is sufficient that he/she is qualified.
- A foundation has a board as the superior body, and it is either the leader of the board or the person in charge of transportation that must be qualified.
Conduct / legal conduct
The conduct qualification must be verified by a police certificate not older than three months: The certificate is attached to the application for licence. Such a certificate will be issued by the police where you live. Note that it may take some time to issue the certificate.
The conduct qualifications must be certified every five years. The new certificate is sent to the licencing authorities. When a new certificate is due, you will be notified well in advance by the licencing authorities.
A personal licence holder (e.g. sole proprietorship) must himself/herself document the conduct qualifications. It will not be accepted that a employed manager of a sole proprietorship is the one holding a police certificate.
The conduct requirements are not met if the applicant is banned from business activities by court order, or if he/she is subjected to punishment following a serious felony of some kind.
The conduct requirements are explained in detail in the professional transport regulations § 6. The regulations are available in Norwegian only.
The financial requirements are met by producing the following:
- A guarantee from a bank or an insurance company.
- A certificate from the municipal treasurer
- A certificate from the Tax Office
- A transcript of the Register of Bankruptcies
The certificates must not be older than three months.
The guarantee from bank or insurance company (the guarantor) must be issued on the proper form and sent directly from the guarantor to the licencing authorities. The guarantee sum in a licence category is NOK 75 000 for the first licence. Additional licences in the same category require a guarantee sum of NOK 40 000. Additional information is found in the memo N-4/2004 (in Norwegian only).
The financial position requirements are considered not met if the applicant has significant due, but unpaid fees, duties or taxes. There is not a fixed particular limit (sum), thus the relevant licencing authorities regard the position according to their own discretion. Se the memo N-3/32003 (in Norwegian only).
A creditor must approach the guarantor to announce claims following the guarantee obligation. The guarantors are published on the pages of www.transwportloyve.no.
There are a number of professional skills requirements, some fairly detailed. However, the general rule is as follows:
The applicant is deemed qualified when he/she can show an examination certificate that is acknowledged by the Ministry or he/she already has a certificate in the category currently applied for.
Last changed: 28/11/2008 Print