i did it!

Europeans can drive on their license from their home country, but Americans (and Canadians, Australians, Japanese…) must take the practical driving test in order to get a driver’s license in Norway. It could be worse, others from many other countries also must take the written theory test and a few mandatory lessons for night driving and slippery driving. You must do it all within a year of your arrival in Norway (or be subjected to the theory test and/or more mandatory lessons). I’m getting close to reaching one year in Norway (crazy, where does time go!?!?) so this fall it was go time!

Let me tell you, getting a drivers license in Norway is expensive:

$40 for a doctor’s appointment
$1200 for 12 – 45 minute driving lessons so I could learn to drive stick
$295 for the use of the car during the exam (you have to use a driving school car, so effectively you are paying for the driving instructor to have a coffee and chat with other driving instructors when you take the test)
$150 to take the test
$40 for the actual license card
and $10 for the picture to go on the license

Total $1735 – yikes!! But while I am sure I could have found a more exciting way to spend that money, I am thankful it wasn’t a financial burden to me. I am also really thankful to the friends that lent me their time, patience and/or cars as I learned to drive stick. There were some tears and a lot of anxiety but at some point it all started to make sense. Note – now that I’ve learned, I do not think driving a stick is better than driving an automatic, but I spent a lot of money to learn how to do it, so I’ll stick with driving stick shift for at least a while.

Regardless of what it cost, I am beyond happy that I am now a licensed driver in Norway!! While I don’t plan on buying a car anytime soon (if you think getting a license is expensive, imagine how much it costs to buy a car!), having a license – and maybe more importantly now knowing how to drive a stick shift – gives me freedom. Freedom to rent a car on a whim and freedom to join the car share program.

Driving makes me happy. Not driving around town per say, but driving to explore. Whether is be driving to a trailhead for a hike or to someplace I’ve never been – Sweden, islands off the coast of mid-Norway, or even just the far end of the fjord. So while getting my license the second time around isn’t quite as exciting as it was at 16 (although this time around I was able to celebrate my success with a beer!), it is a big step to becoming more and more settled here.

photo (22)

All smiles while getting to drive on my trip to Lanzarote last week!

This entry was posted in all things norwegian, it is not always rainbows and butterflies, the logistics. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to i did it!

  1. Congratulations Kelly! Quite the trial and tribulation – go for a nice long drive to celebrate 🙂

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