Nordic winter tire law

//Nordic winter tire law
Nordic winter tire law2016-12-15T14:58:39+00:00


The law applies 1/12-31/3 for Swedish and foreign vehicles.

Trucks and buses exceeding a weight of 3.5 tons:

The minimum tread depth allowed is 5 mm on all axes. In winter road conditions, winter tires shall be mounted on the drive axle. Definition of winter road conditions: “when there is snow, ice, slush or frost on any part of the road”. The requirements for winter tires for drive axle are identified as following:

  • Tires specifically designed for winter driving and marked M + S.
  • Patterned winter tires marked with M + S or tires marked with the symbol mountain/snowflake (3 PMSF).
  • If tires are equipped with snow chains or if the vehicle has the appropriate tire chains, sand spreaders or similar device it should be equated with winter tires.

3 PMSF-marking is a sufficient condition for the tire to fall under the definition of winter tires. To put this symbol on the side of the tire it must have been approved in a particular performance test. This marking is only valid for new tires until further notice.

An exception to the above stated:

  • When driving a heavy truck used for construction work or similar.
  • Military vehicles are also excluded.


Minimum tread depth for trailers 1,6 mm even during the winter period.


All vehicles exceeding a weight of 3.5 tons:

Applies during winter period from 1 November till Monday after the second Easter day. In Nordland, Troms and Finnmark the winter period stretches from 16 October to 30 April. Both Norwegian and foreign vehicles are covered by this legislation.

  • The driver of the vehicle is always responsible for having secured enough grip in relation to the road surface. This can be done by using winter tires (with or without studs), with chains or similar.
  • Winter tires are specifically marked (M + S) and designed for winter driving, with a tread depth of at least 3 mm. Only winter tires, and for this specifically manufactured, are allowed to be studded.
  • Studded tires and chains can be used also outside this time period if the driving conditions require so.

NOTE! During the winter period, the chain shall always be carried. The number of chains should be at least three, five or seven depending on the size of the vehicle. The odd chain is supposed to be for one of the front wheels. The chain shall be made of metal/steel and designed so that there is always contact between the chain and the road surface. Chain shall be fitted before departure when winter road conditions can be expected on the route.


No special winter tire legislation for heavy vehicles. Minimum tread depth is 1.6 mm. Studded tires are permitted from 1 November to 31 March, or the first Monday after Easter.


No special winter tire legislation for heavy vehicles. Minimum tread depth is 1,0 mm. Studded tires are permitted from 1 November to 15 April.


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