Motor traffic in nature

It is prohibited to drive a motorised vehicle in off-road terrain, even if it is your own land. There are some general exceptions from the ban and it is also possible to apply for an exemption for driving off-road. Special rules apply to personal water crafts and snowmobiles.

Off-road driving is prohibited in the whole of Sweden. The County Administrative Board may decide on an exemption from the off-road driving ban and the snowmobile ban. We work to ensure that motor traffic does not interfere with, or harm, the land, vegetation, recreational life, animal life, reindeer husbandry, agriculture or forestry.

Ban on off-road driving

The main provision under the Off-Road Driving Act is that it is prohibited to drive a motorised vehicle on bare ground, even if it is your own land.

What counts as terrain?

All natural land off roads is counted as terrain, for example:

  • parks
  • fields
  • meadows
  • fens
  • mires
  • beaches
  • bare mountains
  • hiking trails
  • running trails
  • tractor paths

What counts as a motorised vehicle?

Motorised vehicles is a collective term for all types of vehicles powered by a motor, for example:

  • car
  • motorcycle
  • four-wheel ATV
  • electric bike
  • tracked vehicle
  • snowmobile

Personal water crafts (PWC)

You may only drive a personal water craft in designated waterways or in areas that are approved by the County Administrative Board. If you break the rules you may be fined.

Snowmobile

Snowmobiles may only be driven on snow-covered ground, where neither the ground nor the vegetation are damaged. Within certain areas, mostly in the mountains, the snowmobile traffic is regulated by snowmobile bans. There, you are only permitted to drive on designated and marked scooter trails.

Exceptions from the ban on off-road driving

General exceptions from the ban on off-road driving apply to:

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Staff working on a governmental or municipal assignment
  • Civil protection
  • Doctors
  • Fire department
  • Mountain rescue
  • Reindeer husbandry
  • Retrieving trapped bears, moose, deer or wild boar.

The exemptions require an approval from the landowner and only apply if the measure cannot be carried out in other appropriate ways.

Exemption for off-road driving

You may apply for an exemption for driving off-road if you have special reasons. An exemption is a single exception from the ban. Besides the exemption, you need the approval of the landowner to drive on the ground.

Reasons for an exemption may, for example, be:

  • Disability
  • Certain material transports
  • Competitions
  • And more

The e-services and forms of the County Administrative Board in this field are not available in English. If you wish to submit an application or notification, you may contact the County Administrative Board, which can inform you how to proceed.

Helmet rules

The Swedish Transport Administration provides more information about which rules that apply to helmets and off-road driving.

Questions and answers about helmet rules on the Swedish Transport Administration's web site External link.

Contact

Competitions and shows on the road

Do you want to organise a competition or show with vehicles on the road? Then you first need to apply for a permit from the County Administrative Board.

To be allowed to organise a competition or show with vehicles on a road, you need to apply for a permit from the County Administrative Board in the county where the competition or show is to be held. If the event affects more than one county, the application must be made in the county where the competition starts.

What counts as a vehicle?

  • cars
  • motorcycles
  • mopeds
  • bicycles
  • roller skis
  • inline skates
  • other modes of transport.

The e-services and forms of the County Administrative Board in this field are not available in English. If you wish to submit an application or notification, you may contact the County Administrative Board, which can inform you how to proceed.

Applications for permits

You need to apply for a permit no later than 4 months before the competition or show. If you do not submit your application on time, we may be forced to reject it.

  • the organiser’s name, address and telephone number;
  • contact person with telephone details;
  • type of competition or show;
  • date and time, party responsible for the competition or show;
  • colour map showing the route of the competition or show;
  • colour map showing the start and finish;
  • estimated number of participants;
  • consent of the owners of any private roads concerned;
  • any need to close roads to hold the competition or show;
  • measures taken for sickness and emergency preparedness.

Processing fee

The fee for competitions on the road in a county is SEK 2 900.

The fee for competitions on the road affecting several counties is SEK 7 100.

Shows on the road are free.

Special conditions and other permits

For competitions or shows that require the public road to be closed, you may need to send a permit from the party responsible for the road together with your application.

If a permit should be required in accordance with the Public Order Act, this is examined by the County Administrative Board after consultation with the Police Authority. Please note that applications for a permit in accordance with the Public Order Act must be submitted to the Police Authority. The police authority will then forward your application to the County Administrative Board together with its own opinion.

Apply to the Police Authority for a permit for a public event External link.

What happens when I have submitted my application?

  1. Your application will be registered and given a case number.
  2. A case handler will investigate your case. You must pay the fee before processing can begin.
  3. The case is sent for referral to the Police Authority, the Swedish Transport Administration and the municipality concerned.
  4. The case handler reaches a decision regarding your case.
  5. We will send you the decision. If we send you a notification receipt, you must sign this once you receive notification of the decision. Then return the notification receipt to the County Administrative Board as soon as possible.

If you are not satisfied with the decision, you may appeal it within 3 weeks from the date on which you received it. Each decision will contain instructions on how to appeal the decision.

Please contact the County Administrative Board if you have any questions about the investigation or the decision.