Off-road traffic

Snowmobiling licence

In Finland, one can use snowmobiles on snowmobile routes and the snowmobile tracks maintained by municipalities and Metsähallitus.

One must pay to use the Metsähallitus tracks, which are unofficial routes that are classified under the law as off-road terrain. In order to use these tracks, a snowmobile user can apply for an individual or shared family track permit from Metsähallitus. With this permit, they may use their snowmobile on all tracks which can be found on the Metsähallitus track map. Along the tracks can often be found pleasant resting spots, camp-fire areas and other services.

Track permits can be used straight away.

National track permit

Cost

3h €9, 1 day €15, week €30, season €50, season permit as family permit* €50,

*) Included in family permit: married or cohabiting individuals or those in a registered relationship together with their 15-to-17-year-old children, or either one of the parents together with their 15-to-17-year-old children.

Track permit for local resident

Free of charge

Valid until end of 2019

Please note! Between 2017 and 2019, residents of Enontekiö, Inari and Utsjoki may apply to their local municipality for an off-road permit by ringing their local customer service line. From 2020 onwards they are to use the permit application found at the bottom of this page.

Extra condition: in springtime, only until 30.5.

Off-road traffic permit for off-track traffic

The term non-track off-road traffic refers to the use of motor powered vehicles in areas outside of the roads and snowmobile routes and tracks. As a general rule, non-track off-road traffic is prohibited during the snow season and all off-road traffic is prohibited during snow-free periods on all state-owned land. There are exceptions in which you can apply for a separate off-road permit from Metsähallitus for a specific justified need. The most common reasons for applications for an off-road permit include tasks related to hunting and fishery management, research, or event organising.

 

Ways to apply

Applications can be made simultaneously for several municipalities and several different purposes. One can apply for an off-road permit:

• as an individual

• as a family

 

In special circumstances, off-road permit applications can be made for:

• several individuals, if the situation is one in which the drivers are moving in the same area / on the same routes, as one group and during the same time period.

• the staff/members of the company, association, community, or educational or research institution or those participating in an event organised by one of these.

 

Safari entrepreneurs

Those safari entrepreneurs that are partnering with Metsähallitus may apply for off-road permits for the safari guides working for them by making several individual permit applications. The guides may also apply themselves for a permit using an individual permit application. Permits for the company’s guides are applied for from Metsähallitus for the agreed tracks and driving routes.

 

Pricing of permit decisions

Both positive and negative off-road permit decisions for state-owned lands are public administrative decisions which incur a fee. The payment for the off-road permit is collected by Metsähallitus after the application has been processed. The costs are as follows:

• individual or family off-road permits - €50

• off-road permits applying to several individuals - €50/person

• off-road permits for staff/members of companies/associations/communities/educational or research institutions or permits for those participating in events organised by one of these - €50/vehicle used

 

Some off-road permit applications may require more extensive explanatory documents or legal consideration. If the permit decision involves such broader considerations, the permit cost doubles.

An off-road permit for one’s home municipality is free of charge.

 

Processing time

Off-road permit applications are processed by Metsähallitus within 10 to 15 working days of the application’s submission.

Permit application for snow season

Free of charge when applying for one’s home municipality

It is possible to apply for several municipalities and for several individuals with one application

Permit application for snow-free time (*

Free of charge when applying for one’s home municipality

Granted only in case of especially pressing need

It is possible to apply for several municipalities and for several individuals with one application

Combination permit for snow coverage season and snow-free time (**

Free of charge when applying for one’s local municipality. Granted only in case of especially pressing need.

Read more below about application for combined permits.

*) During snow-free periods, off-road permits are granted on state-owned lands only in cases of especially pressing need, as damages caused by traffic are longer lasting compared to during the snow season. A negative off-road permit decision also incurs a fee unless the application was to one’s home municipality. A negative permit decision given for an application to one’s home municipality is free of charge.

 

**) With combined permits, a permit is sought for both the snow season and snow-free periods. As a general rule, combined permits are granted only for service traffic in gold prospecting regions and claims and mining concessions to those that require an off-road permit. During snow-free periods, off-road permits are granted on state-owned lands only in cases of especially pressing need, as damages caused by traffic are longer lasting compared to during the snow season. In a number of situations, a permit may be granted for a justified need during the snow season but not during the snow-free periods. An application for a combined permit is cancelled or given a negative decision also in those situations where a permit could be granted for the stated need during the snow season but not also for snow-free periods. A negative off-road permit decision incurs a charge unless the application was made to one’s home municipality, in which case the application is free of charge. If the combined permit application is rejected and there is later a desire to apply for a similar permit but only for the the snow season, a new application must be made for this using the permit application for the snow season.

 

Act on off-road traffic (1710/1995) Section 4, Act on Metsähallitus (234/2016) Section 24, Ministry of the Environment decree on payments for certain public administration tasks (1571/2015) Section 4.


Municipal residents of Inari, Utsjoki and Enontekiö

Residents of Inari, Utsjoki and Enontekiö may apply to Metsähallitus for an off-road permit during the snow season for the state-owned lands in their home municipality. A permit will be granted to all residents that have a need for off-road vehicle use during the snow season. To obtain a permit, one should make contact with the nearest Metsähallitus customer service point. From 2020 onwards, it will also be possible to make online permit applications (from this web-page).

 

The general off-road permit for the snow season for one’s home municipality does not include national parks and nature reserves. If the local resident has a justified need for off-road vehicle use during the snow season in park areas as well, the permit must be applied for from Metsähallitus using the non-track off-road permit application form (see permit application for the snow season above). Similarly, off-road permits for snow-free periods should be applied for using the non-track off-road permit application form (see permit application for snow-free periods above).

 

Permit application for snow season if home municipality is Enontekiö, Inari or Utsjoki

Free of charge and permit available for use immediately

For one’s home municipality, excluding national parks and nature reserves

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