Go directly to contents.
Responsible for the service ELY Centre

Special road licence for periods of frost heaving

  • Permit or other obligation
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

Load restrictions are imposed during frost heave periods in order to maintain weak roads as accessible as possible, reduce road damage caused by heavy duty vehicles and ensure vital transport services during frost heave periods. In individual unprecedented cases, ELY Centres may grant temporary transport licences for roads with load restrictions. These licences are subject to a fee. Transportations which are considered as vital services do not require a special licence. These services are transportations that are vital to the functioning of society and which must be able to access roads with load restrictions.

Vital transport services include e.g.

  • emergency vehicles
  • road maintenance vehicles
  • scheduled bus and coach services
  • journeys to work (journeys to work sites by heavy duty vehicles without load)
  • transportation of milk
  • regular transportation of peat and similar materials for energy supply that are essential for the continuous operation of power stations
  • transportation of slaughter animals
  • transfers of heavy-duty agricultural machinery and seed grain etc. in connection with spring seeding
  • transportation of feed, peat bedding and fuel in cases where it is not possible to organise advance deliveries to meet consumption due to the size of storage facilities
  • collection of household waste (organised by the local authority based on law and agreed schedules)
  • transportation of liquid manure by individual farms
  • deliveries of daily consumer goods to stores
  • mobile shops.

Examples of transportation requiring a special licence:

  • timber
  • soil
  • fuel (except in cases where consumption cannot be met by organising advance deliveries due to the size of storage facilities)
  • industrial fertilisers
  • building supplies
  • forestry and construction machinery
  • oversize transportations

The weight limit is generally 12 tons or, in exceptional cases only, 4 tons. The weight limits do not apply to transportations that are considered as vital services.

The need for load restrictions is assessed around the turn of the year. The forecast is then revised in early March when the frost heave forecast becomes available. The spring weather conditions are actively monitored, and regular information is provided about frost heave progression and the need for load restrictions.

Do the following

Complete the application form and send it to the ELY Centre of the region in which the restricted road is located.

Licences are not issued by telephone.

To whom and on what terms

The necessity of the delivery in question, its mass and the current condition of the road are taken into account when reviewing the application. Special licences are considered on a stringent basis and they will not be issued without good reason.

A fee is charged for the service.

Application decisions are subject to a fee in accordance with the government decree on fee-based services.


The special road licence for a frost heave period must be obtained before driving on a road with load restrictions.

Processing time

The processing of the application takes approximately two days.

Period of validity

The licence is usually issued on a case-by-case basis for a single transportation at a time. However, in cases of transportations with clearly defined quantities and schedules, it can be appropriate and justified to issue a single licence instead of multiple separate licences. When issuing a licence with a long period of validity, the authority reserves the right to cancel the licence before its expiry if necessary in order to maintain the road in accessible condition.

Basic information

The service is provided byCentre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
Other responsible organisationsELY Centre for Pirkanmaa, ELY Centre for South Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for Varsinais-Suomi, ELY Centre for South Savo, ELY Centre for Lapland, ELY Centre for Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for North Karelia, ELY Centre for Southeast Finland, ELY Centre for North Savo, ELY Centre for Kainuu, ELY Centre for Häme, ELY Centre for Central Finland, ELY Centre for North Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for Satakunta, ELY Centre for Uusimaa
Responsible for the serviceCentre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: ELY Centre
Updated: 24/3/2021