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Responsible for the service ELY Centre

Temporary closure of a highway

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

Apply for a permit from the ELY Centre if an event requires closing a highway from other traffic. Highways must always be closed for traffic during rallies and other motor vehicle contests, for example. A permit to close a highway is also required for the Finnish Defence Forces’ exercises.

Permits are very rarely granted to events on semi-motorways and motorways.

The regional ELY Centre, which ...

Do the following

An application form will soon be available. You can already apply for a permit (as of 1 June 2020) by emailing a free-form application to the registry of your regional ELY Centre.

The application must contain the following information:

  • event name, time and locality
  • all highways affected by the closure
  • length of the highway sections to be closed and closing times per road
  • a map that shows which road sections will be closed
  • contact details of the organiser and contact person
  • billing address and the applicant’s business ID or personal identity code
  • a general plan of traffic control and contact details of the person responsible for traffic arrangements. The person in charge of the traffic arrangements is required to have Road Safety 2 training.
Information on all service channels is not available in your chosen language. Change the language of the site to receive information on service channels in other languages.

To whom and on what terms

The permit decision is sent to the email address the applicant has announced. The permit decision provides more detailed instructions and explains the applicant’s obligations.

The permit decision includes a permit to place traffic control installations necessary for closing the highway. If the event also requires other traffic sign arrangements, you need to apply for a separate permit from the ELY Centre for Pirkanmaa.

Any traffic controllers are approved by the police. The applicant must also apply for other permits required for the event from other authorities (e.g. for organising a public event).

  • A maintenance agreement

In case the event causes road wear, the organiser of the event should prepare an agreement on the necessary maintenance of the closed road section. You can find instructions on how to devise a maintenance agreement from the shortcuts on the right side of the page.

  • The Finnish Defence Forces’ exercises

The Defence Forces must obtain a decision from the regional ELY Centre to temporarily close a section of a road network if the Defence Forces need to temporarily prevent or restrict public traffic to any part of a road network. If necessary, a maintenance agreement will also be made if the use of the road wears it down.

The new Road Traffic Act transferred the task from the police to the ELY Centres on 1 June 2020. In other respects, the Finnish Transport Agency’s guideline “Sotilasajoneuvot ja maantiet” (military vehicles and roads) (LIVI/1022/06.06.06./2017.) still applies.


You must apply for the permit well in advance. The applications and decisions concerning medium and major events will be announced on the website of the ELY Centre as a service by publication, as the public must be offered an opportunity to submit opinions on the matter. Therefore, the process cannot be sped up, as the citizens’ opinions must be considered before the decision.

Processing time

Small events: processing time approximately six weeks Medium events: processing time approximately three months Major events: processing time approximately four months

Period of validity

The permit is valid for the period specified in the permit decision.

The service is provided by

ELY Centre for Varsinais-Suomi, ELY Centre for Uusimaa, ELY Centre for Lapland, ELY Centre for South Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for North Savo, ELY Centre for Central Finland, ELY Centre for Pirkanmaa, ELY Centre for North Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for Southeast Finland

Other responsible organisations

ELY Centre for Varsinais-Suomi, ELY Centre for Lapland, ELY Centre for South Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for Uusimaa, ELY Centre for North Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for Southeast Finland, ELY Centre for Pirkanmaa, ELY Centre for Central Finland, ELY Centre for North Savo

Responsible for the service

ELY Centre
Text edited by: ELY Centre
Updated: 26/2/2024