Portuguese driving licence

Portuguese driver's licence

You will probably come to live in Lisbon or elsewhere with your foreign driver’s license. Be aware that it may be valid for 2 years in Portugal, after which it will have to be permanently exchanged for a Portuguese driving licence. This obligation will be detailed here, but you will probably be able to find it on your embassy’s website, as it is the case for the French embassy.

Non-EU English speakers such as Canada can drive in Portugal as well and can apply for an international driving licence to the relevant authorities before leaving and settling in Portugal.

The International Driving Licence

The Portuguese driving licence is therefore not compulsory for a short stay but after 2 years of residence in Portugal, you will have to modify your licence at the ITM. In case you have applied for an international driving licence before your departure, do not separate from your original driving licence as you will have to present both documents in case of control in Portugal.

The documents generally required to obtain this international driving licence are :

  • Two recent passport photos
  • Your valid driver’s license
  • A valid identity document or passport
  • Completed and signed International Driving Permit application form

Changing your driving licence in Portugal

If you come to live in Lisbon or elsewhere in Portugal, you will be obliged to present yourself, 60 days after your arrival, at the Portuguese Institute of Mobility and Transport (IMTT) with :

  • IMT Modelo 1 form
  • Your valid driver’s license
  • The original and a photocopy of your identity document.

This process costs 30 euros, as does the process of exchanging your original driving licence for a Portuguese driving licence. This exchange is also done at the IMTT, to which you will have to present yourself after 2 years of residence with the following documents :

  • Proof of authorization to stay in Portugal (Portuguese Residence Certificate)
  • Your Tax Identification Number (Portuguese TIN)
  • A medical certificate
  • A certificate of psychological fitness if you are applying for a licence other than A and B.
  • The Modelo 13 IMT form can be downloaded from the official website
  • Your valid driver’s license
  • Your valid identity card or passport + a photocopy

Contact us to find out all the necessary documents to obtain your Portuguese driving license. We will accompany you in understanding the administrative procedures and directly to the administrations to exchange your driving license.

Things to know about driving in Portugal

It is always important before driving in a country to know the rules. Here is some information that you may find useful after you have settled in Portugal:

  • The maximum speed on the highways is 120 Km/hour.
  • The maximum blood alcohol level is 0.5g per litre.
  • As elsewhere in Europe, you must be equipped with a red triangle and a yellow vest in your vehicle.
  • Roundabouts are in the right lane to turn right but in the left lane to go straight or left.

Apart from these few points, the rest of the signs and other rules of conduct are similar to those in other European countries and do not require further detail.

Road signs and signals in Portugal

Driving your vehicle in Portugal

You may also wish to bring your vehicle directly to Portugal to drive it. In this case, prepare further for your departure and check the administrative procedures necessary to register your vehicle in Portugal. These procedures are often long and difficult to set up and I can recommend the right organizations.

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