Register your vehicle in Portugal

register your car in portugal

Registering one’s vehicle in Europe or from English-speaking countries to Portugal is probably the most complicated administrative procedure and requires a quick trip to many administrations. In case you settle in Portugal for more than 6 months, it will be an obligation under penalty of heavy fines. Unless you want to buy your car in the country, you will probably ask yourself at some point how to register a car in Portugal?

If you wish to be accompanied by a reliable French-speaking professional for the registration of your car or motorbike wherever you are in Portugal, click on the button below and fill in the form at the bottom of the page.

Edit: Due to the complexity of this process, I have found only one serious english speaking service provider to assist you with the registration of your vehicle in Portugal. This is a law firm based near Lisbon that will take care of the registration application + the ISV exemption application to the customs. The price of this firm is 2000€ per vehicle and does not include the costs of the technical inspection, the registration and the registration fee.

Please only fill in this form if you are ok with this price to avoid unnecessary exchanges with this provider. If you wish to do this yourself, you will find a lot of information below on this page.


Registration in Portugal

On this page you will find most of the information you need to know about the Portuguese registration procedure for your vehicle. You will see that it is very complicated and is not possible if you do not speak Portuguese. In addition, it is important to know that the Portuguese administrations are not known to be the fastest and it can take a long time before you arrive at the counter.

This obstacle course is not the first thing you might want to do to start your settlement in Lisbon or elsewhere.

This is why I propose to put you in contact with an English-speaking company specialized in car registration in Portugal. It is established in Portugal, carries out this step for many individuals or companies and will take care of registering your car. Your presence will only be compulsory during the technical control of the vehicle.

A service that will save you a lot of time, save your patience and allow you to get your Portuguese license plates without doing anything.

To obtain a Portuguese registration, this specialized company offers :

  • Contact you in order to prepare the administrative file with you and explain the procedure.
  • Make an appointment near you for technical inspection
  • Obtain approval of the vehicle at IMTT
  • Submitting your file to customs for ISV exemption
  • Receive your Portuguese registration number and make an appointment for the plates to be made.
  • Register your vehicle with the IMTT and the vehicle register

As stated, this company will surrender itself and without your presence in the administrations. It can register cars in Lisbon but also anywhere else in Portugal. It takes about 2 months for the whole procedure, from its beginning to the reception of your car registration document (documento único).

It is strongly advised to meet the requirements for exemption from ISV (Vehicle Tax). For your information, the ISV for registering a new Opel Corsa in Portugal can reach up to 5000€.
It is important to note that the law has been modified since December 2017: you no longer need to own the vehicle for more than 12 months but only 6 months to be eligible for exemption from this tax.

The manufacturer’s European type-approval certificate

This is the certificate of conformity that you will need to register your car in Portugal. It is issued by the manufacturer only and will be paid for! It summarizes the characteristics of your vehicle and it is preferable to obtain it before your departure to save time. You can request it from the homologation department of your dealer.

Technical inspection of the vehicle

Once again here, the technical inspection may seem simple to perform for your vehicle, but you still need to speak the language. Very few “Centro de Inspeçoes” speak English and it is better to be accompanied to understand your interlocutor when he will ask you to activate the indicators!

The technical inspection must be done in an approved centre (Centro de Inspeçao Técnica) where you can easily make an appointment on the internet or by phone. There will certainly be one near you, there are many of them, especially around Lisbon.

The necessary documents to carry out the technical inspection :

The technical control will cost you about 75€.

auto inspection center

The IMTT Modelo 9 form

This form will be essential for you to register your vehicle in Portugal, as it will have to be presented to the technical inspection, but it is not necessary that it has already been signed by the administration. It can be easily downloaded from the internet and you will be able to fill it in thanks to the European Certificate of Conformity mentioned above.

Once the form has been filled in, you can go to the ITMT (Institute of Mobility and Land Transport) to request the Portuguese homologation of the vehicle. Sounds complicated? We would like to remind you that Essencial Portugal will take care of these procedures for you! Your presence is not necessary, only the documents have to be provided to our Anglo-Portuguese agents.

Please note that you will also be asked for the engine and chassis number of your vehicle in this Portuguese administration. It is therefore preferable before going there to find out by yourself or in a garage.

The necessary documents for the ITMT of Portugal

  • Valid ID or passport
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Driver’s license
  • IMTT Modelo 9 form, completed by the technical inspectors of the vehicle
  • The European certificate of conformity of the vehicle

Declaration of the vehicle to Portuguese border authorities

It is at the Portuguese customs that things get more difficult as the above mentioned procedures can take time but you will still have to go to the Portuguese customs with some of the above mentioned documents before 20 days after the vehicle enters Portugal. A gymnastics not always obvious!

Once at the customs, you will be able to carry out the “Declaração Aduaneira de Veiculo” and the application for exemption from vehicle tax.

Documents required for “DAV”

  • Vehicle registration document
  • Purchase invoice or declaration of sale for a purchase between individuals
  • European Certificate of Conformity
  • Document received at IMTT + technical approval of the vehicle
  • Certificate of transport if you had the car brought in by third party services
  • Technical Inspection Document
  • Document from the technical centre concerning the CO² emission level of your vehicle

Vehicle tax: ISV

It is important to meet the conditions for exemption from vehicle tax. This tax can indeed be very high and can amount to a large percentage of the price of your vehicle. To be exempt, the conditions are as follows:

  • Be of legal age
  • Having a vehicle purchased in your home country
  • Have owned your vehicle for at least 6 months

So don’t plan to buy a vehicle in Europe before coming to Portugal, it would cost you much more than buying your vehicle directly in Portugal. Anyone can make this request, but be careful. You have 6 months to do it if you meet these conditions but otherwise only 10 days to pay the vehicle tax.

Necessary documents for the exemption request

  • Border declaration ( DAV)
  • Vehicle registration document
  • European Certificate of Conformity
  • Driver’s license
  • Contributor Number (TIN)
  • Certificate of residence from the country of origin (e.g. Town Hall)
  • Certificate of Residence

Obtaining a Portuguese car registration document

And no, it’s not over yet as you will now have to go back to the IMTT to get your Portuguese car registration. To do so, you will have to go there with the following documents:

  • Valid ID or passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Portuguese TIN
  • Certificate of Residence
  • European Certificate of Conformity
  • Technical Inspection Document
  • Model 9 previously obtained at IMTT
  • Photocopy of your car registration document with the stamp of the customs office.
  • The DAV with the paper that proves that you have paid or are exempt from vehicle tax (ISV)

IMTT Lisbon

Registration of vehicle registration

The last step of the route is to go to the Conservatoria do Registo Automovel around your home or directly to the counter in the IMTT with the following documents to validate your new registration :

  • Identity document or passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Portuguese TIN
  • IMTT Form, Model 9

Assistance with the registration of your vehicle

This process is extremely long and tedious, but it is possible for me to put you in touch with an English-speaking company specializing in this process for several years.  We will accompany you on the registration of your car in Portugal.

Use the button below to fill out the contact form, explain your project and be contacted again by this specialized company to see how you can accompany you in your new life in Lisbon.

By validating the contact form, you authorize me to forward your request to an English-speaking person who will be able to contact you directly. Nothing is automated: these are people I know, based in Lisbon and who are qualified to accompany you in your approach & your project.

Essencial Portugal is a website that connects individuals/companies with trusted, certified professionals in Portugal to carry out projects in the country. Only these certified and approved professionals are able to inform you, offer and invoice these services.


quality of life lisbon

Essencial Portugal

Essencial Portugal puts you in touch with trusted and authorised professionals to help you with your projects.

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