Document facts based on ePortugal.gov.pt
Driving Licenses Obtained in Countries with Bilateral Agreements or Reciprocity with Portugal:
The countries that are covered by this regime are:
- Angola, Australia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Mozambique, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Sao Tome and Principe, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States of America.
1. Temporary Driving as a Tourist:
- You can drive in Portugal with your foreign driving license for 185 days after entering the country as a tourist.
2. Establishing Residence in Portugal:
- If you become a resident in Portugal, adhere to the following deadlines:
- Up to 90 days: You can continue driving with your foreign license.
- Between 91 days and 2 years: Apply for a license exchange with IMT, IP.
- After 2 years: You must take a practical driving test to obtain a Portuguese license. This is not required if you submit before 2 years.
Exchanging a Foreign Driving License for a Portuguese Driving License
If you hold a foreign driving license and wish to drive in Portugal, here are the guidelines for exchanging it for a Portuguese driving license:
1. Driving Licenses from OECD and CPLP Countries
Residents under 60 years old, possessing a foreign driving license from countries like Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, among others (OECD and CPLP members), can drive in Portugal without exchanging their license. Certain conditions, such as license validity and adherence to traffic conventions, apply.
2. Driving Licenses from EU and EEA Countries
If you have a driving license from a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, you can drive in Portugal until the license’s expiration date. If you reside in Portugal, you must update your address with the Institute of Mobility and Transport (IMT) within 60 days of moving to the country.
3. Driving Licenses from Countries with Bilateral Agreements
Residents with driving licenses from countries having bilateral agreements with Portugal can drive in Portugal for 185 days without exchanging their license. If you plan to reside in Portugal, exchanging your foreign license for a Portuguese one is mandatory within two years.
4. Driving Licenses from Countries not Part of International Conventions
If your foreign license is from a country not part of international traffic conventions, it is not valid in Portugal. Immediate exchange for a Portuguese license is necessary. A driving test and relevant fees apply in these cases.
Required Documents for Exchange
To exchange your foreign license for a Portuguese one, ensure you fulfill these requirements:
- Reach the minimum legal driving age in Portugal for the specific vehicle category.
- Be physically, mentally, and psychologically fit.
- Be a resident in Portugal.
- Not be prohibited or banned from driving.
Submit the following documents:
- Valid foreign driving license (original, to be handed in after receiving an email notification from IMT)
- Identification document
- Proof of residence in Portugal
- Tax identification number (NIF)
- Electronic medical certificate (sent online by the doctor to IMT)
- Favorable psychological assessment certificate (for specific vehicle categories)
For licenses from countries with bilateral agreements or not party to international conventions, additional documents such as a statement from the issuing authority and translated license may be required.
To exchange your license, complete the online form on the IMTonline portal. Attach the necessary documents and pay a fee of 30 euros. After submission, you’ll receive instructions for biometric data collection. The Portuguese license is typically delivered within 60 days, with a provisional license issued during this period.
Note: The expiration date on the Portuguese license might differ from the original license.
- The exchange request is subject to proof of residence in the national territory.
- Compliance with Order no. 12/31/2021 is mandatory for the license exchange process.
- Regulation of Legal Driving Qualification approved by Decree-Law no. 138/2012 , of July 5th, amended by Decree-Law no. 37/2014 , of March 14th, Decree-Law no . of July 29th, Decree-Law 151/2017 , of December 7th, Decree-Law 2/2020 , of January 14th and Decree-Law 102-B/2020 , of December 9th, as well as Directive 2006/126 /CE , of the European Parliament and the Council, regarding driving licenses, in its current wording.