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Driving Licenses in Portugal

Wed, 1 Jun 2011

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It has been reported in the English speaking press that there are changes to driving licence regulations which are causing some concern amongst foreign residents.  The article refers to a law change but this is in fact not a recent law change and is one afpop informed Members about through  our UPDATE Magazine in 2008 and also in 2009. It is important to understand that the article only refers to people who possess PORTUGUESE ISSUED driving licences. If you are still using a licence which is issued in another country then the article does not apply to you. There is no need to change your Driving Licence to a Portuguese one just because you have moved here, although you are required to register your details with IMTT and our Information Bulleting P/04 explains the procedure.


Bulletin P/04 also contains all details and explains when licences need to be renewed. In short, PORTUGUESE issued driving licences must be renewed at the ages of 50, 60, 65, 70 and every 2 years after that for categories A, B and B+E. (Other categories have other requirements, but most drivers will fall into the categories stated here.)


If your driving licence was issued outside Portugal the expiry date on the licence is valid and the licence will only need to be renewed when your existing licence expires regardless of your age.


One other publication mentioned that if you have a foreign driving licence and drive a Portuguese vehicle, you must register the foreign driving licence with the Portuguese authorities. Please note that if you ARE NOT a resident in Portugal you are not required to do so. Some members were told to get a document from the Camara in order to register the driving licence, this document is THE RESIDENCIA CERTIFICATE.

Registering a driving licence with the Portuguese authorities is simply a way to update your address where it differs from that on your driving licence. This process can be done by post, using the form which is part of our P/04 information bulletin and it is free of charge. As a service to afpop Members, they can send the application and the required documents to the afpop office, where we will check that it is all correct and then forward it to IMTT on their behalf. There is no cost for this checking service to afpop Members.



This information has been compiled by afpop, the largest Association for foreign residents in Portugal.  afpop can be contacted at their office in Portimão: Urb Quinta do Morais, Poço Fojo Lote 6, Loja c, Apartado 728, 8501-917 Portimão.  Tel: 00351 282 458 509.  E-mail: info@afpop.com.  Web site: www.afpop.com