About: Driving in Portugal with a Non-Portuguese licence

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3rd Oct 2016

1. Driving with a licence issued by another EU or EEA member country.
Valid driving licences issued by any EU-member country are considered valid in Portugal, as are driving licences issued by countries within the European Economic Area. (EEA countries include: member States of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). Portugal, in common with the other states mentioned offers reciprocal rights to drivers from within these areas, provided the following  listed conditions are respected:

  • (a) The licence is valid in its issuing country.
  • (b) The licence is valid for the category of vehicle being driven.
  • (c) The driver meets or exceeds the correct minimum age for the relevant licence category of the vehicle.
  • (d) The driver has not been suspended or barred from driving in the country that issued the licence.
  • (e) The licence was not issued while the applicant / driver  was barred from driving or being issued a licence in Portugal.

2. Driving with any international driving permit from outside the EU or EEA.
Drivers holding licences issued by any country other than above must be in possession of a valid International Driving Permit issued in their home country before entering Portugal. This permit is only valid for use in Portugal for 180 days.

3. Make yourself aware of these essential facts:

  • (a) No driver may simultaneously hold more than one driving licence issued by any of member state of the European Union or European Economic Area.
  • (b) Holders of driving licences issued by any member state of the EU or EEA and holders of international driving permits are only allowed to drive motor vehicles in Portugal during their first 180 days in the country. (artigo 125 / 3)
  • (c) From the date on which a licence holder establishes formal residence in Portugal, He or she must:
    • (c.1) Advise IMT of the correct residential address within 60 days.
    • (c.2) Exchange their Non-Portuguese driving licence for a Portuguese licence within 90 days. (artigo 125 / 4)
  • (d) IMT (Instituto da Mobilidade dos Transportes) will contact the relevant authority in the EU / EEA country that issued the driving licence to check if there have been any restrictions, endorsements, suspensions etc.
  • (e) All drivers resident in Portugal have a duty to inform the Department of Motor Vehicles (IMT) office of any change of residential address within 60 days. (artigo 15)


Source: Nº 1, artigo 125, Lei No 114/94, 03 de Maio.
Source: Nº 2, artigo 15, Decreto-Lei No 138/2012, 05 de julho.

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