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New laws for foreign driving license come into force in Portugal

By August 2, 2022No Comments

People with driving licenses from Member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) no longer need to exchange them for a Portuguese document from 1st August.

The measure that comes into force now covers citizens of 18 countries: Angola, Australia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Canada, Chile, United States of America, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Mozambique, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, São Tome and Principe, Switzerland and Turkey, according to a report by CNN Portugal.

Thus, even if these citizens have a residence permit in Portugal, they no longer need to exchange their license for a Portuguese license.


However, there are limits to this change, according to the Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes (IMT) website, including the need for the holder of the document to be under 60 years of age.

The rules also only apply if more than 15 years have not passed since the issuance or last renewal of the foreign license. It is also necessary that the country issuing the license has been party to the Vienna or Geneva transit conventions or has signed a bilateral agreement with Portugal.

According to the amendment, which came into force this Monday and which had already been published in the Diário da República on July 12, the authorisation only applies to driving within the territory of Portugal, or in the country of origin, since the there is no question of switching to a Portuguese driving licence, which, for example, allows driving in European Union countries.

Until this Monday, citizens from countries with bilateral agreements with Portugal, such as those of the CPLP, had up to two years to exchange their driving license for a Portuguese one, at a cost of 30 euros. If the license had been issued by a country that has not acceded to international conventions, the holder must change it immediately to drive on Portuguese roads.