Ask Afpop – Driving Licence exchange

The application for exchange of a UK driving licence for a Portuguese one is obligatory for residents and must be started within 90 days of the driver becoming a resident in Portugal.

Failure to exchange your driving licence within 90 days as referred will mean that the driver can be fined by the traffic police. Failure to exchange the driving licence within two years of becoming a resident means the driver will have to take and pass a driving test in Portugal in order to obtain a Portuguese driving licence.

The first step for the exchange is to obtain the required medical certificate (see below), as you must have that before submitting the application for exchange.

To exchange your UK driving licence for a Portuguese one, you will need:
▪ The existing driving licence
▪ Your Portuguese fiscal number
▪ Residency Card
▪ Passport
▪ Electronic Medical Certificate (done by a private doctor or your family doctor at the local health centre. The medical certificates are sent automatically online by the doctor), For this certificate, you need to present your Nº de Utente (Portuguese state healthcare number)
▪ For certain categories, a psychological exam is also needed (for example HGV)
▪ Certificate of Authenticity, which UK citizens can obtain from the DVLA website – called Certificate of Entitlement.

The price for the exchange is approximately €30.

The application is done online on the site of the Portuguese driving authorities IMT (Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes) –

After submitting the online submission form, you will receive an automatic confirmation that the application has been received, with a process number. It is a good idea to print that and carry it with your UK licence, at least until you have your Portuguese licence.

You will then receive an email from IMT requesting payment of the fee and information about how and where to send the original UK driving licence (registered post). Once you have paid, they will reply including the “temporary driving permit” allowing you to drive in Portugal. If they need any biometric data from you, you will be informed to book an appointment. The new Portuguese licence will be sent to you by registered post.

In Portugal, you must always carry your original driving licence when driving along with your ID.

It is also important to know the ages where the Portuguese licence must be renewed in order to avoid a possible expiry. They are different than the rules in the UK. The expiry date is always noted on the Portuguese driving licence, so make sure to be aware and follow that. Renewals can be started six months before the expiry date.

The Portuguese licence is accepted in the UK and there is no requirement to get an International Licence when visiting the UK.

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