Driving licence renewals to get easier from 2017

Renewal procedures for Portuguese driving licences are to become easier from 2017 – for Portuguese nationals, at least.

Graça Fonseca, secretary of state for administrative modernisation, explained yesterday (Wednesday) that licences will no longer require the holder’s address to be displayed – removing the need for people to renew if they move their place of residence – and validity will extend from 10 to 15 years.

Changes – which come due to IMT (mobility institute) IT systems being ‘linked’ to the health ministry via Simplex – mean that medical declarations will also be able to pass “automatically” when renewal times come up, while photos and finger print details will be “extracted” from people’s citizens cards.

The moves will cut down on as many as 400,000 renewals per year logged simply to the fact that people change addresses, explains Público – adding that another measure to speed up a process that has been mired with delays for years is to allow ‘conservatórias’ (registry offices) to process renewals paperwork as well.

But how this can help foreign residents with Portuguese licences (as all bona-fide residents require) is not explained.

Foreign residents are excluded from Portuguese citizens cards (cartão do cidadão), so the interlinking of systems and data may not be as ‘automatic’.

Nonetheless, the changes are already underway, Fonseca told journalists, with a view to moves coming into effect in Lisbon and Porto this year – and the whole country being covered by “the beginning of 2017”

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