Renewing a Portuguese driving licence

Re: Exchange of your driving licence for a Portuguese one. Beware!

Dear Editor,

I sympathise with Georges Kiener’s plight on exchanging a driving licence. I eventually managed to exchange mine after a more than two-year process. This involved four separate applications to IMT. The first was in October 2020.

The last part I thought was a success as I went to Setúbal on August 9, 2022 with all my documents and exchanged my licence for the infamous A4 piece of paper. Mine only lasted for two months rather than six. I was assured that the plastic licence would arrive within a few weeks and certainly within the two months. Two months came and went – still no licence.

Various chasing emails assured me that the licence was in process. Eventually, one of my emails elicited the response that all documents had been checked, but my medical letter, because I am over 60, had expired; it only lasts six months. Because of this, IMT just parked the application. The only reason I discovered this was because I emailed them.

New letter issued by doctor confirming I was fit to drive, and new appointment booked in Setúbal. At this appointment, they were very helpful and extended my A4 piece of paper. They assured me all in order and licence would be received within two weeks. This actually happened, and I now have a Portuguese licence. The whole process took two years and three months.

Lessons: keep chasing IMT. They will not volunteer if they view the paperwork as incomplete. If you are over 60, watch the medical certificate. IMT take so long to process documents that the original certificate will probably expire. Unfortunately, I do not think IMT will start checking documents until you surrender your foreign licence, so you have to live with A4 document. Persevere.

Iain Stewart

Vila Nogueira de Azeitão