Driving licence

Old Oct 27th 2019, 5:13 pm
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Default Driving licence

I have 2 years left on my UK driving licence. We are moving to Central Portugal. What is the procedure? My current driving licence has our UK address which is a rented flat which we will obviously end tenancy when we move to Portugal. Do we change to Portuguese licence? What is time frame? and what happens when we return to UK to visit? Also do we need to inform DVLA here in UK that we are moving to Portugal? How long does the Portuguese licence last for once transferred? Apologies, so many questions.
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Old Oct 27th 2019, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Driving licence

Holders of driving licences from EU member states have the option to either register their driving licences with IMT or exchange them for Portuguese driving licences & holders of driving licences from (most) non EU member states are required to exchange them for Portuguese driving licences within 90 days of becoming a registered resident of Portugal.
If you have a driving licence from another EU member state then you need to exchange it for a Portuguese driving licence before your old one expires so in most cases, it’s a better long term plan to exchange than it is to register.

There are however a few countries whose driving licences are not recognised by Portugal & in those cases, the holder will be required to take a driving test here & you’ll find a list of licences that are recognised on the IMT website at imtt.pt.

The documents required to do the licence exchange are:
Letter from a Doctor stating there is no medical reason you may not drive & listing the classifications of vehicles you are entitled to.
Residency document.
NIF document/number.
Driving licence.
Proof of vehicle classification categories from the traffic dept from the country you’re coming from. For example, in the case of the UK, it’s the DVLA & of South Africa it’s from the SA Road Traffic Dept.

If you have HGV or PSV classifications on your licence, you need to sit a psycho test beforehand………….. This presumably is to ensure you’re psycho enough to tailgate every car you possibly can? Lol!

Then after paying the required fee (€30 at the time of writing) they issue you with a temporary licence usually valid for 3 months & if your new licence has not arrived in that time period you need to return to IMT for another temporary licence.
Licence exchanges have to be done in person as they will photograph you & you will need to give an e-signature.

A few words of warning:

IMT often ‘forget’ to issue the full/unlimited motorcycle classification so if you’re entitled to it, check it’s on the temporary licence before you leave the office. Portugal requires a separate test to tow trailers in excess of 750 kg laden weight so if you already have that on your licence try to ensure they add that as well. - If you don’t then you cannot tow trailers above that weight.

You are entitled to retain all categories you have actually passed a test for but you will lose categories that you had under ‘Grand Father rights’ which means (for example) if you passed your UK car test before the separate trailer test was introduced then you will lose the larger trailer category.

Please note that if you exchanged your driving licence for a Portuguese one in your early 60s (for example) the expiry date shown on the new licence will be 10 years hence when you are 70 but if you read the PT Road Code you’ll see that you need to revalidate it at every renewal date as dictated by the Portuguese Road Code which is actually: 60 – 65 – 70 – 72 – 74 – 76 etc so don’t get caught out!

Good luck!
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Old Oct 27th 2019, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: Driving licence

Thanks, that is very useful info.

Do I need to register my UK driving licence with IMT within a certain amount of days? Plan is to change it to Portuguese licence. I m a little confused over time frames. Gov UK website says need to register UK driving licence within 60 days.

Is this correct:
So, arrive 01/01/2020 and register UK licence with IMT within 60 days from 01/01/2020.
Then once have residency registration cert I can exchange UK licence for Portuguese licence. Is there any time frame if I am from UK?
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Old Oct 27th 2019, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Driving licence

Brexit changes things by the day but easier to exchange asap so it's done.
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Old Oct 27th 2019, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Driving licence

Originally Posted by Helen248 View Post
Thanks, that is very useful info.

Do I need to register my UK driving licence with IMT within a certain amount of days? Plan is to change it to Portuguese licence. I m a little confused over time frames. Gov UK website says need to register UK driving licence within 60 days.

Is this correct:
So, arrive 01/01/2020 and register UK licence with IMT within 60 days from 01/01/2020.
Then once have residency registration cert I can exchange UK licence for Portuguese licence. Is there any time frame if I am from UK?

Before you become a resident you are just a tourist, so I think the clock starts ticking for everything once you are officially a resident. According to the IMT website you need proof of residency to register or exchange your license so you can't do either before you have sorted your residency out.

You don't need to register your license before you exchange it - you can go straight for the exchange.

As soon as we had our 5 year residency form from the Camara we registered at the Health Centre, to get the necessary medical, then we went straight to IMT to exchange our licence.

Last edited by AliceCaroline; Oct 27th 2019 at 10:56 pm.
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Old Oct 28th 2019, 12:04 am
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Default Re: Driving licence

Originally Posted by mfesharne View Post
Brexit changes things by the day but easier to exchange asap so it's done.
Seconded. Just make a note of your GB driving licence number so you can easily reclaim your GB licence if and when you return to the UK.
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Old Oct 28th 2019, 2:04 am
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Default Re: Driving licence

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Seconded. Just make a note of your GB driving licence number so you can easily reclaim your GB licence if and when you return to the UK.
My Portuguese DL has a line of text which is my UK licence.

I wonder if, once the dreaded B event occurs, we will be able to reapply for a UK licence. Whilst one can only hold a single licence within the EU, I would have thought it possible to have an EU as well as another non-EU licence.

Anyone know chapter and verse on this?
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Old Oct 28th 2019, 2:36 am
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Default Re: Driving licence

Originally Posted by Diddion View Post
My Portuguese DL has a line of text which is my UK licence.

I wonder if, once the dreaded B event occurs, we will be able to reapply for a UK licence. Whilst one can only hold a single licence within the EU, I would have thought it possible to have an EU as well as another non-EU licence.

Anyone know chapter and verse on this?
Your GB driving licence number will start with the first five letters of your surname.

Not whilst you are living outside the UK. If you return to the UK then you just do a straight swap of your Portuguese licence which is free of charge.
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Old Oct 28th 2019, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: Driving licence

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Your GB driving licence number will start with the first five letters of your surname. ...
Mine doesn't but then again mine is a UK licence rather than just GB.
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Old Oct 28th 2019, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: Driving licence

Originally Posted by RichardHenshall View Post
Mine doesn't but then again mine is a UK licence rather than just GB.
NI licences differ.
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Old Oct 28th 2019, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: Driving licence

Just keeping you on your toes! Daft thing is that they're issued by DVA in Swansea, despite being different in still having a paper counterpart, for example.
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Old Oct 28th 2019, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Driving licence

Originally Posted by RichardHenshall View Post
Just keeping you on your toes! Daft thing is that they're issued by DVA in Swansea, despite being different in still having a paper counterpart, for example.
It does appear to be one of those NI different-just-for-the-sake-of-it type of arrangements.
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