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Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Old Jan 9th 2020, 10:47 am
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Default Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

I have NHR status (since 2019) but haven't yet exchanged my UK driving licence for a Portuguese one. I'm unclear if I need to do this before 31st January 2020 (brexit day) in order to avoid having to take a Portuguese driving test. At one point I was informed the cut off date would be the 31st December 2020 when the transition period ends.
Can anybody provide clarification please?
Many thanks
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Old Jan 9th 2020, 11:18 am
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by Pivobelly View Post
I have NHR status (since 2019) but haven't yet exchanged my UK driving licence for a Portuguese one. I'm unclear if I need to do this before 31st January 2020 (brexit day) in order to avoid having to take a Portuguese driving test. At one point I was informed the cut off date would be the 31st December 2020 when the transition period ends.
Can anybody provide clarification please?
Many thanks
It's usually 90 days from when you get residency for non EU member state citizens but the Brexit situation has a period of grace BUT (note the big BUT) UK Embassy advice is to do it sooner rather than later & as you're going to have to do it anyway, you might as well get it done..................... It's a doddle so why wait?
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Old Jan 9th 2020, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

I agree with mfesharne. Cost is low and all it needs is a visit to a regional IMT (directorate for mobility and transport) with the old licence, a confirmation from a doctor that you are fit to drive (easy to get, just a quick appointment) and the other usual documents such as passport, residencia and so on. Two particularly strong reasons for doing this:
  1. If you unfortunately have your licence suspended in Portugal, you will have to take a Portuguese test if your licence is a UK one. Unlikely to be the case with a Portuguese licence unless your transgression was particularly serious.
  2. If you allow your UK licence to expire, you will have to take a Portuguese test. Not so for a Portuguese licence, as long as the expiry was not too long ago (I think it is 2 years).......as I discovered.
However, bear in mind that you may lose some entitlements, such as being able to drive a 7.5 tonne vehicle, when you exchange your licence. And you would not be permitted to drive a UK registered car in Portugal on a Portuguese driving licence.
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Old Jan 10th 2020, 7:25 am
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

More accurately, a registered resident of PT can only drive a foreign registered car if they own it AND it has begun the matriculation process.
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Old Jan 10th 2020, 7:31 am
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by mfesharne View Post
More accurately, a registered resident of PT can only drive a foreign registered car if they own it AND it has begun the matriculation process.
I stand corrected!
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Old Jan 10th 2020, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Thank you everybody for the insightful replies.
Is the exchange process instantaneous, if not, how long is the wait for the new licence to be issued, & is on a collection or mail basis?
Many thanks
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Old Jan 10th 2020, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Mine was posted to me after two or three weeks; I know that others have waited months. In the meantime, your UK licence is retained by the authorities, and you are given a paper temporary licence so that you may continue to drive - however, that paper licence does not permit you to drive outside Portugal, so take this into account when you start the process.
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Old Jan 10th 2020, 4:25 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Mine took 13 weeks & was done at Coimbra
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Old Jan 10th 2020, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by mfesharne View Post
Mine took 13 weeks & was done at Coimbra
Mine also at Coimbra. Maybe just because I am more good looking than you?
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Old Jan 10th 2020, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by Diddion View Post
Mine also at Coimbra. Maybe just because I am more good looking than you?
Very possibly......... I am admittedly a fugly bugger. lol!
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Old Jan 10th 2020, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

In Faro it can take 6 months, 8 months or even more than 10 months.
We are now in this process. The problem is that we cannot drive outside Portugal during all these months, so we are blocked here.
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Old Jan 14th 2020, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by mfesharne View Post
Very possibly......... I am admittedly a fugly bugger. lol!
Thanks for the further clarification. I'm surprised how long people are waiting. I'm traveling internationally every month & not having a valid licence with me would be very problematic. Given the delays experienced by other commentators, I'm wondering if I should hold onto my UK licence. I don't own a car here in Portugal but occasionally hire one. I already have IDP's which will be necessary in order to drive in the EU on a UK licence after Aug 2020. But am I missing something important relative to my NHR status? Thanks
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Old Jan 14th 2020, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

The waiting periods appear to vary enormously & often by area.

Faro & surrounding areas are often in the region of 6 months but when I did mine in Coimbra it was 13 weeks & I've heard of people in the North getting the new licence in a week or two so it seems a bit of a lottery.

All that said, the link below will change things for many.

https://dre.pt/web/guest/pesquisa/-/...F7CT0TLiYA0c7M
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Old Jan 14th 2020, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by mfesharne View Post
The waiting periods appear to vary enormously & often by area.

Faro & surrounding areas are often in the region of 6 months but when I did mine in Coimbra it was 13 weeks & I've heard of people in the North getting the new licence in a week or two so it seems a bit of a lottery.

All that said, the link below will change things for many.

https://dre.pt/web/guest/pesquisa/-/...F7CT0TLiYA0c7M
Thanks a lot for this link. Important change!!!!!!!
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Old Jan 14th 2020, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by Pilou View Post
Thanks a lot for this link. Important change!!!!!!!
I'm guessing it must be another Simplex change which are now coming in thick & fast........... another one that looks likely to happen is the language test for (at least some) citizenship applications being no longer necessary.................. The ones for citizenship through marriage & with children were done away with either last year or the year before.
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