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Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Old Feb 14th 2020, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

We have SWISS driving licences, having exchanged our U.K. licences for them some time ago. We missed the 90 day automatic exchange window. My wife submitted her licence for exchange in March 2019 under the old rule. Her licence was removed from her and she was given a piece of paper which says she is no longer allowed to drive. We have been waiting for her to be called for a driving test. We have been told by other SWISS holders that it can take up to 2 years to be called. When the law changed on 15th January we went back to IMT and they switched her application to the new law and gave her the paper licence which allows her to drive again. She is now awaiting the plastic licence to arrive in the post. I put my application in last week, within the two year period of having become resident in Portugal, it was exchanged for the paper licence without issue and I await the plastic licence. So if the U.K. licence falls into the group with the Swiss licence then you will have two years from becoming a Portuguese resident to make the exchange. We had not registered our licences prior to our applications.

Last edited by Mitzi2012; Feb 14th 2020 at 10:09 pm.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by Mitzi2012 View Post
We have SWISS driving licences, having exchanged our U.K. licences for them some time ago. We missed the 90 day automatic exchange window. My wife submitted her licence for exchange in March 2019 under the old rule. Her licence was removed from her and she was given a piece of paper which says she is no longer allowed to drive. We have been waiting for her to be called for a driving test. We have been told by other SWISS holders that it can take up to 2 years to be called. When the law changed on 15th January we went back to IMT and they switched her application to the new law and gave her the paper licence which allows her to drive again. She is now awaiting the plastic licence to arrive in the post. I put my application in last week, within the two year period of having become resident in Portugal, it was exchanged for the paper licence without issue and I await the plastic licence. So if the U.K. licence falls into the group with the Swiss licence then you will have two years from becoming a Portuguese resident to make the exchange. We had not registered our licences prior to our applications.
The exchange within 2 years isn't in any doubt, the doubt is whether the licence is valid to drive on beyond 90 days after becoming resident.
Your's most definitely wasn't between March 2019 (when you became aware it wasn't valid because they refused your wife) and when you got your piece of paper last week.
i.e. You and your wife were both treated under the new law that allows an expired (Bilateral Agreement - Swiss, or 1968 Vienna Convention - UK) driving licence to be exchanged provided it expired within 2 years of becoming resident.

Last edited by Bomber Harris; Feb 14th 2020 at 11:07 pm.
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Old Feb 15th 2020, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

The Swiss Licence was valid to drive in Portugal for six months after becoming resident. I am not sure if this still holds under the change in the law.
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Old Feb 15th 2020, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by Mitzi2012 View Post
The Swiss Licence was valid to drive in Portugal for six months after becoming resident. I am not sure if this still holds under the change in the law.
Section 125 of the RHLC hasn't been changed, a Swiss licence is still only valid to drive with for 185 days if you're a non resident, and must be exchanged within 90 days of becoming resident.
125.3 - The license holders referred to in paragraphs c), d) and e) of paragraph 1 are authorized to drive motor vehicles in Portugal during the first 185 days following their entry into the country, provided they are not residents.
125.4 - After establishing residence in Portugal, the holder of the licenses referred to in the preceding paragraph must exchange the driving license within 90 days.
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Old May 5th 2020, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Could somebody please advise if I have the exchange requirements to exchange my uk license correct?

My residence permit was issued Jan 24th 2020

I will have to go to office of Faro and arrive very early to get a ticket or download an app I can’t find to get a virtual ticket (Please advise the name of the app if it exists)

Provide the following documentation

 Identification document (passport)
 Proof of residence in Portugal
 Fiscal identification number
 Medical report (Is this needed?, I’m in my 50’s)
 Original driving licence (UK pink license)
 Declaration of authenticity issued by the driving licence issuing authority (Is this needed?)

The costs involved

 If the application is made within the 90 day period, the fee is €30,00 for the issue of the licence
 If the application is made after the 90 day period, the fee is €75,00 (€15 for the issue of a learner’s permit, €30 for the practical test and €30 for the issue of the licence)

As I’m slightly over 90 days is this still valid or is there a grace period due to covid?

I also read that some people drove to a different center due to Faro being a nightmare, but at this point I presume I shouldn’t be driving anywhere?

Any insights would be greatly appreciated
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Old May 5th 2020, 4:57 pm
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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
I would just get it done now. After the end of December 2020 and assuming that the U.K. and PT Governments reach an agreement , similar to that between PT and Switzerland, then you will have two years after becoming Resident To exchange your licence. If you miss that window then you will be required to take a practical driving exam. If you ever return to live in the UK you are entitled to your UK licence back in exchange for your PT one.
You don’t say which month you became PT resident in 2019 but the two year timeframe starts as of that date and is subject to an as yet unknown agreement if you miss the December 2020 window. Why take the risk?
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Old May 6th 2020, 8:01 am
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by algarvebound View Post
Could somebody please advise if I have the exchange requirements to exchange my uk license correct?
OK, I'll have a bash at this.

Originally Posted by algarvebound View Post
My residence permit was issued Jan 24th 2020

I will have to go to office of Faro and arrive very early to get a ticket or download an app I can’t find to get a virtual ticket (Please advise the name of the app if it exists)
At the moment, due to the Covid-19 situation, not all the points of attendance to the public for public services are up and running, and those which are require you to make an appointment.

Under normal circumstances, you could use the app which is called SigaApp to get a ticket on the day for the queue - info here but I wouldn't have thought so right now, as it's not the same thing as having an appointment booked. I would suggest an initial approach via one of the methods published on the IMT website contacts page

Originally Posted by algarvebound View Post
Provide the following documentation

 Identification document (passport)
 Proof of residence in Portugal
 Fiscal identification number
 Medical report (Is this needed?, I’m in my 50’s)
 Original driving licence (UK pink license)
 Declaration of authenticity issued by the driving licence issuing authority (Is this needed?)
Yes, you do need a medical. The report will be transmitted electronically to IMT - I think (?) the process might require that you have a PT health service number. Are you enrolled in that yet?

No, you don't need a declaration of authenticity for a UK licence.

Originally Posted by algarvebound View Post
The costs involved

 If the application is made within the 90 day period, the fee is €30,00 for the issue of the licence
 If the application is made after the 90 day period, the fee is €75,00 (€15 for the issue of a learner’s permit, €30 for the practical test and €30 for the issue of the licence)

As I’m slightly over 90 days is this still valid or is there a grace period due to covid?
During the Brexit transition period, UK citizens are being treated as previously, so the requirement is that you register (free) or exchange (cost €30) your licence within 60 days of fixing residence. The 90 days etc doesn't apply at the moment. I think it's unlikely the IMT would ever have fined you for doing so late - much more likely to be the traffic police if you were stopped while out and about, but in any case allowances are officially being made for some documentation problems during this crisis.
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Old May 6th 2020, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

“Red Eric” Thank you very much for your replay, that’s incredibly helpful.

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Old May 6th 2020, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by algarvebound View Post
“Red Eric” Thank you very much for your replay, that’s incredibly helpful.
Kindly let me know how you get on. I’ve been out of country, & only returning after covid. My exchange is still pending due to the need to have continuous access to my license.
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Old May 14th 2020, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

An update:

I had to get my Portuguese heath number (Numero De Utente) that involved a visit to my local health dept who told me to contact the regional office in Loulé, I did that via phone and emailed the documents, they sent the number via email.

I then scheduled an appointment at my local private clinic and they took care of the test which was basically listen to my heart and reading back some very large letters.

I am now trying to get an appointment at the Faro IMT office by emailing customer service who gave me email address of an employee to contact but so far after a couple of days I have not received a reply. If anyone has a better way to get an appointment I’d appreciate any help.
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Old May 15th 2020, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever get a local licence, especially if the UK makes a direct deal with Portugal. I guess I wouldn't be allowed to drive a Portuguese plated car with my NHR status?
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Old May 15th 2020, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by Pivobelly View Post
I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever get a local licence, especially if the UK makes a direct deal with Portugal. I guess I wouldn't be allowed to drive a Portuguese plated car with my NHR status?
Driving a car and NHR status have no connection.. What driving licence you can or cannot use in Portugal is decided by your residence status.
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Old May 15th 2020, 1:06 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by Pivobelly View Post
... I guess I wouldn't be allowed to drive a Portuguese plated car with my NHR status?
Why would your tax status have any bearing on your entitlement to drive?
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Old May 15th 2020, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Final update. I emailed the main customer service again and they provided me with an appointment the following day. Arrived 30 mins early, had to wait outside for a few minutes then security guard checked a list and I was allowed to enter. It only took 15mins to do the exchange. 30 euros. I was the only person inside when I was being processed.
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Old May 15th 2020, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: Exchanging UK driving licence for Portuguese

Originally Posted by RichardHenshall View Post
Why would your tax status have any bearing on your entitlement to drive?
I thought the NHR is a form of residency, no? I only mention it as it signifies that I do not have permanent residency, & at this moment in time I'm not expecting to. It's for this reason, along with the difficulty to complete the licence exchange due to my travel circumstances, that I was speculating on whether I would be able/motivated to complete the process. I agree its nothing to do with tax, in my case its to do with the duration of my residency.
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