How to get a Portuguese drivers licence

Good morning,
Has anyone got any experience in getting a Portuguese drivers licence as the holder of a GV?


Portugal has a DL exchange program with the U.S., involving consulate verified driving histories from the state you came from and medical exam clearances in Portugal. You give up your U.S. license, so don’t do it unless you are moving to Portugal full-time. Sorry, I don’t know what the process is with other countries.

Hi, I am going through that process at this time, I took my information to a driving school, and they are organizing everything for me including Dr.'s visit.

I’ve gathered all the docs and sent them online for review 1,5 months ago. The next step should be to receive an invoice, pay it and send the original license to them. But, as it is usual in PT - no news from them, and no clue when they will be.

If one with GV or eventually a PT passport never stays in PT for say more than 180 days of the year, then can s/he just drive with our his/her country’s license? (eg, US licenses)

If s/he wants to buy a car in PT, would the answer change?

I read that if you don’t switch your foreign license for a Portuguese one within two years of gaining residency that you need to retake a driving exam. It isn’t clear to me if that means the cutoff is two years after you get a residency card or two years of residing in Portugal full time. Anyone have any knowledge of that?

I submitted the form online to exchange my US license on March 9th 2022 after going in person to the IMT in Lisbon, who told me everything now must be completed online first. This was different information than the local driving school told me, fwiw.
Attached all the documentation, and the report from the PT medial exam I had completed online previously, submitted the driving record from the US state (no consulate/no apostille/no translation).
I got three emails immediately after submitting, the summary of the form/uploaded documentation with an order number.
Then an email stating:
ESTADO: Aguarda registo | Waiting for registration
Then immediately after that another email stating:
ESTADO: Pedido atribuído | Request assigned

I’ve been waiting for more information, but it’s only been a month so far.
Anyone have a timeline on when they’ve received the invoice to pay and how long it took to get the license exchanged?

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One of the few effective policy updates PT has implemented lately so they/we have one less thing to worry about :tada: let’s hope they will keep doing more of these things (e.g., minimize number of biometrics required) :sweat_smile:

Reviving this topic with a question. I’m about to move to PT, getting papers in order. We are in Hong Kong and over 60, so not eligible for the revised rules, and must exchange our licences. My wife and I got the HK Transport Department statements about our licence validity (there are two statements in order to cover all the questions asked by the IMT, so total 4 statements for both of us). All are in English.

Do these need to be apostilled? I don’t see a specific requirement for Apostille on the IMT website.

If they do need Apostille, must they also be notarized? Here in HK, they will only apostille such documents if they are either notarized by a notary public (who charge around 200 euros per document) or witnessed by a government district officer. But they warn me that some countries only accept notarized-apostilled documents, and will reject those “only” witnessed by a government officer even if they have the Apostille. Whereas other countries are fine with either. They don’t have a list of such countries. I sure don’t want to pay 800 euros equivalent to a notary if I don’t have to.

Can someone shed some light on this for me?

Hi, I went through that situation myself coming from the US, the only way I could exchange my driver’s license for a Portuguese one was by showing a paper of 3 years of driving records signed and stamped by the Motor vehicle division, I first showed a paper with 3 years of records not signed and it was not accepted.

Ho, he didn’t need to be notarized.