When does "residency" begin for GV holders? (for the purpose of importing a car)

For the purpose of importing a car, without ISV, there is a stipulation that you must have owned the car 6 months before moving to Portugal. What is the definition of that date of when you have “moved to Portugal?” Would it be when the residency card is issued, or some specific entry in to PT after holding the residency card?

Does anyone know?

Most people (and their attorneys) would say the GV clock for citizenship starts when you get your residency card, but there have been some who have said various people in government have told them from the date of pre approval.

I understand that for the car import ISV exemption purposes you need to prove that you cancelled your prior residency in your ‘home’ country, which must be the same country where you owned the car for 6 months prior to the change of your place of residence.

The date of issue of your PT residence permit (e.g. GV card) is not relevant in this case.

Btw I am currently in the process of importing a car into PT, it’s in transit at the moment by sea :smiley:


Thanks @tommigun . What do you mean by “cancelled your prior residency.” I didn’t think there was an explicit cancelation anywhere.

1 Like

Not sure where you looked up the requirements, but here’s one of the official sources:

" * Certificado oficial de residência emitido pelo país de onde vem, que comprove:

  • que está inscrita/o no registo de habitantes desse país
  • as datas de início e fim da residência nesse país"

Basically you need an official report from the country you are moving FROM proving that
a) you were resident in that country (including the start date of residence)
b) you ceased to be the resident of that country (including the end date of your residence)

That end date of your residence will be considered as your ‘move to Portugal’ date for the ISV exemption purpose.

And here’s the corresponding guidance from the UK government:

" For the purpose of assessing your eligibility for tax exemption, you will need to complete Form 1460.1 (Pedidos no Ambito do ISV) and upload this on to the DAV, together with the documents listed above and:

** a transfer of residence certificate from the British Consulate in Lisbon or Portimão, if you are a British national and are moving to Portugal from the UK. Apply online to get a transfer of residence certificate*
** if you are moving to Portugal from another country, you will need a cancellation of residence certificate from the authorities in your country of residence showing the dates on which you took up and then cancelled your residence in that country*
** evidence of residence in the country from which you are transferring, such as rent receipts, utility bills, salary slips, proof of pension payments or national insurance contributions*

The customs authority may ask for official translations of all documents."

1 Like

just to share some interesting piece of news here:

Basically what happened is that 21 more countries were added to the list of ‘allowed’ driver’s licences, i.e. immigrant drivers from these countries will no longer need to exchange their original country licence to a Portuguese one.
This allowance was already in place for the immigrants from the EU+UK, now added all CPLP and OECD countries.


The rule applies to those who are under 60 years of age and authorisation to drive with the CPLP or OECD licence is given for the first 185 days after entrance into Portugal, for non-residents. https://dre.pt/dre/detalhe/decreto-lei/46-2022-185971761

Thanks for the reference to the source.
The papers seem to have reported some alternative facts, as they habitually do…

So… just to share my experience with the car importation process, I have managed to get the car delivered safely to where I am in Portugal, and also cleared the customs under a temporary import option.
Now I have 6 months to sort out my ISV+IVA exemption documents and complete the ‘full’ import procedure.
But I am already able to drive the car here legally (still on foreign plates) with a temporary paper issued by customs.

Starting on the full import (with ISV exemption), I was so far able to obtain the Atestado do Residencia at my local Junta de Freguesia. It was extremely easy, no funny questons asked, just showed my passport and my PT home registration certificate (certidao do registo predial), got the paper one day later for a 5 EUR fee.
Also applied for homologation at the local traffic department, hope it all goes well too.


Hi Tommy,

Thank you for all the useful information.

When you are done with the whole process, would you please share it? What are the associated requirements and costs (registration, excise tax, etc.) of owning the car in Portugal? What kind of insurance is required and what’s a good insurance company and policy to use?

Many thanks.


Ok, the homologation is now successfully done!
Interestingly, at the application stage the Traffic Department asked for my PT residence card, which I do not yet possess. Instead I supplied the screenshot from the ARI portal with my ‘Candidatura aceite’ status, and they were pretty happy to accept it.

So the next steps are to collect my home country documents such as residence cancellation, utility bills, make notarized/apostilled translations to Portuguese etc.

So far my experience with this process has been quite positive, virtually no queues at the offices I visited, people are available by phone or email to check progress or follow up on details, and very reasonable/flexible treatment of non-standard situations or questions.


congrats, Tommy! It’s nice to hear some good news every now and again.


A quick update to let y’all know that the technical inspection has been now successfully done too.
Very straightforward, took about 30 min and a nice chat with the technicians before receiving the report.