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Does Portugal recognises foreign driving licenses? Here are the new updates 2022 American Canada UK

Does Portugal recognises foreign driving licenses Here are the new updates 2022 American Canada UK

If you have a foreign driving license and you are driving in Portugal, you should be aware of the new rules that were published in July 2022 that allows drivers with licenses from United States, Canada, UK, and other countries with a bilateral agreement with the Portuguese State to be officially recognised. In this post we tell you more about this important change.


The Portuguese Government and IMT just shared that divers with licenses issued by Member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) can now drive in Portugal without changing their licence.

OECD countries are: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

CPLP countries are: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, São Tomé e Príncipe, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique.

This new decree-law was published in the Diário da República, and states that the exchange of driving licenses has been waived, “enabling driving in the national territory with titles issued in those States, through the recognition of foreign driving titles”.

So this means, if you have a valid driving license from any of the mentioned countries, you can drive in all the territory of Portugal Continental and the islands, archipelagos of Madeira and Azores.


Foreign driving licenses:  New Rules for application 2022

The new recognition of foreign driving licenses applies to driver’s licenses in which the issuing State subscribes in a  bilateral agreement with the Portuguese State, if no more than 15 years have elapsed since the issue or the last renewal and provided that the holder has less than 60 years of age.

The law says that these driving licenses only allow driving in portuguese territory “if their holders are of the minimum age required by Portuguese law for the respective license, and are valid and not apprehended, suspended, expired or revoked by force of legal provision, administrative decision or court decision applied to its holder in Portugal or in the issuing State”. The minimum age in Portugal to drive is 18 years old.

“Freedom of movement is an essential element for the full exercise of citizenship”, says the published decree-law, stressing that “Portugal has sought to strengthen the rights of foreign citizens who travel to our country, whether in terms of travel temporary accommodation for tourist purposes, whether travelling to work or invest in our country”.


Official Sources:

Portuguese Goverment:  https://dre.pt/dre/detalhe/decreto-lei/46-2022-185971761 

American Embassy in Portugal: https://pt.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/additional-resources-of-u-s-citizens/driver-license-exchange/?_ga=2.157665722.1280275034.1657907597-1759256468.1657907597

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Does Portugal recognises foreign driving licenses Here are the new updates 2022 American Canada UK

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