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How do we Get Drivers License...Live in Cascais

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Posts: 28
 Ncw
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(@ncw)
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We recently received our apostolizes driving records from the state of Florida (US). We arrived in PT 31Dec and have our SEF meeting in mid March. After we get our residency card I believe we can exchange our driver’s license. How do we do this? Also I am under the impression we must do within 6 months...is it 6 months from residency or 6 months from arrival in the country? Thanks. Again, we are living in CasCais.

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(@hartmill)
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Joined: 13 years ago

You need to visit your IMT office. That may be difficult at the moment.

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(@old-bloke)
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Joined: 12 years ago

Your licence has 6 months validity as a non-resident, but only 90 days validity from the date you get residency issued. Once you have residency it can be done online via the below link.

http://www.imtonline.pt/index.php/troca-de-titulos-conducao-estrangeiros/driving-licence-exchange109

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6 Replies
 Ncw
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(@ncw)
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@old-bloke I LOVE on line. Thanks for your help!

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 Ncw
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(@ncw)
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@old-bloke As I look at the online portal, unfortunately, it does not apply to Americans. Unless, I am missing something...which is always a possibility! I guess I wait for Covid restrictions to be lifted and find the nearest IMT office.

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(@old-bloke)
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@ncw

It does, the USA are a signatory to the relevant International Convention.

It's the second option down on the above link which is the same as what now applies to UK licence holders who didn't exchange before the end of the Brexit transition period.

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VIP Member
(@x-camone)
Joined: 11 years ago

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Posts: 2245

@old-bloke

The IMT website seems to be playing up a bit at the moment - I'm seeing a load of stuff at the top of the page on that link that shouldn't be there before you get to the part you're referring to.

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(@peggyl)
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@ncw

There is a form to fill out on-line and you will need to scan in all the required paperwork and return it all via an email address given on the IMT page. You should immediately get an email acknowledgement that your papers were received. Then after you wait & wait & wonder if everything is lost, you will get another email that your license is being processed and it should set up a face to face. This email is the proof that you have applied for the DL exchange & you need to keep it in the car. On the designated day, take in your passport size photos and exchange your old US DL for a new Portuguese DL.

@peggyL

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 Ncw
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(@ncw)
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@peggyl thanks so much!

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(@rdowney)
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I am from California and I am a dual Portuguese and American citizen.  We are relocating to Caldas da Rainha area.  I have read about the exchange process to receive a Portuguese license, but do I have to exchange (give up) my California License permenently or do I get to keep it and only show them my license.  I would need it when I am in the US to drive?  So I am a bit confused by the exchange process.  If I have to give it up is there another way to get this with out giving the California one up?  Thanks for any and all input.

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(@old-bloke)
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"do I have to exchange (give up) my California License"

Yes.

"I would need it when I am in the US to drive?"

A Portuguese licence can be used to drive in the USA.

"is there another way to get this with out giving the California one up?"

None that don't involve breaking one or more laws.

 

 

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6 Replies
Community Member
(@rdowney)
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Posts: 8

@old-bloke Thank you!  In California they have a new ID/License system that is extremely difficult to get a license so that is my hesitation and I will spend a considerable amount of time there even after relocating.  Can I ask one more thing in a different way so I am sorry to be a bit redundant.  Can I get the license by taking a test instead or a different way.  I get the easiest and smoothest for me would be the exchange process, but just wandering if there is another way to get a drivers license for foreigners (I am also a Portuguese Citizen, but haven't lived in Portugal yet).  Thanks!

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(@old-bloke)
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@rdowney

I refer you back to my answer to your third question.

I'm not sure what you mean by spending a considerable amount of time in California but, unless you're entering PT under the Golden Visa scheme, your time out of Portugal under a standard residency visa is limited.

Either way a PT driving licence is valid in the USA for 6 months under the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic which the USA and PT are both signed up to.

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Community Member
(@rdowney)
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@old-bloke Thank you again.  I am a dual citizen.  So the visa is not an issue.  I have both Portuguese and American citizenship so I am able to come and go with out any issues.  I will split my time.  I don't know the percentage but it will be divided so I just want to make sure that I do what I need to do in Portugal while still doing what I need to do in California.

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(@rdowney)
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@old-bloke I just wanted to add that I have a Portuguese Passport so I am not restricted by visa requirements.  I am both a citizen of Portugal and I am a citizen of the US.

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(@old-bloke)
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@rdowney

Sorry, I'd forgotten you had written you are a Portuguese citizen so, as you rightly point out, time spent in or out of PT doesn't factor in re residency permits.

I have no idea of the intricacies of the driving licence laws in California so you would need to look at their stipulations as to whether you would be deemed to be resident there or Portugal.

Under Article 19 of the Portuguese Regulamento da Habilitação Legal para Conduzir has this to say about residence;

1 - For the purposes of paragraph i) of paragraph 1 of the previous article, "habitual residence" is considered to be the State where the candidate or driver lives for at least 185 days per calendar year, as a result of personal and professional ties or, in the absence of the latter, as a consequence of the former only, provided that they are indicative of a close relationship with that place, without prejudice to the provisions of the following paragraphs.
2 - If the professional ties of the candidate or holder of the driving license are located in a place other than that in which he has his personal ties and, for this reason, he lives alternately in several places located in two or more States, it is considered that the his habitual residence is located in the place where he has his personal ties, provided that he returns there regularly.

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(@rdowney)
Joined: 2 months ago

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Posts: 8

@old-bloke Thank you so much!

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