Panic over Driving Licence – Cars, Transport & Getting Around – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Panic over Driving Licence

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Topic starter
(@jane55)
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Joined: 8 months ago

We are probably only a third of our way through the process of permanently relocating to Portugal from the UK.. My husband and I are both retired. Why is it that with all the things we have to do, the thing that is scaring me the most is the need to replace my driving licence.

I am 66 and husband is 70 this year.. Can anybody relate to this? It seems we will have to resit our driving tests - is this correct? We both passed our tests many moons ago.. in an ordinary car with gears but the for the past 30 years or so we have both only driven an automatic car.. This is the sort of thing that I think could derail our whole plan.. 

Can anybody out there reassure me and confirm what the actual process is/the timescale etc. Is it 90 days from actual official residency or when we arrive on a Visa? Many thanks. Jane

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(@old-bloke)
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Joined: 14 years ago

As your profile indicates you're in the UK I'll assume you both hold UK driving licences, in which case they are exchangeable for a PT licence without needing to take a PT driving test.

Your UK licences are valid for 90 days from becoming resident, and you don't become a resident until SEF issue you a resident's permit. A visa only authorises your entry to PT to seek permission to become a resident.

Whilst your licences will no longer be valid for driving from day 91 after becoming resident they remain valid for exchanging for 2 years from the date of residence.

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(@jane55)
Joined: 8 months ago

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Posts: 25

@old-bloke    Thank you SO much. That was incredibly informative - I can now relax a little (for a while anyway)....

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(@antonio_f)
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Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@pamalcobaca)
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Joined: 2 years ago

Hi Jane, the process can be difficult and drawn out and you will have to have a medical but you do not have to retake your driving test.

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(@jane55)
Joined: 8 months ago

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Posts: 25

@pamalcobaca that is such a relief - thanks for the reassurance.

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
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Joined: 2 years ago

The Medical is done online in 2 mins by video, and the paperwork is straight forward for UK licences (just print the DVLA licence proof from their website), it just takes 6 months or more, and some steps.

Valid for 90 days after getting residency? It takes more than 3 months to convert the licence.
I read repeatedly that UK licences are valid until end of 2022, so I'm keeping mine for a bit longer even though the IMT asked me to send it to them for exchange. As I need it for travel.

Here is the link for the medical online:
https://www.dronline.pt/en/produto/atestado-carta-conducao/

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Community Member
(@jane55)
Joined: 8 months ago

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Posts: 25

@itexpert7 Well that is very useful, thank you. I shall definitely go down that route for an online medical.. When you say (just print the DVLA licence proof from their website), what do you mean? Sorry if I am being a dense here!!! thanks again. 

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(@brooks63)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 26
Posted by: @jane55

@itexpert7 Well that is very useful, thank you. I shall definitely go down that route for an online medical.. When you say (just print the DVLA licence proof from their website), what do you mean? Sorry if I am being a dense here!!! thanks again. 

Hi, We have been officially resident in Portugal now for 3 months (both formerly UK residents all of our lives). We are both 58 yrs old. We are still in the process of exchanging our UK licences after submitting the exchange request some 2 months ago online to IMT.

I am pretty confident that you CANNOT print your UK licence off from the DVLA website as has been suggested. ( No offence to whoever posted this). You will need to contact DVLA by phone in the first instance on 0300 790 6801 and ask if you can be sent a Certificate of Confirmation of your UK licence as you have moved to Portugal and this is your new permanent address. Tell them that you need to exchange your UK licence for a Portuguese one and the authorities in Portugal have asked for confirmation that you have a licence X2.  Give them your driving licence details and your full address and they will send to you (snail mail only) their Confirmation of your driving licences. It will be stamped by the DVLA as authentic and will include the categories of vehicles that you are entitled to drive. I was informed by a DVLA representative that this was quite a common practice. We had the documents back here in 2 weeks.

The next bit is a bit harder and can be done in 1 of 2 ways as I understand it. Either you attend your nearest IMT processing office with a duly filled out application, your DVLA Confirmation Cert, money, residency card etc (docs as specified on the IMT website) or you can submit your request for exchange online with copies of your docs as files. (This is what we did).

IMT have had our online request for licence exchange for the last two months and have sent us a formal receipt confirming that we are in the process of licence exchange so if you are stopped by the local Rozzers you can show them the exchange certificate that you have received from IMT, assuming that you are outside the 90 days after becoming official Residents.

We are waiting any day for IMT to ask for our UK licences to be submitted to them but as someone else has already mentioned, we will also need them to hire cars on our forthcoming trips back and forth the UK and a wedding in Italy coming up soon so this is going to become problematic and I don’t have an answer yet.

This has been our own recent experience of the licence exchange situation to date and I hope has been of some help to readers.

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 245

@brooks63
> "I am pretty confident that you CANNOT print your UK licence off from the DVLA website as has been suggested. "

Well we have done it with printing the DVLA "licence summary" (it contains the link to verify online) and they accepted it.
Now got a Portuguese licence to prove it works! (not mine).

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Community Member
(@brooks63)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 26

@itexpert7  Well done you. Was that before or after Brexit ? We were going to carry out the download as suggested but were instructed by ACP Portugal (Motoring organisation a little bit like the AA) that this would not be accepted by IMT as it wasn't officially stamped. Looks like you proved them wrong then .

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 245

@brooks63 
It was 4-5 months ago.

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Community Member
(@ismoore999)
Joined: 6 months ago

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Posts: 14

@brooks63 I did the same in November and it was accepted

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Community Member
(@iriso)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 18

@itexpert7 Hi did you require an SNS number in order to do the medical online? Is it IMT that sends you the link for the required medical? Thanks. We are just starting our process

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 245

@iriso 
Yes, we got our SNS numbers by email, here in Loule, Algarve. Took about a week to receive. We just sent an email to the local SNS people (I asked a local about the email address) and a week later got the numbers.

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(@iriso)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 18

@itexpert7 Thank you so much for this … On it as we are now running out of time 😓 

 

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