New residents driving licence regulations. Ronaldo hat-trick. Shakespeare Night.

Jon Parsons kindly sent in the following “public information” update those officially resident on the island – having been  stopped by the police recently!

Following a recent "meeting" with our local (Funchal) G.N.R. and subsequent discussions, I would like to give a "heads up" re recent new DRIVING Licence law amendments. This in particular affects Portuguese residents, both National and "Immigrant" PERMANENT residents…As far as I can ascertain, it goes like this:You must register your (U.K.) licence issued by another EU or EEA country when you become a resident here in (Madeira) Portugal. You are obliged to register with their regional or district Department of Motor Vehicles (IMTT) office within 30 days of establishing residency.  

Further (and this is part of the "new" bit) you must also (as a permanent resident in Portugal) exchange your (U.K.) licence within two years of the date on which their residency is confirmed, for a PORTUGUESE one – and then be bound by this countries legislation:

Ergo, also recently introduced MEDICAL exams:

To renew a Portuguese driving licence for the first time, drivers require a medical certificate proving they are fit enough to drive. Renewal requests can be made at the IMTT office or the nearest citizen’s shop (Loja do Cidadão).

All drivers of Category A, B, B+E and Sub-Category A1 and B1 vehicles aged 50, 60, 65, and 70 are obliged to renew their driving licences. After age 70 renewals must be applied for every two years. The rules cover several types of vehicle including motorbikes, cars with a weight limit of 3.5 tonnes and vehicles with tow bars.

Exchanging a licence for a Portuguese one can simplify things in case of loss or theft and in order to obtain car insurance. However, after the Portuguese licence has been issued, the original is withdrawn and returned to the issuing authority.

So, register your (U.K.) licence within 30 days of becoming resident. Then exchange your (U.K.) licence for a Portuguese one within two years. Otherwise you are committing a road traffic offence and your Insurance will NOT be valid.

Plus, as and when your U.K. licence expires (or is stolen/lost) you will have to take a written and practical driving test here for your first issue Portuguese licence.

Exchange it before it expires, you can no longer legally drive here on a U.K. licence (with a U.K. address) when you are permanently resident here for more than TWO years.


Thanks again Jon – I’m sure you’ll save somebody a lot of trouble! He did philosophically add a footnote to the above, saying that “apart from a 60 euro fine, 55 euro for a medical (passed!) and 25 euro for licence application, it didn’t cost me a cent! However, I am well and truly legal, insured and very righteous now!”

Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick defeats Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland v Portugal World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland's Lee Hodson and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during Friday's game in Belfast. 6/9/2013 Photo David Maginnis/Pacemaker PressThe Madeiran-born footballer was in spectacular form in the World Cup qualifier on Thursday, a few after losing his “most expensive” player tag to Gareth Bale. The hosts looked to be on course for a stunning upset until Ronaldo struck. In so doing he went past Eusebio in Portugal’s all-time scoring charts at Windsor Park (43 goals for his country to date) and did it in a manner befitting the great master according the Daily Mail “The Real Madrid forward cut a frustrated figure before a stunning 15-minute hat-trick” took him beyond Eusebio’s 41-goal tally and into second behind Pauleta. Five more goals and top place will be his.

You can see the goals on You Tube:



Shakespeare night

As promised, details of the forthcoming Shakespeare Night:


14 thoughts on “New residents driving licence regulations. Ronaldo hat-trick. Shakespeare Night.”

  1. I drive on a Belgian European licence – I went to the DRR (I think) and they gave me a letter to say they accepted my licence. In six years I have been stopped once maybe about 6-8 months ago, he read the letter and I was on my way! As Belgian licences are valid ‘for life’ I shall continue using the ignorance aspect.

    Away from dull things like that – thanks for the Shakesphere Night – although it says ‘last orders’ 9th I am sure we can accommodate ‘last calls’. You have to come if not only to see the Witches of Macbeth – a sight never to be seen again – from the props department anyone know where we can find dry ice on the Island??

  2. I noticed this morning that the old Sá in Machico (or rather, “new” as in the building is strikingly modern) has replacement signage on the exterior – covered in sheeting but not enough to hide the Continente livery – so can’t be long now before most of the chain re-opens under new ownership?

  3. Don’t know if it applies to all 9 old Sa but the one which used to be Hiper Sa in Sao Martinho is opening on 18th Sept – great news. They have been very busy, changing the logos, painting, renewing electrics etc, bet the other shopkeepers on site will be so please to have shoppers again.

  4. Seems to me that a harmonisation of driving licence rules and vehicle registration number plates is long overdue.
    Surely it needs nothing more than a record of change of address at the records office when a foreigner becomes resident in another EU country.
    When a vehicle changes residency the same change of address should apply.
    How naive am I?
    Simplicity is a word not included in the EU vocabulary.

  5. Indeed Martrin….my sin being that I had a Welsh/U.K. (new style) driving licence with a Welsh/U.K. address on it …… whilst I have been RESIDENT HERE for MORE THAN TWO YEARS = NEW RULES = Ha! With the U.K. a special case seemingly……

    I believe that other European Licence’s do not all have an address on them? Thereby possibly acceptable…….

    Anyway, I live here now and pay my Taxes etc…..Feliz em Madeira!

  6. Hope the (St George’s Day) Shakespeare Night in response to St David’s Day and Burn’s Night celebrations gives the English something of their own to go to.
    All other countrymen and women welcome of course to all three.
    The Thespians quoting various lines from plays who go to this massive event will have an opportunity to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous criticism.
    Madeiran sac must be equal to English Elizabethan sac or mead.
    Mind you PONCHA must be a form of mead.

  7. Sao Martinho,Camara de Lobos/Machico/Santana/Camacha SA’s re=open as Continente on the 18th

    Ribera Brava re-opens in October


  8. I have just received my permanent residency this week, so will check out what I need to do about my driving licence, I have the new Style with no address so hope they just accept that.

  9. Hi, I have a 5 year residency permit,, 2 years ago,, but i did not register my driving licence in the 90 day period,,,i have no car,,, yet,,,
    how much is the FINE, when i got to the IMF office,,,
    any help would be appreciated,,


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