UK driving licences now valid in Portugal

driving licenses reports that Portuguese authorities have announced that driving licences from “Member States” are now recognised, which allows visitors to freely drive as they enjoy their summer vacations in the country. This includes the UK under their definition of “Member States”, provided you are under 60 years old.

According to local media in Portugal, holders of driving licenses issued by the Member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will be able to drive in Portugal without changing their licence,

In the amendment published recently in the Dario da Republica, the requirement for the exchange of driving licences has been lifted, “enabling driving in the national territory with titles issued in those States, through the recognition of foreign driving titles.”

This measure applies to driver’s licences in the countries mentioned in a bilateral agreement with the Portuguese State. Another requirement is for the traveller’s driving licence to be no older than 15 years since the issue or the last renewal and provided the holder is younger than 60 years old.

Countries to which this measure applies include the following:

The CPLC countries such as Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Sao Tome e Principe, Guinea Bissau, and Mozambique, as well as the OECD countries, which consist of the EU Member States as well as Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The published decree-law points out that these driving licences only allow driving in the national territory if their holders belong to the age group of the minimum age required by Portuguese law for the specific licence and are valid and not placed under arrest, suspended, expired, or revoked by force of legal provision, administrative authorities or court decision applied to its holder in Portugal or in other issuing states.

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

In the document, the Government reinstates its commitment to the successful integration of migrants, which includes improvements in their quality of life, emphasising that it is essential to facilitate the driving licence to operate motor vehicles, an element that it considers “fundamental for a guarantee of mobility throughout the national territory.”

Thanks to Jaime for the link – he thinks the amendment is ageist!

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9 thoughts on “UK driving licences now valid in Portugal”

    • Thanks, but this article is somewhat confusing, unless I misread or misunderstood it. If you’ve a driving licence that’s over fifteen years old, you have the palava and expense of getting a new one and what happens if you’re over 60yrs old?

  1. Im 75, have not only car rights to drive, but trailers etc, Im fit able and need a periodic medical that tests eye sight, flexibility of my joints etc, cognitive test etc, so does that count, to allow me to drive in Madeira, probably not, but drink driving is not auto disqualification, people younger drive with Macula degeneration and glaucoma, so this right to drive should extend to over 60s as long as there is medical evidence you are fit and meet the rules that apply to under 60s

  2. What I missed from this article and have gleaned from another, is, I think, that this applies to those taking up residence in Portugal, not those who are just visiting for a holiday. If taking up residence then, presumably, you have to apply for a Portuguese driving licence if your e.g. U.K. one is more than 15yrs old or you are over 60. Now this makes sense!


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