Exchanging your UK driving license for a Portuguese one - 2021

UK driving licence in Portugal after Brexit - Exchanging your license for a Portuguese one - 2021

For many years if you became a resident in Portugal you had 2 choices regarding your driving license. You could exchange it for a Portuguese one or register your UK one with the IMT, the Portuguese version of the DVLA which you should have done within 60 days of becoming a resident. The second option was only available to Citizens of other EU Countries and so Brexit was likely to bring this to an end. Late 2020 Portugal announced they would actually withdraw this option and the UK would be treated like all other non EU Countries. Read on for info on "driving licence exchange Portugal"

The process

Up until late 2020 the method involved attending an IMT office and was allegedly tortuous. In late 2020 when the end of the Brexit transition period was looming and it it was was announced that UK licenses would have to be exchanged the IMT tried to make the process “On-Line.” You were to go on-line and download and print a form and then scan that and several documents and send them by e-mail to IMT, so this system wasn’t really automated as a human had to receive and interpret the e-mails. This system seemed to fail probably due to demand outstripping resource.

It was superseded by a more “on-line” system which works as follows.

The online process

  1. You attend a doctor’s surgery and have an examination to certify you are safe to drive. When you book the appointment you have to specifically say that it is for this purpose as all Drs aren’t necessarily set up for this. Theoretically you could attend your local Centro de Saude if you are registered there but at the moment non critical appointments are very hard to get. The alternative is to attend one of the many private clinics and pay the fee. In Vilamoura at HPA it is €60. The system uploads the certificate electronically to IMT but do take a way the paper version the Dr should offer you. The exam is simple and takes about 10 minutes.
  2. Obtain from the DVLA a form D737 referred to as a Certificate of Entitlement or in Portuguese  Certidão de Autenticidade. This confirms the authenticity of your license. You cannot do this on line you have to telephone +44 300 083 0013 listen to the menu and then press 2, listen press 1, 5, 3  and speak to an operator. You have 2 choices, receive by fax (how quaint) or by post. If you are a couple explain that, pass the phone to your partner and you should be able to organise both at once. By fax it takes a couple of hours by post a few weeks, due to the postal system not the DVLA.
  3. Once you have the D737 and have attended the medical have ready to hand scanned copies of:

  4. Certidão de Autenticidade  i.e. the D737

    Your Residencia   (ID document)

    Your driving license

    They mention a Psychological Assessment Certificate (if applicable)  This is for category C / D / E  HGV licenses

    They mention a power of attorney this is only if you are paying a lawyer or agent to submit this on your behalf.

    They don’t mention the medical certificate as it is sent to them already but see later

  5. Go to the following web page:
  6. https://tinyurl.com/etpjwyyv

  7. You will see the  following page, click the link highlighted in red:
  8. This takes you to a form to be filled in as below:
  9. Complete all the fields and then press the red button  Carregar  to attach your documents one at a time.

  10. Ignore the psychological Assessment one. You will see there is a medical certificate one that they didn’t mention before, and there is an “Others” there is no explanation of others you could chose your passport for good measure or ignore.
  11. Finally click Submit.

What happens next

Now the following should happen over the next several days:

  1. You receive an e-mail confirming receipt of the info and what it contained, with a reference number. This is usually immediate.
  2. An e-mail saying that you have moved into the process stage.
  3. An e-mail requesting you to pay € 30 by multi banco or on line.
  4. An e-mail to send your original license and declaration of authenticity by post to IMT in Porto.
  5. An SMS giving you an appointment at IMT to have your photo taken and a digital record of your signature.
  6. You receive a temporary document to cover you for the period between parting with your UK one and receiving your new one.
The Government has extended the allowed period to complete the above but for residents driving in Portugal with UK licence will become illegal at the end of 2021

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