UK Driving licenses to be exchanged in Portugal.

From 2021 driving licenses issued by the United Kingdom are considered third country licenses. Accordingly, Institute for Mobility and Transport (IMT) released new rules for UK driving licenses.

The UK is treated in accordance with the legislation applicable to countries that conform to the International Road Traffic Conventions. This means that holders of UK licenses are permitted to drive motor vehicles in Portugal for the first 185 days after entering the country, given that they are not residents.

After obtaining residence, British citizens should consider the following legal deadlines:

  •  Until 90 days after being legally residing in Portugal to exchange their driving licenses for Portuguese license, with no need for a practical driving test;
  • From the 90 days and up to 2 years, it is still possible to apply to IMT for an exchange, with no need for a practical driving test, but it is no longer possible to drive with a British driving license in Portugal;
  • After 2 years, the exchange of driving licenses is subject to the realization of a practical driving test.

Please note that British residents who have already registered their UK driving licenses with IMT before 1 January 2021 must also exchange their licenses, since they are no longer recognized as driving licenses issued by a European Union or European Economic Area Country.

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