Changes to driver’s license rules eliminate the need to trade

Holders of driving licenses issued by the Member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) can now drive in Portugal without having to exchange their licence.

This means that drivers of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau and mozambique are all allowed to drive with their own country’s licenses if they move here as new residents (no questions asked).

The same goes for drivers. Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

According an amendment to the current law, published today in the Official Journal Diário da República, driving license exchanges are now abolished“allowing driving in the country with driving licenses issued in these States, thanks to the recognition of foreign driving licenses”.

This recognition applies to driving licenses whose issuing State is a signatory to a bilateral agreement with Portugal, provided that no more than 15 years have elapsed since issue or last renewal and provided that the holder is under the age of 60.

The published decree-law emphasizes that these driving licenses only allow drivers to drive in Portugal “if their holders have the minimum age required by Portuguese law for the respective qualification and are valid and not seized, suspended, expired or revoked by virtue of a legal provision, an administrative decision or a court decision applied to their holder in Portugal or in the issuing State”.

Freedom of movement is an essential element for the full exercise of citizenship“, states the decree-law published today, stressing that “Portugal has sought to strengthen the rights of foreign citizens traveling to our country, whether in the case of temporary travel for tourism purposes or for work or investment in our country“.

In the document, the government reiterates its commitment “for the integration of migrantsincluding improvement in their quality of life“, emphasizing that he is “essential to simplify the right to drive motor vehicles“, an element that he considers “essential to ensure mobility Across the country”.

The various explanations make no reference to the chronic delays people applying for replacement licenses have suffered for years — or to the fact that registrars across this country are staging strikes through August.

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