Drivers License Exchange

Ok , so I'm pretty much done with my Driver License Registration here
It will be ready in 10 days and I did it all myself without a "Dispante"

The only thing is the lady at Detran told me its Validity will be tied to My South African license....which expires in December 2016 . So it means I would have to renew the SA license , which as far as I know from my research can only be done in Person in South Africa or do the whole Brazil License here from Scratch next year! If only I'd known I would have renewed my License before I left SA.....I already spent almost R$300 Reais on all the tests and taxes and its only going to last a Year??

I thought they take your old License away and it ceases to be of importance but the Lady at Detran assured me you keep it as it's linked to the Brazilian....Is this really the case?

Anyhow other than that it was straight forward , the psychological test was harder than I thought.....lost's of rapid confusing exercises on a stop watch and they really had to be performed well and neatly as well as a lot of personal questions as well as a kind of IQ test , the last few patterns of which made no sense at all....I handled it all alone with my Portuguese so that was nice , but I think you will struggle if your Portuguese is very basic.
Other than that it really is not that difficult folks , no need to fear it or worry about the Beurocracy, my biggest grievance is it's so Damn expensive.

Hi Steve,

Sounds to me like DETRAN is not issuing you a CNH, but rather "Permissão a conduzir" (permission to drive), and that would definitely be tied to your existing South African DL. So, that's probably why they've told you to keep it.

When one does a straight exchange, DETRAN is supposed to retain the license.

James Experts Team

As far as I know it was the process to exchange the license here in Brazil and she said it is a normal Brazilian Drivers License that I will collect....maybe she is mistaken as she is just the front desk clerk who
attends the public as they come in.....I'll let you know when I pick it up.

She seemed to say it's a Brazilian License but it will only be valid as long as my original is....
The process was called Registro de Transferencia - Emissão CNH

Ok so here's the latest update

I get a call from some official......

My license just says my initials SJ then my last name , not my FULL name......this is how South African Licenses are issued!
Things are bases on ID no's not on stupid name obsessions.
Then some issue on the code/catagory as it's called something different to whats on the Brazilian license...

So after some mumbling the person says ok , but the process might not be stopped or something and it not accepted.

How dumb can this system be , Brazil recognizes the SA license for exchange , but yet the beaurocracy is such they sabotage their own standard's?

Anyhow it has not been rejected yet , but this is the most ridiculous experience I have had to date with the they really expect every document in the civilized world to conform exactly to Brazilian standards

Anybody else experienced this?

Everything in Brazil is name based and tied to filiation (names of one's parents). It has been that way since colonization and it's not something that will every change. While it clearly makes no sense in a country where everyone has a unique number, for Brazilians their RG - Registro Geral and foreigners their RNE - Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro and those documents even have one's fingerprint; it will never change.

This flies in the face of logic that a country with a population of 216 million, so many of those having identical names, that the numbers are not considered more reliable. However this is Brazil, where absolutely nothing needs to make sense.

Equally stupid is that everyone has several "unique" numbers... RG or RNE, CPF, CNH, etc. One would logically think that those numbers should be harmonized into one universal number, but they aren't. Not only that but if one commits a crime or goes missing authorities seldom, if ever, use any of those numbers to help identify the criminal or locate the missing individual.

Welcome to Brazil, the land logic forgot.

James Experts Team

Sure I get that , but in this case the problem is that MY name on my South African License is Initialed like DK smith( for example) and they claiming it must be the full name...but that is how all South African Licenses are issued and they claim to accept them as a valid exchange on their list.

The problem is that the legislation is national (federal), but DETRAN the body that actually issues licenses and does the enforcement is a state body, and they are run differently in every state of the union.

You might try getting a letter from the SA Consulate explaining how licenses are issued and verifying that it is valid and that you are the person to whom the license was issued.

Other than that you're not going to get them to change their mind, that's a useless cause since Brazilian civil servants will NEVER admit anything is wrong or they've done wrong. Worse still if you argue with them the can charge you with "Desacato de autoridade" almost like Contempt of Court in other countries, but it applies to Judges, police and all civil servants here.

Looks like you'll probably have to go through the whole license process from scratch.

James Experts Team

Ok so I went back to Detran the other day

They said I need a letter saying the license in mine as you said James..

The South African Consulate said they will provide it and I sent them the scanned documents , I will have to collect it in Sao Paulo

So far so good then

Is Omani driving license valid in Brazil??

You will need to check with DETRAN in the state where you intend to reside if the Omani Driver's License is accepted here in Brazil.

It is quite likely that it IS NOT, since Oman is not a signatory country to the 1949 Hague Convention on Driving.

James Experts Team

Please list address of DETRAN office in São Paulo .

Hi i would like to add, that when i applied to transfer my dutch license to a.CNH detran returned my dutch license and validity of the CNH is up until expiration date of my RNE. If RNE get renewed detran will follow the experidation date on the renewed
This is pretty logic, i did the same in US years back and BMV had the same policy as brasil for that matter, however depending which country you from your nationality may exempt you from doing a test here in brasil. At least i got an exempt.

Steve, it may have been wise if you did do the process thru a despanche.

I don't have to do a test

Dutchstang honestly I scoff at the idea of using a Dispanche , I am perfectly capable of navigating the Brazilian bureaucracy as I speak fluent Portuguese and live in a small organized be honest with you I like the challenge of dealing with all these things myself .... I just need to pick up a document at my Consulate this week confirming my name.

I don't know , this idea of having to have a dispanche to hold my hand just seems lame...I'd rather have the satisfaction of doing it myself  :)

I will report back on here when I actually have the License in my hand....I'm hoping it will be linked to the RNE , the person who said that it's linked to the SA license expiration was just the desk clerk who hands out senhas so I'm hoping she didn't know what she is talking about when she mentioned that

Mine is not linked to my CIE or RNE number. When I got mine I never had my CIE yet.  DETRAN had me get a work permit and a letter from PF stating that I had a Protoclol. it was an easy process No need for a dispanche.

So I' got the letter from the consul in Sao Paulo on friday confirming "Nome completo" as requested by DETRAN , they said 20 days , lets see what happens.

Do you mean that I need to get my omani driving licence transfered to Brazil or will be better if I enroll fresh?? 
What is CNE and RNE?

Hi james
I soon will being the process of changing my English driving license to a Brazilian, but my license don't run out until 2025, dose this mean my Brazilian will run as long as my English one

I got 5 years exchangimg  my USA License. It had only 3 month until it expired

Hi there, thanks for that, 5 years ok in fact its good

Ok So I have the Brazilian License in my hand finally.

I'm proud to say I did not use a dispanche ! :)
I did everything alone and it was pretty easy

The only hicup up was my name on my License is abriviated so I had to get a letter from my consulate explaining it and this took a bit of time as I had to visit Sao Paulo and the last month has had Many Public Holidays.

The license is valid for 5 years , it's validity is not linked to my original license expiry and they did not take away my original drivers license.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the process now and glad to be street legal

well done Steve :gloria

Please if you like share with us the whole process step by step so we can be benefitted .

well the first step is to see if your country is on the list of licenses which can be exchanged
I believe its USA , Canada Australia/New Zealand , the EU and South Africa.

If you not on the list you're out of luck and you will have to do the whole driving test again.

Anyhow if you qualify go down to your nearest detran office where you will need to present

CIE/ RNE card
Copy of your passport
Proof of address
Valid drivers license - legal translation of the License in Portuguese
3x4 color photo's  (2)

There may be some other things , but I can't remember , when I went to Detran they gave me a document list
Then you fill out some forms , get photographed and finger printed and book an Eye test (Medical exam) and a Psychological exam
you have to pay for these 2 exams as well as a Detran fee and present all the proof of payments to the relevant DR's and detran
Detran will give you the address's of where to go's a basic eye test and a psychological test matching pictures and drawing lines to show you don't have a mental problem.

Report back to Detran with all the forms now stamped by the Dr's and submit your application
with the proof of payment of Detrans fee

If you do not have your full complete name on your Drivers license you will have to get a letter from your consulate confirming your Complete name (nome completo) as I did

Then wait for an outcome , if theres a problem they usually call to tell you whats missing or needed


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