Driving in Brazil and/or obtaining a Brazilian Licence.

I am British and have held a full British drivers license for almost 25 years.

When I moved to Brazil in 2014, I did not have my license with me at the time due to forgetting it.  I have a right to remain here and a RNE (I am married to a Carioca, but live in SP state).  I have recently collected my license on a trip to the UK and now have it with me.

My question is, (and apologies if this has been asked before), how do I get to legally drive in Brazil,  my Portuguese is still not good enough I fear to sit any written tests etc.  How complex are the tests and it is possible to use someone to help translate during the test.

Alternatively, am I am able to use my UK license should I wish to rent a car, (or will I not be treated as a tourist) as we are not in a position to purchase a car just now, or occasionally, I may be able to borrow cars belonging to friends or family.

Is there anything stopping me from driving on a UK license here in Brazil. Finally, if I have to apply for a Brazilian licence, the utility bills etc are in my wife's name, will a utility bill and our marriage certificate be suitable as proof of address, especially bearing in mind the Receita Federal and DPF have records of my address being the same as my wife's address.

Thanks in advance for any answers given!

The first thing to note is that you get 180 days from when you get into the country to use your foreign license. Even if you've already been in the country before I've heard that the clock resets when you leave. I knew I'd be there for a while and decided I didn't want to worry about keeping track. So this may give you more time to get a proof of residency if that seems reasonable. I was able to rent a car without issues in São Paulo.

If you are approaching the 180 days and if you have your license you should be able to go through a drastically expedited process. You will not have to go through any tests other than a physical and psychological evaluation due to an agreement in the Vienna Convention. I'm from the US but the UK is also a party to the Vienna Convention.

Regarding the psychological test, IIRC I don't think reading skills were at play at all during this. It was mostly logic with shapes and numbers. The physical test was simple. I think you pay for both of these but I don't remember the cost being very much.

Here's a pretty good article that discusses the topic and is what I experienced: … -in-brazil

Depending on the amount of time you have to get this done you should either get a cell phone bill in your name for that address or you could just try what you had described. That is, bring your marriage certificate certified by a cartorio/consulate and the proof of residency with your wife's name.

I hope that helps. It's not too bad of a process. Best wishes.

Thanks for your reply Jota23.  I left the country August this year and only returned two weeks ago. So fingers crossed, the 180 days will still apply.

My income here is low and we largely rely on my wife's income, so no bills are in my name right now. So will try the marriage certificate (we got married here in SP state).

Cheers for your advice/comments.


FYI. I believe these 180 days are from your first  entry in Brazil after obtaining your  permanent visa. It doesn't "reset".
The good news is: I was like you, I didn't ask fir for my local driving licence for a few years but when I went to DETRAN, it didn't have any issue and I didn't pay a fine.
The problem is only if you get stopped by PM when driving.

Take your license to DETRAN and get a Brazilian one, it's a pretty easy process, you have to take a medical (Just blood pressure and eye sight) and a psycological test which is just patterns IQ test and drawing lines on paper

you will pay a few small fees and eventually get a Brazilian license ned to be permanent with a CIE card though

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