Transfer of foreign driver's license

I just got approved to transfer my USA driver's license and should receive a Brazilian driver's license in approximately 15 days.

I live in the state of Goias, in a small town about 90 minutes drive from the capital city of Goiania. Apparently, Detran offices in the smaller towns and cities are not able to process license transfers from other countries, so I had no choice but to use the Detran office in Goiania.

First, I had to get my license translated by an official translator. The nearest is in Anapolis, about 30 minutes drive from here. The cost of the translation was R$90. I emailed a photo of my license first and then went to get the translation when it was ready a few days later.

Per Detran's website, I brought my CIE (ID card) and a certified copy, my CPF card and a certified copy, my USA driver's license and a certified copy, the original translation of my license and a certified copy, my most recent set of utility bills and certified copies, and a certified copy of the lease for the house where I live. Although it doesn't specify on their website, they also wanted to see my passport. Fortunately, I brought it "just in case". They made a copy of the passport photo page and also flipped through it. I was not required to surrender my USA driver's license.

The Detran fee to begin the process was R$236,54. I verified all of my documents at Detran the 1st morning, was photographed and fingerprinted, and paid the Detran fee at a nearby Caixa bank. Then I had to call and schedule the 2 required exams. The psychological exam was R$100 and the medical exam was R$90. They were given at 2 different locations in Goiania. I was able to take the psychological exam the 1st afternoon and the medical exam the following morning. Then I had to go to Detran a 2nd time to submit the final paperwork along with proof of payment of the fee and successful passing of the exams.

The exams were not difficult, but the instructions for the 3 part psychological exam were given in Portuguese of which I have very limited understanding. The 1st and 3rd parts had to do with pattern recognition and logical thinking. The 2nd part was repetitive drawing of vertical lines with periodic horizontal lines on command. I had to do the exams without the help of my Brazilian wife, but as the instructor was giving the instructions, he demonstrated what needed to be done using a blackboard. By watching what he did on the blackboard, I was able to understand how to do the psychological exam. Fortunately, the doctor for the medical exam spoke English. The medical exam was a brief interview, followed by the doctor checking my blood pressure and giving me an eye exam (reading the letters on a chart at a distance).

The Detran in Goiania doesn't mail your new license, so I will need to make one final trip in about 15 days to pick it up. Overall, the process wasn't too difficult. However, I wouldn't recommend anyone trying to navigate through all of this without the help of a native Brazilian.

Update: I received my Brazilian driver's license today, only to look at it and discover that it expires next month! After questioning Detran, they said I will need to renew the license next month and pay a (not insignificant) renewal fee. Then, after about 2 more weeks, I'll receive a new license with a 5 year expiration date.

When I asked why my initial license expires next month (Dec. 14th), they said it is because the USA license that I transferred was last renewed on Dec. 14, 2016. As such, my new Brazilian license shows an effective date of Dec. 14, 2016 and an expiration date of Dec. 14, 2017.

In other words, the Brazilian license that I just received today has a date on it that states it was in effect approximately 11 months ago. Personally, I think this is crazy! Any thoughts?

thanks for sharing a good experience,i will also try my Driving licence first to translated into portuguese

I got a 10 year license straight away even though my old one was soon to expire....

Welcome to Brazil! Just make sure to keep your sanity while you struggle along the confusing hallmarks and irregularities that will beset you. He, he. That´s just a start!
Wait till an individual spit his phlegm in front of you in a shiny airport floor or put their shopping carts at the back of your car or defecate on your front lawn!

10yr drivers license? Never heard of that. I renewed mine last year and along with other previous renewals, I was only given 4 years at a time. Are you not confounding that with a 10yr RNE renewal?


Ok checking the date now....2021....I guess its five years, sounds longer though

Yeah bro, but missing the date by 5 years? You have to have a spinal tap to determine your CSF tau protein level or a temporal lobe biopsy to determine beta amyloid deposition and tau protein onslaught. LOL!


Wow!  Amazing bureaucracy.  I drove in Brazil with my California DL for a long time, and now I am driving with my Mexican DL.  If I get tickets I will pay them, but no points in my record, no losing my license.  If I am still here when my foreign license expires I will then have to get a Brazilian license, but I hope it will not come ti this.
Funny is that no even Mexico was that bureaucratic.

So how do I find out Information I need to get a Drivers License for Salvador, Brazil. Is it different all over the country or pretty much the same standard? I am coming from the US.

Hi Guys , I'm also looking for any info about swapping my USA license for 1 in Brazil (Bahia) Moving to Brazil at the end of month , so finding this site should really help

Have your driver´s license translated by a sworn translator (juramentado) and bring your foreign license with the translation to a local DETRAN to have a Brazilian Driver´s License (Carteira de Habilitação). It´s standard all over the country so bring copies of the documents needed
to be certified by a cartorio. For comprovante de enderço (proof of residence) you can just bring your already paid water or electricity bill as they will keep that as proof...

Also Google to any DETRAN site to see if any changes has just occurred.


Thanks for that info . My Step kids are very helpful and I'm in the process of getting all the documents in order to take to Detran . Should be next month or so ., I'll post an update of what happens when I get further along in the process .

Dear friends and shopping!
In Brazil today there is a lot of bureaucracy and in these cases it is better to do everything together with a lawyer and so everything is easier and faster and with 100% positive results according to the laws emvigor.

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