Drivers license exchange timeline

so after a year the status of my application changed: ESTADO: Pedido em análise | Waiting for analysis

@jldb_  That's terrible.  I went to IMT within the 90 days limit after residency and exchanged my UK licence.  It all went through there and then and got my physical licence about 3 months later.  Had an interim licence in the meantime.

I had all the paperwork uploaded including the medical test and eye test along with the usual identification stuff and photos of the front and back of my UK licence.  Simple online to do.  Doctor uploaded my medical exam and she sent me a copy which I had to upload as well.  How annoying for you.


I just exchanged my florida license and was told by IMT it will arrive in 6 months but I've been told the average is 12 to 14 months


I just exchanged my florida license and was told by IMT it will arrive in 6 months but I've been told the average is 12 to 14 months

@Dome 91  I am in the same boat.

I exchanged my UK driving licence at the IMT office in Coimbra in late July 2023, received my paper temporary Portugal licence (expires after 6 months, valid in Portugal only), and was told that it would take “maybe 3 or 4 months” for the permanent Portugal licence to arrive.

I am still waiting for the permanent licence 3.5 months later, and based on comments in this thread, I expect to be waiting for a lot longer.

I asked IMT what I should do if I need to drive outside Portugal while waiting for the permanent licence. The lady at the desk told me that I could bring a letter to the IMT office stating the dates I would be traveling, and IMT would ”lend” me my UK licence between those dates on condition that I bring it back to them when I return.


I was told 6 months but the average is about 1 year

@rjreed101456: Thanks! I will report back when it finally arrives.

The average time for processing is now 10 months, plus the time for sending the DL.

Quick question:

Has anyone told your current country of residence that you lost your license and then asked for a replacement? Why couldn't you then use the ”replacement” license to turn in for the Portugal license? And if you need to travel you can always return to the USA or GB or Belgium, (wherever) and use the he original valid drivers license 

    Quick question:
Has anyone told your current country of residence that you lost your license and then asked for a replacement? Why couldn't you then use the ”replacement” license to turn in for the Portugal license? And if you need to travel you can always return to the USA or GB or Belgium, (wherever) and use the he original valid drivers license 


None of that makes sense.

It's what I did, but haven't actually gone through the process with IMT.  Someone on the internet claims that Portugal contacts the issuer and finds out that there's a duplicate, and in that case they will require both - but that doesn't sound really plausible, and in a real case of a lost license, it wouldn't even be possible.

If you lost your licence, IMT will request you to replace it before exchanging the DL.

They request a full DL History from the origin country.

Here's a bit of hope guys. My application in LISBON just got approved

So my timeline was:

03/11/2022 Application Sent

Sometime in 11/2022 I went and dropped my licence and got the paper

02/10/2023 Received email stating  Application status changed to Waiting for analysis

23/11/2023 Received email stating  Application completed with a Portuguese driving licence issued

@jldb_ hi, can you please let me know the process and requirement do i need to get the driver license also what portal do i should visit to enrolling into the process

can i drive and buy a car with a non portugal deiver license? being an non EU citizen


@mapygil  instructions in English can be found here: … portuguesa . In case the site blocks urls, google "foreign licence exchange". It should be first link from eportugal.Process is get an eye test (many sites offer this service online, just Google it), fill out form, drop your licence at loja do cidadão and then be VEEEEERY patient because it'll take around a year if you are in Lisbon. You'll be given a paper that might or might not be accepted outside Portugal so consider this before applying.Your other question ,i don't know.

@mapygil actually i hold australian citizenship and drove with uk licence since i arrived. I don't think dealers give a damn if you can drive or not ,that's for you to deal with.


Contact Algarve Car Solutions on facebook they are a fantastic company. 

Here's an extra data point on the timeline for exchanging driver's licenses:

I received my Portuguese driver's license in the mail today, 5 months after I exchanged my UK license at the IMT office in Coimbra.

(I don't qualify under the rule change last year that allows many UK and other drivers to continue to use their foreign licenses to drive in Portugal, so I had to exchange my UK license.)

I was pleasantly surprised by this timeline, because I was anticipating an even longer wait. Hopefully this indicates that IMT is starting to reduce its backlog.

(I don't qualify under the rule change last year that allows many UK and other drivers to continue to use their foreign licenses, so I had to exchange my UK license.)


    -@James in Portugal

What rule? There is no such thing!

@SimCityAT … -cplp-2


If someone is over 60 yo for example. It's mandatory ro exchange the DL.


isn't this stating that we can continue using our licences in portugal? … 20licence.


new negotiations:

The Portuguese government recently introduced new legislation regarding driving licences issued by OECD countries. This means that you will be able to continue using a UK driving licence as a resident in Portugal from 1 January 2024, if you meet all these requirements:

you are under the age of 60

your driving licence photocard has not expired

your licence was issued or renewed within the last 15 years

you are only using your licence to drive vehicle categories A and B

you are not disqualified from driving in Portugal or the UK.

If you do not meet all of these requirements, you will need to start the process to exchange your licence by the end of March 2024 to continue driving.

If you hold a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you should exchange your licence within 90 days of registering for residence. You can exchange categories AM, A1, A2, B1, B and BE without having to take a test.

I just got my paper provisional license, in person after finishing the online process.  I had a US license, and followed the process described here:

A couple of things that could save someone some time:

There's a certification you have to get from finanças, that is sometimes not clearly mentioned, the "Certidão domicílio fiscal."  It's trivially easy to request and comes back right away, but you have to get it and put it in the "Other" file collection on the form.

The atestado médico is easy enough to get - I got mine at a local clinic, but I saw someone else get one online - but you need an SNS "número de utente" to get it registered online.  That can take some time.  Where we are, that in turn required a social security identity number, but I don't think that's normally true and in any case it was relatively expedient.  Don't put this off, it can take months.  You don't need a psychological exam, that's not for people who just want to drive their car.  (I think I managed to keep my motorcycle endorsement, which probably indicates I need a psychological exam.)

If you don't have the state apostilled driving record and the consulate certified licence translation, I don't know what to say ... may have to go back to the US to get that.  I have this, but bungled it by sending them various poor digital images that got my form rejected a couple times.  They want to see all four pages, and I think they want to see the certification stamps on the pages more than they care about the things that were being certified.  Keep at it until you have a less-than-2Mb file that shows all 4 pages nice and big and clear.

They took my license.  I was prepared for this, as I had requested a replacement copy of my license so I had one to give away and one to keep, in the not really too likely event I find myself needing to drive back in the US before it expires anyway.  The interview was not particularly verbose, I think she may not be fluent in English but would have been able to manage entirely with hand gestures if necessary.

I also learned something about Portuguese bureaucracy.  Like a lot of things here, this process is administered by small local offices staffed with pleasant one-fingered typists, the face of Portugal, and as not infrequently happens they aren't really keeping up with the demand, so when I got there at 9:30 AM there were already 30-40 people waiting.

Access to this system is by tickets assigned from a machine at the door, and there are several different ticket queues.  I got T003, 3rd in line in the T queue.  That looks good, until you consider that they may not start working on the T queue for hours.  On that day, it happened about noon.  Whoever was there when they opened at 9 and got T001, saved himself maybe 15 minutes, at the cost of having to sit in a packed waiting room and watch the ticket queue display like a hawk for 3 hours.  I had a few minutes advance warning while the first two parties went through.

This doesn't define any ideal strategy, especially if you don't know in advance how they organize their queues, and in any case if you're in a small queue you don't know when they'll get to it.  So you could show up late and miss that first window.  But for this item at this office, you don't want to be there when the doors open.

You can book your apt, date and time abd venue through SIGA though you may still have to wait in a queue.  My bookef time was 11:40 which was close to lunchtime so not ideal as I then had an hour wait.


Do you think it would be possible to go back to that IMT office and request my old license back until I receive the new one?

    -@Dome 91

You can try, but it might have already been sent off to the Embassy. So to late. 

You can make an appointment via the SIGA app for these public entities (IMT included): … /Entidades

Sure.  I elected to walk in, because appointments in Leiria were a month out, and my apostilled driving record from the US would be over a year old at that point.

From what I could see, it didn't look like it mattered.  Anyway, if you can get a convenient appointment time, that's the way to go, and in Lisbon and Porto it's the only way you can get in,

    Just to give a update it took about seven days for my application to be approved, the next day I went to Viseu pt. Without a appointment and it took 1.5 hours. Now I'm just waiting on the new licence to come in the mail. I was told at the counter it would take 1 to 6 months.

I think that this information (1 to 6 months) is very helpful in describing what to expect of Portugal as a whole. I have personal experience with getting driver's licenses in several countries and the whole process took between 1 hour to a couple of weeks. In no case except Portugal it was required to surrender the existing license to receive a new license. And nowhere elese did it take so long.

My impression is that the public services of Portugal are largely "kaputt" and only have the purpose of providing work for otherwise unemployed people.

Don't misunderstand me though. I like living in Portugal, but I try to minimize my contact with public services.



  1. Do we need a translation of our driver license since it's in English, one of the accepted languages?
  2. Do we need the State apostille of the driving record?  Or the certified driving record would suffice?

I would say yes.  You need the apostilled record, and you need to send that to your consulate for a certified translation.  When you submit the scanned material online, the scans need to show the certification stamp.  It's conceivable that some combination of consulate and IMT employee could let that happen without the apostille, but it's supposed to be a requirement.  I am no expert in this.

@lienhoang00 For what it's worth, I did not need to provide a translation of my UK driver's license when I exchanged last year.

I hear that Lisbon has a lot of delays. Heard from a cab driver that Aveiro and Evora were much faster, and license came within a month from both places. Any one else who can vouch for that?

The lady of the house went to Coimbra, and got her license card in less than two months, if I remember right - from Aveiro.  Maybe Aveiro has acquired an employee who can type with all fingers, and other nearby municipalities are now sending their work there.  I went to Leiria, no such luck for me.