After Brexit...what happens to my driving license?

scritto Tânia Fernandes, in Business · 21-05-2021 01:00:00 · 0 Commmenti

After leaving the European Union, United Kingdom (UK) citizens not covered by the rights contained in the exit agreement became subject to the law that defines the conditions and procedures for entry, stay, exit and removal of foreign citizens from Portuguese territory, as well as the status of long-term resident status, as third-country nationals, with the particularities that set forth in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

If you’re a British driving licence holder living in the UK you can still drive in Portugal with your license during the first 185 days after entering the country. After this you’ll need an IDP - International Driving Permit.

Due the large number of UK citizens living in Portugal, an agreement between Portugal and UK was approved to extend a transitional regime that allows driving in Portugal with a UK driving licence. Therefore, since 1 April 2021 according to the Decree-Law no. 25-B/2021 published on the 30/03, a transitional rule for the exchange of driving licences issued by the United Kingdom is in force until 31 December 2021.

This means that your driving license is considered valid and is recognised in Portugal at the same terms as any driving licence issued by any European Union (EU) Member State. At this moment all valid driving licences issued by the UK are recognised on the same terms as driving licences issued by any Member States of the EU.

The above Decree-Law assumes an equivalent treatment by the British authorities towards Portuguese citizens living in the United Kingdom. However Portuguese citizens living in the UK are not subject to equivalent treatment provided in this Decree-Law, then it’s application shall be totally or partially suspended by the Council of Ministers resolution.

Therefore, we advise that if you are resident in Portugal you must exchange your UK driving licence by 31 December 2021, to obtain a Portuguese driving license, without needing to take any driving test. Be aware that if by any chance your UK driving licence is lost, stolen or expired, you will not be able to renew it with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

However, should you experience any problems or difficulties in exchange your driving license we would recommend you to seek the services and advice of a Solicitor who will guide you through the process.

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