Holders of driving licenses issued by Member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) can now drive in Portugal without changing their licence.

According to the amendment published today in the Diário da República, the exchange of driving licenses has been waived, "enabling driving in the national territory with titles issued in those States, through the recognition of foreign driving titles".

Rules for application

This recognition applies to driver's licenses in which the issuing State subscribes in a bilateral agreement with the Portuguese State, if no more than 15 years have elapsed since the issue or the last renewal and provided that the holder has less than 60 years of age.

The published decree-law emphasises that these driving licenses only allow driving in national territory "if their holders are of the minimum age required by Portuguese law for the respective license, and are valid and not apprehended, suspended, expired or revoked by force of legal provision, administrative decision or court decision applied to its holder in Portugal or in the issuing State".

Freedom of movement

"Freedom of movement is an essential element for the full exercise of citizenship", says the published decree-law, stressing that "Portugal has sought to strengthen the rights of foreign citizens who travel to our country, whether in terms of travel temporary accommodation for tourist purposes, whether travelling to work or invest in our country".

In the document, the Government reiterates its commitment "to an integration of migrants, which involves improvements in their quality of life", stressing that it is "essential to simplify the license to drive motor vehicles", an element that it considers "fundamental for a guarantee of mobility throughout the national territory".

Countries included

The rules mean that holders of driving licenses issued by Member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) can now drive in Portugal without changing their licence.

CPLP countries are: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, São Tomé e Principe, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique.

OECD countries are: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.