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Driving Laws in Portugal.

Please read the following carefully and abide by the rules and regulations at all time.

The Portuguese traffic police although are in general very fair will enforce the law where it is needed.

In general you will have nothing to worry about while out and about driving in Portugal apart from the Portuguese who do tend to drive too fast, too close behind you and over take too close.

Drive with care at all times and stick to the rules.

Rules and Regulations

Always Drive on the right in Portugal

The legal age for driving in Portugal a car is 18 years

It is illegal to drive with headphones on that are connected to a sound device

Mobile telephones can only be used with a hands free system

It is compulsory to wear seat belts (both front and back seats if fitted) It is the driver's responsibility to ensure all passengers wear their belts (and it is the driver who will be fined if the passengers are not belted)

Children under 12 years of age may not ride in the front passenger seats unless they are over 150cm tall. If possible special child seat belts) should be used

It is forbidden to carry devices such as radar detectors that  can avoid police patrols.

Dogs must always be restrained in a moving car

Baggage carried on top of the vehicle must not exceed the vehicle's length by more than 45cm at the rear and 55cm at the front

Headlights must always be used in tunnels

It is illegal to overtake on the right in free-flowing traffic (undertaking)

It is illegal for a motorbike to carry passengers under the age of seven

If involved in an accident the driver must stop and help any injured people, They must help in avoiding any new danger and other possible accidents. If people are injured or the car is blocking the road and cannot be moved you must call the police (Police Tel: 112)

Things you MUST Carry in the Car at  all times

You must carry the following items in the car at all times. Not having these can result in a fine if pulled over by the police, or failure of the vehicle roadworthiness test, the IPO (Inspecção Períodica Obrigatória).

A yellow, orange or red reflective danger jacket. The vest must be accessible without leaving the car

Each car must carry one red reflective warning triangle

Spare bulbs and the tools required to fit them

A spare wheel, inflated and the tools necessary to change it

Approved child seats for children under 12 and/or 150cm

Paperwork you must carry in the car at all times

It is compulsory for the driver to carry a driving licence (Carta or Título de Condução).

Valid Portuguese and EU country driving licences are accepted in Portugal.

Some non-EU licences are accepted for a period of time if accompanied with an International Driving Licence

Road tax (Imposto Unico de Circulação) must be paid

You must carry vehicle registration documents (Título de Registo de Propriedade) and log book (Livrete), or DUA (All-in-One Vehicle Document - Documento Único Automóvel)

If a car is older than four years it is compulsory to have a valid IPO certificate (Documento de Inspecção Periódica Obrigatória) as proof of roadworthiness, along with the corresponding sticker placed in the windshield

You must have at least Third Party Car Insurance (Seguro Automóvel Contra Terceiros) and display the corresponding sticker in a pocket on the windscreen

Vehicle registration documents

Note that under arrangements currently being phased in, the car registration documents (Título de Registo de Propriedade), log book (Livrete), and licence plate certificate (Certificado de Matrícula) have been replaced by a single document, the DUA All-in-One Vehicle Document (Documento Único Automóvel).

The Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes Terrestres, IMTT (website in Portuguese) is the administrative body for the traffic system, road safety and implementing traffic regulations.

Registering your driving licence.

If you are resident in Portugal and drive on a UK licence, you must register with the Instituto da Mobilidade e de Transportes (IMT) within 60 days of arrival, or face a fine.

If you are resident in Portugal, you will not be able to renew a lost, stolen or expired licence with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). It may be easier to convert your UK licence to a Portuguese one.

You can exchange an expired UK licence for up to 2 years after the expiration date. After 2 years, you will have to pass a Portuguese driving test.



The Portuguese take bad driving very seriously. So what are the driving laws in Portugal

Portuguese Driving Laws.

Things you must and must not do when driving your vehicle on any Portuguese roads: licences the law, speeding laws, parking and alcohol intake laws.As Portugal is in Europe most of the rules of the road in Portugal are more or less the same as those in the rest of western Europe. Having had one of the worst road traffic accidents rates and deaths through bad drivers and speeding drivers over the past 20 years or so, Portugal is now clamping down on bad and dangerous drivers not sticking to the rules and regulations of Portuguese driving laws.