A few days ago, I received a frantic phone call from a Swedish friend (“I am in trouble” he cried) who was trying to renew his Portuguese driver’s licence. The agency handling his request, the one at the Cascais railway station, was asking him for a Portuguese health number (número de utente) – which he did not have – before their doctor could issue him with a health certificate. After a lengthy three-way conversation between the lady employee, my friend and I, with lots of translations in between, I learnt that the requirements for renewing driver’s licences were amended in 2017.

Although there are circumstances under which a driver’s licence does not have to be exchanged for a Portuguese one (those from other EU countries, for example), if your licence is about to expire, it will have to be renewed and you are obliged to do so in the country in which you have taken up residence, i.e. Portugal.

Here are some useful pointers:

  • Renewal can be done up to 6 months prior to the license expiring.
  • It has to be done, in person, at any Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes office (IMT), at the balcão do cidadão (citizen’s counter) of a Loja do Cidadão or online with IMT (http://www.imtonline.pt/). However, there are reports that the online process suffers from gremlins that bomb out applications.
  • You will have to present the current driver’s licence, passport (and a photo copy thereof), permanent residence card/certificate of residency issued by the Junta de Freguesia (and a copy thereof) and NIF (fiscal) number.
  • A health certificate from a doctor that is issued electronically to the IMT.


This is where your health number (número de utente) comes in. Without this number the doctor cannot issue a health certificate electronically. Privately run agencies (bureaus) and the Automobile Club of Portugal (ACP) issue health certificates from doctors affiliated to them.

If you do not yet have a health number (número de utente), check out the Writers Corner post thereon.


If you are over 70, your driver’s licence has to be renewed every 2 years.

The current cost for renewing a licence is €30, or €15 if you are 70 and over.

Electronic licence renewals on IMTonline are 10% cheaper, if you can get it to work.

The new driver’s licence will be sent to you by registered post

I hope this post will assist you through the driver’s licence renewal bureaucracy. Good luck!




Tags: IMT | Loja do Cidadão | Renew drivers licence | renewal ages

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