Applying for a Temporary License

How to apply for a temporary driving license in Brazil...

Foreigners who have temporary work or tourist visas and foreign temporary or full driving licenses can apply for a Brazilian temporary license (licenca especial para estrangeiros) at the Brazilian State Transport Department (Departamento Estadual de Trânsito - DETRAN).

  • To find a local DETRAN office: Click here and select the state of residence

The license must be applied for by the individual in person or a Despachante representing the individual. The following documents will be required:

  • Original or copy of the Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro (RNE) permanente, temporary or provisional
  • Certified statement from the Federal Police containing the driver’s personal data, including the RNE number and dates of validity and passport number
  • Original and copy of the CPF
  • Original and copy of proof of address, issued up to 3 months prior to the request.  Documentation that may be used are the following:  Invoices of water, gas, electric and telephone. Tax (IPTU) and social security documents (INSS), condominium receipts, bank statements, letters from any public authority. All must be issued in the person’s name and contain the address of the individual
  • Original and copy of the foreign driver’s license that has been translated to Portuguese and notarized
  • Medical and physchologial statement
  • Proof that the tax has been paid for the CNH (Carteira de Habilitação)

These documents must be presented at the Setor de Atendimento ao Estrangeiro (Service Area for Foreigners) of the local DETRAN office and the applicant will need to pay a tax. It is recommended to show an original temporary or full driving license to DETRAN before commencing the process, for confirmation that the document actually needs to be translated.

If the temporary license is invalid or close to becoming invalid, the foreigner may be required to take the psychological and medical exams required by DETRAN. This is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Having completed the above steps, a temporary license (license especial para estrangeiros) will be issued immediately. This is valid for six months and can be renewed as necessary. There may be some differences in procedure in different states of Brazil.