Learning to Drive in Portugal

The regulations affecting teenage drivers in Portugal...

  • The legal minimum age to drive a car or motorbike over 50cc is 18 years
  • For a scooter or moped of less than 50cc, the minimum age is 16 years
  • Anyone under the age of 18 needs the written authorisation of their guardian to obtain a driving licence
  • Drivers and passengers on both mopeds and motorbikes must wear crash helmets
  • Like other European countries, a driving licence (or passport for those who do not have a photo licence), vehicle registration papers and insurance documents must be carried at all times
  • Portugal allows only 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood and drink-driving is punished by fines or custodial sentences for more serious offences

Learning to drive

Driving tests are set by the General Authority for Traffic, (Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes Terrestres, IMTT), and are taken in Exam Centres (Centros de Exames), either public or private, that are accredited by the Traffic Authority. The candidate must choose the Exam Centre in their district of residence.

To apply for a driving licence, first register with the DGV and a driving school (Escola de Condução). Basic driving practice can begin at 16 years of age if certain criteria are met; a driving school will provide information.

The driving test has two parts, a theoretical exam and a practical test. The practical part must be taken in the same Exam Centre where the candidate has successfully passed the theoretical exam, unless they can prove a permanent change of residential or professional address.

Insurance

Insurance is mandatory for all motor vehicles and their trailers in Portugal. Anyone who does not comply will face a fine ranging from €500 to €2,500 when driving a motorbike or motor vehicle.

All leading insurers have special insurance products for young drivers.