Driving Tests in Portugal

Understand the procedure for applying for and taking a driving test in Portugal...

Driving exams are in three parts: Theoretical (Teórica), Technical (Técnica) and the Practical Driving Exam (Prática de Condução).

The theory test for a Category B licence contains 30 questions to be answered in 35 minutes of which 27 must be correct. There is also an oral Technical Test which lasts 50 minutes. If the candidate is foreign and does not have sufficient knowledge of Portuguese an Embassy or Consulate accredited interpreter may be taken to the exam. The Practical Test is the same as in all EU countries and takes place through a 40-55 minute course in traffic.  The theory test for Category A1 and A licences contains ten additional questions specific to motorbikes.

Application for a driving test

An application is made through a driving school for the registration form for a driving licence (Licença de Condução). This must be completed and submitted to the IMT. If the applicant is a minor, it must be filled in and signed by a parent or guardian (Authorização do Poder Paternal). Driving lesson prices vary from school to school.

The following documents are required:

  • Proof of identity. This may be a passport (Passaporte), identity card (Bilhete de Identidade) or Residency Card (Cartão de Residência)
  • Two recent, matt colour identity photos with the applicant's name clearly printed on the back
  • Two stamped self-addressed envelopes
  • A medical certificate (Atestado Medico para Condutor de Veículos) filled out and signed by a doctor

The practical driving test

An applicant is entitled to five attempts at the practical exam over a two year period.

Exams are taken at an IMT approved Driving Exam Centre (Centro de Exames de Condução) There are approximately 33 centres nationwide. The exam must be taken in the local area IMT area of registration.

Take the following documents to the test:

  • Passport
  • ID Card
  • Residency Card or Authorisation to Residency Certificate
  • Learner's Driving Licence (Licença de Aprendizagem)
  • Instruction Manual (Caderneta de Instruendo)

If the driver fails the exam a Failure Report (Relatório de Reprovação) is issued highlighting the reasons for failure. A new driving test appointment must then be booked by the driving school for a test at the same test centre at a later date.

Once all tests have been passed the driving inspector issues a Temporary Driving Licence (Guia para Condução Temporária or Carta de Condução Provisória/Temporária) for use until the official full document is issued. This permits the driver to drive anywhere in Portugal.

Note: learning to drive and taking the examination in an automatic car does not qualify the driver for a full category B licence.

To get a full driving licence

Take the Guia or Carta de Condução Temporária supplied by the driving inspector and hand it into the driving school. The school will arrange for and present the new driver with a full driving licence (Carta da Condução) within a few days.

The following will be needed as well as the temporary licence:

  • Proof of identity
  • Money to pay the tax/fee

Alternatively, the driver may request the licence by post from the IMT, by sending:

  • The Guia or Carta da Conduçaõ Temporária supplied by the driving inspector
  • A stamped, self-addressed registered envelope
  • A cheque for payment of regional/municipal taxes

Note: Drivers who wear spectacles or contact lenses must ensure that this is stated on the licence. It is compulsory to wear them when driving and contact lens wearers must keep a set of spectacles with them at all times while driving.

There are special exemptions for physically disabled people. Please enquire at the IMT or driving school.