Registering a Vehicle from a Non-European Union Country

Taxes and registration requirements for vehicles from non-EU countries...

To legalise a vehicle purchased abroad, it first has to be registered with the IMT.

Take the vehicle's original registration documents and receipt of sale to the local Customs Office (Alfândega) where a fiscal certificate or tax clearance form will be issued. There are likely to be customs and tax charges payable, depending on the model, mileage, cylinder capacity, and age of the vehicle in question.

The IMT (Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes) issues the certificate of compliance (Form Model 9). Apply to the IMT for a Change in Licence Plate Application (customs will usually help with this process on the driver's behalf). This initiates the process of registration. A dossier is opened.

Complete a Declaração de Circulação and a form for additional information about the vehicle. The dossier will be sent to the IMT notify the owner by mail when to present the vehicle for examination at an IPO (Inspecção Periódica Obrigatória) test centre.

If the vehicle passes the IPO test, the IMT issues a statement of approval. Take this and the other documents to Customs, who will issue a new vehicle registration number (matrícula).

The following documents are usually required:

  • Proof of identity (passport, identity card)
  • Proof of residence (property title deeds, rental contract, utility bill, insurance certificate)
  • A copy of the foreign registration certificate
  • Copy of the Certificate of Compliance (Form Model 9) (issued by the manufacturer or their local agent/dealer)
  • A copy of the certificate of purchase and customs clearance certificate, issued by the customs office (Alfândega Portuguesas)
  • IPO roadworthiness certificate

 The ePortugal website has a guideline on how to register an imported vehicle. 

The registration number and other documents are taken to the IRN (Instituto dos Registos e Notariado) for issue of the DUA. Following this, new number plates must be made and fitted.

Registration can also be done online via the Automóvel Online platform. Online registrations benefit from a 15% discount.

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