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Driving and Public TransportBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Portugal - Driving and Public Transport
- Driver's license (issued in country of origin for EU citizens, International Permit for non-EU citizens)
- Vehicle registration
- Proof of insurance
- Proof of legal ownership of vehicle (or notarized statement permitting use if borrowed), or rental documentation
- Passport or ID card
If driving to Portugal, foreigners must register with the Police within 3 business days of entry.
If you become a resident of Portugal you must obtain a Portuguese driver's license within 30 days of effective date of residency. Documents required are:
- Valid license
- Passport or ID card
- Residence Permit
- 2 passport-style photographs
- Application forms
Portugal has one of the highest traffic accident rates in Europe, with an estimated ratio of 21 deaths per 100,000 residents annually, as compared to 5.9 deaths per 100,000 residents in the UK.
Portugal's road and highway system is ranked lower than that of many western European countries. The majority of highways consist of two lanes, and there can be long delays because of heavy commercial truck traffic. Toll roads are very expensive, and thus rarely utilized by local drivers, adding to the congestion on secondary roadways.
Poorly lit roads and construction zones, occasional straying livestock and slow-moving agricultural equipment all contribute to the hazards of driving in Portugal. Fines for traffic violations are substantial and usually must be paid on the spot.
Lisbon, in particular, is not for the faint-hearted driver. It may be preferable to utilize public transportation when visiting the city. There are many tram and bus lines that provide an inexpensive and convenient alternative to driving. In addition, taxi service is readily available in all districts.
The main transport providers are:
CP - Railway service at a national level and in the Metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto
CARRIS - Bus /Tram service in Lisbon
STCP - Bus service in Porto
TRANSTEJO - Ferry operator in Lisbon and South Edge of Lisbon
Metropolitano de Lisboa - Underground train in Lisbon
Metro do Porto - Light Metro System of the Porto Metropolitan Area
The Lisbon Metro is probably the most popular means of local transportation for visitors and locals alike. For schedule and fare information visit:
There are also a number of regularly scheduled commuter trains that service nearby towns, and international trains with connections to other countries in Europe.
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