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Last checked: 20/06/2018

Car registration in another EU country – Portugal

Affected by Brexit?

The information on this page does not apply to UK nationals residing in the EU and EU nationals residing in the UK. National rules are applicable in these cases.

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As an EU national moving to Portugal, you must register your car if you are the holder of the registration certificate, the owner of the vehicle, or a user of a vehicle you do not own (e.g. a family member). As an EU national moving to Portugal, you can use your vehicle here while it is still registered in your previous home country. You have 20 working days to register your car in Portugal, following the car import into Portugal. You can register your car at any customs office by showing the Vehicle Tax (Imposto Sobre Veículos – ISV) and by submitting the vehicle customs declaration (DAV) through the Portal das Finanças.

Time allowed for re-registering a vehicle

If you change your country of residence to Portugal, you have 12 months from the date you transfer residence to Portugal to request an exemption from the payment of vehicle tax.

To get information about re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country (residence transference - tax regimen) go to Portal das Finanças - Serviços Aduaneiros.

For further information on vehicles tax (ISV), contact the customs offices (Alfândega).

Temporary registration plates

If you buy a car abroad, transit registration plates issued in another EU country will be recognized in Portugal for the purposes of driving your car back to your place of residence (temporary importation).

You can only use your car in Portugal for the maximum period of 90 days, after the entrance in Portugal, under the condition that it is driven only by you, the owner of the vehicle.

Ask the customs office (Alfândega) for a Guia that you can show to the traffic police or fiscal authorities.

Exemptions from the obligation to register a vehicle


If you are a student in Portugal from another EU country you:

To qualify for an exemption you must get a certificate of enrolment at the university (or other school/college where you are studying), which is valid for every 12 months of the duration of your study visit, and the proof of residence in another member state.

In order to request the exemption, you must submit a vehicle customs declaration (DAV) through the Portal das Finanças, within 30 days after the entrance of the vehicle into Portugal.

If, as a student, you are also working in Portugal, you must have to register the vehicle and pay related taxes.

Pensioners, second homeowners, and cross-border commuters

As EU nationals with a second home in Portugal, you mustregister your vehicles here, if the vehicle remains in temporary importation for a period, continuous or otherwise, of more than six months in any 12 months.

Vehicles owned by a private individual, who has transferred his/her residence to Portugal, may be exempt from vehicle tax (ISV) if they meet the following criteria:

Detailed information on transfer of residence.

Company cars

A company registered in another EU country may keep a company car in Portugal for business use without submitting a vehicle customs declaration, under the following conditions:

The employed must produce evidence that:

Cross-border workers

You are a cross-border worker, if you work on one side of the national border (Portugal) but live on the other (Spain) with your household, if exist, and return home regularly, using your own car to commute regularly from the country where you live to the country where you work, you can request the exemption of vehicle tax (temporary importation of the car) at customs.

To qualify for an exemption as a cross-border you must submit a vehicle customs declaration (DAV) through the Portal das Finanças.

The cross-border worker must produce evidence to show:

Car tax

As an EU national, if you want to register and use your car in Portugal, you must pay:

The following categories of vehicles are exempt from vehicle tax (ISV) but must be registered in Portugal:

The following categories of vehicles are exempt from road tax:

If you do not register your vehicle in Portugal and it is required to be registered, in order to pay vehicle tax (ISV), you are still subject to these tax and to associated penalties, for late payment and fiscal evasion.

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