Driver`s License

Drivers from non-European Union nations will be allowed to drive in Portugal as long as they carry their home driver`s license as well as an International Driving Permit, issued before you leave your home country. Keep in mind that both licenses must not have an expiration date within 180 days of your dates of travel. Tourists are allowed to drive for 90 days in Portugal; you will have to apply for a Portuguese driver`s license if you plan to stay longer.


Third-party personal insurance is mandatory for all drivers in Portugal. Full coverage is optional but not required. Copies of the insurance policy must be carried in the car at all times.


A spare pair of glasses must be carried with you while driving, in addition to the glasses you need to wear to see the road. Contact lens wearers are subject to the same rules.

Warning Triangles and Visibility Vests

It is required of rental car operators to provide a warning triangle, reflective and usually red, in every car. This triangle will be placed behind your car if you are forced to stop for any reason. It is also compulsory to wear a reflective vest if your car is stopped on any motorway, and that vest should also be provided by the car company. Inquire before you leave the lot.

Spare Bulbs

Spare bulbs are required and it is against the law to drive without them. Your car rental company should provide these bulbs in a first aid kit that would also include the visibility vest and the warning triangle. Inquire before leaving the lot.

Snow Chains

Snow chains are not required year-round, but they are required in certain areas (Tras-os-Montes, Serra da Estrela) in winter. Ask your car rental company if you are traveling during a time in which snow chains are mandatory anywhere in the country.


- A fire extinguisher (recommended)
- Passport (Portuguese police routinely check foreign drivers` passports)
- Headlamp converters, stickers on the headlights to reduce glare for drivers coming from the other direction
- A first-aid kit
- If you have driven for less than one calendar year, a sticker should be placed on your car that reads `90`. It is mandated by the Automovel Club de Portugal and your car rental company can advise you on how to obtain this sticker.

Emergency, police and fire services in Portugal can be accessed by calling 112.