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Recommended By

Date Recommended

22 Sept 2021

Date Updated

2 June 2022

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How to Get a Brazilian Driver’s License

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Guará I

Government Services



As a non-Brazilian, foreigners who are not in the diplomatic service can drive in Brazil between 90 and 180 days, depending on what national driver’s license you have, without any problems. After 3 months they are legally obliged to apply for a Brazilian driver’s license.

While most of the gringos living here do not have a Brazilian license and are winging it, it can be a risk. If they get traffic tickets and are caught up in a “Blitz” (traffic control) it can get rather nasty for them. And you really do not want to deal with the Brazilian court bureaucracy and the costs involved.

It is not difficult to get a Brazilian license if you follow the right procedure. What you need is the following:

· Your national driver’s license and a certified translation certificate

· Your driving record from the country you are from and a certified translation certificate

· Proof that you live in Brazil (electricity or water bill in your name will do)

· An eye test from an authorized Brazilian optometrist; there are optometrists that are specializing in this. (This will be done AFTER you visited the DETRAN office)

If you have all this, you must attend in person the DETRAN office in Shopping Popular. I would advise that, if you do not speak Portuguese fluently, you take somebody along that speaks Portuguese as it is highly unlikely that the person attending you will speak any foreign language.

IMPORTANT - You have to book an appointment on the DETRAN website or app. From the booking to the actual appointment can take a few weeks. So plan ahead.

You will have to fill out some forms and after presenting them to the official he will collect biometric information (finger prints) from you and take a photo (in the past you had to bring a photo yourself).

They will also give you two payment slips that you have to pay before your second appointment (in May 2022 the fees for this were R$234 and R$44). This can currently only be paid at a BRB (Banco de Brasilia) branch. There is a BRB branch in Shopping Popular, but they only take cash or a BRB card.

After all that is done you will receive another official form which you have to take to an authorized optometrist and psychological examination place. Here you must do an eye test and a psychological exam, which really is not hard. After the conclusion, they will fill out the DETRAN form, sign and stamp it and give it to you. Of course, there is a fee to pay for all this (in May 2022 the fee for this was R$428.15)

Now back to DETRAN (do not forget to make an appointment online) and hand over the forms and proof of payment.

The paper license will then be send out to by mail, but you can access the license on the DETRAN app within a couple of days (More information about the app and how to get it see the Digital Driver’s License & Vehicle Registration review in the Services category).

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Customer Comments

James Forsyth

You do not know need a photo, they will take the photo on your first visit when they collect your biometrics.

17 May 2022