Car Hire Top Blog
Read Car Hire Top Blog and be informed about the latest news and information about Algarve tourism & Car Hire
Internacional driver's licenses admited to drive in Portugal and Faro Car Rental

In Portugal, you can generally use your country's driver's license to rent a car, provided it is written in the Roman alphabet (e.g., English, French, Spanish, etc.).

Is your country's driving license accepted to drive car hire in Portugal?

If your license is not in the Roman alphabet, you may need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your regular driver's license.

In general terms, driving licenses from countries that are part of the transit conventions (Geneva, 1949 and/or Vienna, 1968) or have a bilateral agreement with Portugal are valid.

If you have a driving license from a country in the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA - Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein), you can drive in Portugal with that license until the document expires.

An International Driving Permit serves as a translation of your driver's license and is widely accepted as a valid form of identification in Portugal. It is important to note that an IDP is not a standalone document and must be presented alongside your valid driver's license. The IDP must be obtained before you arrive in Portugal, as it cannot be issued or obtained once you are already there.

While some car rental companies in Portugal may not strictly require an IDP, it is always recommended to carry one, especially if your license is not in the Roman alphabet. It serves as an additional form of identification and can help you avoid any potential language barriers or confusion during the car rental process.

To summarize, if your driver's license is in the Roman alphabet, it should be generally acceptable for renting a car in Portugal. However, it is advisable to obtain an International Driving Permit if your license is in a non-Roman alphabet or if you simply want to have an additional form of identification for peace of mind during your travels.
It is always best to check with your car rental agency or refer to the specific requirements of the country you are renting the car from to ensure a smooth rental experience.

There is an international agreement known as the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic, commonly referred to as the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.
The Vienna Convention, established in 1968, aims to facilitate international road traffic and promote road safety by establishing uniform traffic rules and recognizing the validity of driver's licenses issued by member countries.

The Vienna Convention outlines the rules and regulations for international road traffic and specifies the mutual recognition of driver's licenses between member countries. Under this agreement, a driver's license issued by one member country is generally recognized and considered valid in other member countries.

There are 79 countries that were parties to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. Some of the subscriber countries to the Vienna Convention include:

List of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Road Traffic Vienna, 8 November 1968

Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Central African Republic of Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Holy See, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Niger, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Zimbabwe

It's important to note that not all countries are party to the Vienna Convention. Some countries may have chosen not to become a party to the agreement or have signed but not ratified it. Additionally, certain countries may have entered into bilateral agreements or have their own specific requirements for recognizing foreign driver's licenses.

Please note that the status of countries' membership and agreements may change over time, so it's always recommended to verify the latest information and requirements with the relevant authorities or embassies when planning to drive in a foreign country.

There are additional countries that are parties to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. The full list of member countries can be obtained from the United Nations or the relevant transport authorities of each country.

The Convention on Road Traffic, commonly known as the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, is an international treaty designed to facilitate international road traffic and to increase road safety by establishing standard traffic rules among the contracting parties. The convention was agreed upon at the United Nations Economic and Social Council's Conference on Road Traffic (7 October – 8 November 1968) and concluded in Vienna on 8 November 1968. It came into force on 21 May 1977. This conference also produced the Convention on Road Signs and Signals. The convention had amendments on 3 September 1993 and 28 March 2006. There is a European Agreement supplementing the Convention on Road Traffic (1968), which was concluded in Geneva on 1 May 1971.

The Vienna Convention on Road Traffic was concluded at Vienna on 8 November 1968. Since its entry into force on 21 May 1977, in signatory countries ("Contracting Parties") it replaces previous road traffic conventions, notably the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, in accordance with Article 48 of the convention. As of October 2022, the convention has been ratified by 86 countries, but those who have not ratified the convention may still be parties to the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. Ireland, Canada, the United States, Cyprus, Iceland, Malta, China and Malaysia are examples of non-signatory countries. Several other countries, such as Spain and Mexico, have signed the convention but have not ratified it.

As of August 1, 2022, people with driving licenses from Member States of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) do not need to exchange them for a Portuguese license .

The countries that are covered by this regime are:

Angola, Australia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Canada, Chile, United States of America, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Mozambique, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Switzerland and Turkey.

The new diploma does not, however, benefit the citizens of Guinea-Bissau, Timor-Leste and Equatorial Guinea. Although these countries are part of the CPLP, there is no bilateral agreement with Portugal for the recognition of driving licenses.

According to the latest data from the authority that regulates rent-a-car activity in Portugal, this is the complete list of countries whose driving licenses are accepted or not accepted to drive in Portugal:

Driving permit in Portugal with foreign driving licenses, by country.

Accepted driving licenses

Countries of the Geneva 1949 Convention:

South Africa, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Congo, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Ecuador,
Slovakia, Spain, United States of America, Fiji, Philippines, Finland, France, Ghana, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Netherlands,
Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Lesotho, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macau,
Madagascar, Malaysia, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Morocco, Monaco, Montenegro, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Kyrgyzstan, United Kingdom, Central African Republic, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Romania, Rwanda, Russia, San Marino, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Serbia, Singapore, Syria, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Vatican, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe

Countries of the Vienna 1968 Convention:

South Africa, Albania, Germany, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil,
Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Chile, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Ecuador,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Philippines, Finland, France, Ghana, Georgia, Greece, Guyana, Holland, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Morocco, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Niger, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, United Kingdom, Central African Republic, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe

Bilateral Agreements:

Andorra, Angola, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Switzerland

Unaccepted driving licenses

Without Convention:

Anguilla, Antigua, Bermuda, China (People's Republic of China), North Korea, Dominica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Palestine, Western Sahara, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tonga

So the next time you want to rent a car in Portugal and you're not sure if your driving license is valid for renting a car in the Algarve or any other region of Portugal, you can read the updated information on
Book your Car Hire Faro Airport Portugal online in advance to get the lowest prices and guaranteed availability for delivery.

Use Car Hire Top Algarve for Local Car Hire Delivery Service

As customers we know that the trust we place in the companies we choose is very important. At Algarve  we know that this trust can only be guaranteed through a serious and honest car hire service without deceiving the customer. We know that a satisfied customer will come back and recommend us to his/her friends. That's why our customers trust us when they need to rent a car in Faro airport or elsewhere in the Algarve, because we always point out the best car hire company for the searched location. That is the reason you should choose Car Hire Top for your car hire holidays in Algarve. We are sure you will be happy you did.

CarHire Top - Trusted Rent a Car Suggestion in Algarve