Legalisation of vehicles

On this page you will find information on the legalisation process of vehicles imported into Portugal. Vehicles with foreign registration are not allowed to circulate in Portugal. The import process should start as soon as the vehicle enters Portuguese territory and it is intended to circulate with it in this territory. The legalisation of vehicles requires the payment of certain fees and taxes.

Vehicle legalisation process in Portugal

The process of vehicle legalization obeys to the completion of several steps, which must be verified within the legal deadlines. Below we will briefly explain each mandatory step, which must be followed in chronological order. In this brief explanation you will find information about the deadlines and the administrative fees due.


Request of COC

The COC (Certificate of Conformity) is a document issued by the vehicle manufacturer, certifying that the vehicle conforms to the applicable legislation in the European Union. The COC is only available for vehicles manufactured in the European Union and for those with a production date in or after 1996. It is mandatory to submit it for the application for national homologation (step 02).


National homologation

The national homologation number should be requested online from the Institute of Mobility and Transport (IMT) within 20 days of the vehicle entering in Portugal.



Vehicle inspection

t is mandatory to perform an inspection of the vehicle at an authorised testing centre for registration. This centre will issue the Model 112 Inspection Certificate. This procedure must be carried out within the first 20 days after the vehicle enters Portugal (it may be carried out at the same time as applying for the national approval number). The inspection has an approximate cost of 80 Euros.


Customs Declaration (DAV)

The DAV must be submitted on the Portal das Finanças (website of Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira) within 20 working days after the entry of the vehicle in Portugal (or within 10 working days after the end of the temporary admission or importation regimes).


Payment of taxes

Following the delivery of the DAV the ISV settlement note will be issued. If you submit the DAV in the Portal das Finanças, you must request the issuance of the Single Collection Document to pay the ISV. This tax must be paid within 10 days after the issuing of the DAV and the settlement note. Note that currently there is the possibility to request, as an alternative, the valuation method to calculate the ISV. The application for the valuation method will be reviewed by Customs and in certain cases a Customs inspection of the vehicle will be requested. The application for the application of the valuation method is subject to the prior payment of a fee varying between 150 Euros to 300 Euros (depending on whether a physical inspection of the vehicle is required).
Only (1) vehicles purchased less than 6 months ago or with less than 6,000 kilometres; or (2) imported from outside the European Union are subject to VAT.


Request of taxes exemption

The importation of vehicles by persons changing their residence to Portugal may be tax exempt provided that the following conditions are met:
– The owner must be over 18 years of age
– The owner has resided in the country of origin for at least 6 months before transferring residence to Portugal
– The owner has acquired the said vehicle in the country of origin, at least 6 months before the transfer of residence
– The request must be applied for within 12 months of the change of residence to Portugal.



application for portuguese plate

After the ISV is paid (or the tax exemption is granted), a national number plate printed on the DAV is assigned (normally after payment it can take up to 5 working days for Customs to assign the plate).
Within 60 days of the date the national number plate is assigned on the VAD the owner must apply for a registration certificate from the IMT – the Single Automobile Document. The request for a registration certificate is subject to a fee of EUR 45. As a general rule, the registration certificate is issued within 48 hours. Please note that it is currently necessary to book an appointment in advance at the IMT, and it is not possible to go there at any time.


Buy a number plate

The owner must also purchase a number plate from an authorised dealer (normally the cost of this plate is approximately 20 Euros).



Obtain vehicle insurance

The conclusion of a vehicle insurance contract in Portugal is compulsory.


Property register

Within the same 60-day period after the date of the national registration on the DAV, it is necessary to apply for car registration in order to obtain the Portuguese Single Automobile Document after the IMT has issued the registration certificate. This registration has an approximate cost of 55 Euros (if requested online, but if requested within 60 days the registration will have an approximate fee of 120 Euros).


IUC Payment

IUC is due annually in the month of registration. However, the same is also due at the moment when the registration is recorded. The document for the payment of the IUC will be issued in the owner’s personal area of the Finance Portal. As a general rule, the IUC must be paid within 90 days from the date the national number plate is assigned in the DAV.

Our Fees

The amounts of the fees are subject to VAT at a rate of 23% (to be added to the amounts indicated). Our fees do not include the comparative analysis between the general method and the Vehicle Tax valuation method. Should you require our assistance with this analysis, we will provide you with a quotation. For more information on how to contract our services – here.


For the legalisation process of the European Union vehicle

EUR 400 (if it is necessary to request the COC, the value of the fees will be reviewed accordingly)


For the legalisation process of the vehicle from outside the European Union

EUR 500


For the ISV and VAT exemption request (to be added to the legalization fee)

EUR 50

Contact us

We are happy to answer your questions and make your journey in Portugal a pleasant one.

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