Brazil Driving Licence or Driver Permit

Brazil Driving Licence : Obtaining a driving licence in Brazil allows you to legally operate motor vehicles on public roads. Here is an overview of driving licences in Brazil:

Brazil Driving Licence or Driver Permit

Types of Licences

There are different categories of driving licences issued in Brazil:

  • Category A – Motorcycles, tricycles, mopeds
  • Category B – Cars, vans, utes
  • Category C – Trucks, buses, heavy vehicles
  • Category D – Public transportation vehicles
  • Category E – Trailer and caravan combinations

Eligibility and Minimum Age

To qualify for a Brazilian driving licence you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old (Category A, B)
  • Be at least 21 years old (Category C, D, E)
  • Pass required medical, theory and practical driving tests
  • Complete first aid course
  • Have a Brazilian tax ID number

Licence Validity

Licence validity periods in Brazil:

  • Category A, B – 5 years
  • Category C, D, E – 5 years

Licences must be renewed before expiration.

New Residents and Tourists

Tourists can drive using foreign licences for up to 180 days in Brazil. New residents can drive for 60 days before obtaining a Brazilian licence. An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Getting Your First Brazil Driving Licence

Here are the steps to obtaining your initial driving licence in Brazil:

1. Enroll in Driving School

  • Complete mandatory theory classes on road rules and signs.
  • Take practical driving lessons with instructor.
  • Receive permit to start practicing on roads.

2. Pass Medical Examination

  • Get medical certificate confirming fitness to drive.
  • Includes vision, hearing, and health assessments.

3. Pass Theory Test

  • Take multiple choice computerized theory test.
  • Answer questions on traffic laws and regulations.
  • Score at least 70% to pass.

4. Pass Practical Driving Test

  • Take the practical test with examiner assessing your driving skills.
  • Demonstrate competent control, maneuvering, judgement.
  • Achieve a minimum score of 70% to pass.

5. Obtain Your Licence

  • Apply at Detran with passed test certificates, docs and fees.
  • Upon approval, your photo licence will be issued.

Renewing a Brazilian Driving Licence

To continue driving legally, you must renew your licence before expiration:

  • Licences can be renewed up to 12 months before expiry.
  • Present current licence and get new photo taken.
  • Pay renewal fees.
  • Your updated licence will be provided.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Licence

If your Brazilian driving licence is lost or stolen:

  • File a BO police report regarding the loss/theft.
  • Apply for replacement at Detran within 30 days.
  • Provide BO report and old licence details.
  • Pay replacement fee.
  • You will be issued a duplicate licence.

Changing Your Address on Your Licence

When you change your official residence in Brazil:

  • Notify Detran within 30 days of address change.
  • Provide proof of new address.
  • Pay modification fee.
  • Your driving licence will be updated with new address.

Getting an International Driving Permit

To drive in other countries, you may need an IDP:

  • Apply for IDP at Detran or automobile club.
  • Bring current licence, passport photos and photocopies.
  • Complete application and pay fee.
  • Carry both your licence and IDP overseas.

Traffic Rules and Regulations in Brazil

When driving in Brazil, follow these main traffic laws:

General Driving

  • Drive on the right side of the road
  • Mandatory seat belt wearing
  • Require proper child restraints
  • Obey speed limits and traffic signals

Speed Limits

  • 60 km/h on urban municipal roads
  • 110 km/h on highways
  • 130 km/h on dual carriageways


  • Licence must be carried when driving

Alcohol Limits

  • 0.02% maximum allowable blood alcohol content
  • 0.00% alcohol tolerance for professional drivers


  • Speeding fines from R$130
  • Driving unlicensed – fines up to R$3000

Resolving Traffic Violations and Fines in Brazil

If you commit a traffic offence in Brazil, here is how to deal with resulting fines:

Pay the Fine

  • Fines can be paid at bank branches, lotteries, Detran offices, online.
  • Discounts given for prompt payment.
  • Keep receipt as proof of payment.

Dispute the Fine

  • To contest, file written challenge within 30 days.
  • Submit evidence supporting your dispute.
  • Fine may be waived if dispute upheld.

Licence Suspension

  • Licence may be suspended for serious offences.
  • Excess points also leads to suspension.
  • Attend traffic school to reduce points.

Failure to Pay

  • Unpaid fines referred for civil enforcement after 60 days.
  • Additional fees and charges added.
  • Can result in driver’s licence being cancelled.

FAQ on Brazilian Driving Licences

1. How much does it cost to get a Brazilian driving licence?

Getting a new Brazilian driving licence costs around R$1000-1500. This covers mandatory lessons, theory/practical tests, documentation and issuance fees. Renewal every 5 years is approximately R$200-300.

2. What is the minimum driving age in Brazil?

The minimum age to obtain a regular car or motorcycle licence in Brazil is 18 years old. For commercial and heavy vehicle licences, you must be at least 21 years old.

3. Can I drive in Brazil with just my International Driving Permit?

No, an IDP itself does not allow you to drive in Brazil. You must also carry your valid foreign driver’s licence. The IDP just provides translation and confirmation of driving privileges.

4. How do I replace my lost Brazilian driving licence?

Report loss immediately to police and apply for replacement at Detran within 30 days. Provide the BO report and old licence details. Pay the fee to be issued a duplicate plastic card licence.

5. Can I renew my Brazilian licence from overseas?

No, Brazilian driving licences cannot be renewed from overseas. You must be present in-person at Detran in Brazil for new medical screening and to obtain the renewed physical licence card.