Current FAQ's: How to change your address, obtain a Portuguese driver's license, bring pets into Portugal, register to vote absentee.
(I am not a lawyer and all the information below is based on my personal experience and understanding; and may not be correct in all cases. Laws and procedures in Portugal are notoriously unclear and can change without notice).
How can I change my address? You have to go to the local city administration office (loja do cidadão) with your new lease and change it there. The post office will not do it for you.
How to obtain a Portuguese driver’s license? YOU MUST DO THIS WITHIN 3 MONTHS OF RECEIVING YOUR RESIDENCY CARD. IF NOT, YOU WILL NEED TO TAKE A DRIVING TEST AND RENT A “SPECIALLY REGISTERED” CAR FROM A DRIVING SCHOOL LIKE THE AUTO CLUB OF PORTUGAL (59 EUROS)!!!
The first step is to get a letter of medical fitness from a local hospital. Make sure the doctor does it on-line with the Portuguese DMV (Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes (IMT); WWW.IMT-IP.PT) and gives you a letter of medical approval. All I did was answer a few questions and read letters off an eye chart at CUF. You will also need a signed letter of your driving record from your US state’s DMV. Most states will allow you to apply for it on-line, but they will only mail it to a US address. The ones which you can download and print are not acceptable by the Portuguese authorities. Take both of these letters and your residency card with your US driver’s license to the local Portuguese IMT office. You will need to surrender your US driver’s license.
For those living in the Lisboa area, including Cascais, the IMT office is at Avenida Elias Garcia 101-103 (close to the Gulbenkian Museum).
There are three requirements to bring a cat or dog from outside the EU to Portugal.
1) Proof of rabies vaccination.
2) The animal is microchipped.
3) The form is filled out by a Veterinarian and signed by the USDA.
• At least 1 month after the date of vaccination against rabies and if the animals have already been identified, a blood sample must be taken to check the number of antibodies (sufficient) to the disease in laboratories approved by the EU;
• The movement of animals can only be carried out 3 months after the date of collection of blood.
Rabies vaccination corresponding to that listed in ANNEX III to Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 shall be considered valid if:
• THE DATE OF VACCINATION DOES NOT PREVENT THE DATE OF INTRODUCTION OF THE MICROCHIP (OR TATTOO).
IT IS ALLOWED STILL THE VACCINATION TO BE DONE ON THE SAME DATE IN WHICH THE ANIMAL IS IDENTIFIED;
• At least 21 days have elapsed since the completion of the vaccination protocol required by the manufacturer for the first vaccine given to the animal prior to 12 weeks of age (prime vaccination).
Revaccination (reinforcement) was carried out, fulfilling the deadlines recommended by the manufacturer (annually or not, as indicated in the technical specifications of the vaccine chosen), otherwise the vaccination to be given to the animal should be considered as a first vaccine;
• The validity of the vaccine itself, established in the respective technical specifications;
• The validity period of the vaccine administered by an authorized veterinarian or official is indicated on the identification document (health certificate) that accompanies each animal. Afterwards, when they left, they were accompanied by the passports with this information in them.
Identification of the animal:
The animal is considered to be identified:
• using an electronic identification system (microchip) according to ISO 11784 and using HDX or FDX-B technology
capable of being read by a reading device compatible with ISO Standard 11785, otherwise the owner of the animal must have means that allow its reading (consult the clinician of your animal)
• by clearly legible tattoo (option valid for animals identified before 03.07.2011 and provided that written proof of this fact is presented)
The identification of animals (dogs and cats) allows them to match their individual health status, so the date of vaccination against rabies can never be earlier than the identification date * (date of application of the microchip or date of its reading, when the date of application is not known In the case of a tattoo, the date of reading cannot be after 03/07/2011)
* It is however accepted that vaccination is carried out on the same date as the animal is identified
The following payments are due for the veterinary expert examination that is carried out at Travelers Entry Points during the Animal Control:
one animal - € 40.00
two or more animals - € 80.00
THE ENTRY OF DOGS AND YOUNG CATS FROM COUNTRIES OUTSIDE THE EU IS NOT AUTHORIZED YOUNGER THAN 12 WEEKS OR WITHIN 12 AND 16 WEEKS AND WITH ANTIRRABAL VACCINATION THAT WAS DONE LESS THAN 21 DAYS.
If you have any questions in the information contained herein, you can clarify it by sending a message to the following e-mail: secretariadoDIM@dgav.pt
It is compulsory to contact the Travelers Entrance Points, made by the owner / authorized person and not by the carrier, ASAP (maximum at least 48 hours before arrival), in order to avoid any inconvenience, namely ban on entry of animals for breach of established health rules.
Fill out the Form for this purpose and see the contacts of the Travelers Entry Points where you should send the information.
Direção Geral de Alimentação e Veterinária (DGAV)
Address: Campo Grande 50, 1700-162 Lisboa
How to register to vote absentee? Go to www.fvap.gov and fill out the form for your state and county. Sign and send to your county voter registration office. Instructions are on the website.