As a new car is imported from another country to Portugal, it is essential for the vehicle to be legalised, which raises several questions regarding the variable costs involved.

The first date of registration, engine capacity, the type of fuel and the vehicle’s CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions are among the factors that are taken into consideration in the process of legalising a car, Postal news states.

Before beginning the legalisation process, it is important to understand that when a car is bought into Portugal from another country, it is considered to be imported, and for it to be able to circulate on Portuguese roads, it must be legalised.

To legalise an imported car, you will need to pay VAT on the sales price of the vehicle, register the ownership in your name, obtain the car registration document and the European Certificate of Conformity (COC). These documents are essential for travelling on European roads.

The steps involved in the legalisation process in Portugal:


The first step to legalise you car is to immediately take it to an inspection center. Which will require the following documents: the Single Car Document (DUA) from the country of origin, the European Certificate of Conformity (COC) and model 9 from the Institute of Mobility and Transport (IMT), duly filled in. The DUA can be requested online, on the Online Automobile Portal. After the inspection, the model 112 inspection certificate will be issued.

IMT approval number

Once the inspection certificate is obtained, the next step would be to go to the IMT, to replace the COC with the national approval number. For this replacement, you will need to present the DUA and COC documents.


After acquiring an IMT approval number, the owner of the vehicle must go to the customs office in his area of residence to fill out the Vehicle Customs Declaration (DAV). To obtain this declaration, it will be necessary to present the DUA of the country of origin, the national approval number and the sales declaration or purchase invoice.

Vehicle Tax

The owner must then request the issuance of the Vehicle Tax (ISV), where payment can be made on site or up to 10 days after the request, via ATM. To determine the value of tax, the car’s age, engine capacity, CO2 emissions and commercial value of the vehicle will taken into account. If the car is between one and two years old, you can benefit from a 20 percent discount. To obtain an accurate estimate of the amount to be paid, it is recommended to simulate the calculation on the Finance Portal.

National registration and DUA

The owner must return to the IMT after acquiring Vehicle Tax, to request the Portuguese registration number and the registration certificate. For this step, you will require a model 9 from the IMT, and model 112 provided by the inspection center, the COC and the DUA.

An alternative to the IMT would be to put in the request for the DUA online through the Online Automobile Portal.


With the registration data, you will be able to produce the plates to be placed on your car. Next, you are required to choose car insurance to complete the legalisation process in Portugal. Once the DAV is acquired, you will be able to drive your car, even if the process still needs to be finalised. This declaration allows you to drive the vehicle for a period of 60 days from the date of issue.


The legalisation of the car will be finalised with the registration of the vehicle at the Motor Vehicle Registry Office. The request can be made online through the Online Automobile Portal or in person at a Registry Office.

Stamp payment (IUC)

After completing this entire process, it will be necessary to request the Single Car Document and pay the Single Circulation Tax (IUC). If you want to know the amounts to pay to legalise your car in Portugal, simply access the IMT Institute website and check the value of a registration plate for used or new vehicles.