Getting your driver's license in Brazil

Four Young People in convertible car

If you're coming to Brazil with a permanent or temporary visa, you may want to consider getting your driver's license in Brazil.


First of all, most countries have an agreement with Brazil, and if can prove a stay of at least 6 months in Brazil, you can get your driver's license.


Driving license in Brazil:


Step 1: finding a driving school


First of all, you must find a driving school and then most of the procedure will be handle by them. In general, price fluctuate between R$900 and R$ 500 and it will include the medical exam, theoretical and pratical courses and the theoretical and practical exams.

Step 2 : registering at the Detran


Once you have found your driving school, you must register at the Detran (Departamento Estadual de Transporte). Generally, your driving school will make an appointment for you and when you go you must present the following documents :

  • copy and original of your RNE or protócolo RNE

  • copy and original of your CPF

  • copy of your number of agentamento

  • proof of address dated less than 3 months old


The Detran will take your photo and you will have to pass a test where you will be read a sentence, in Portuguese, and you will have to write it down.


Step 3: medical examination


After you went to the Detran, your driving school will make an appointment for a medical examination. First, you will pass a psychological examination, which will test your ability to make logical decisions, and it will last for about an hour. Then, the doctor will perform a physical exam to check your physical ability to drive. Many times, the doctor will also check your vision which will take an additional 20 minutes.


Step 4: theoretical course


Congratulations! Now, you can start learning how to drive. The first part consists of about 40h of theoretical courses scheduled in 10-12 continuous days. Generally you can attend classes in the morning (7-10 am), in the afternoon (2-5 pm) or at night (7-10pm). At the end of the program, you will have to pass an exam at the Detran. You have 15-20 days to pass the theoretical test. Otherwise, you will have to do the course again.


The exam is a multiple-choice questionnaire and you will have 40 minutes to complete it; only 21 correct answer are necessary to pass the test.


If you fail, you will have to schedule another appointment to retake the exam and it will cost you approximately R$150.


Step 5: practical course


Once you have passed the theoretical exam, you will have to attend 20h or 20 sessions of practical classes where you will learn how to drive. You will have to do 16 classes in the morning and 4 classes at night. If you have completed all the classes and you still do not feel confident in your ability, you can ask for more classes.


The practical exam is relatively easy. The examiner will check that you position yourself correctly inside the car with your seat belt fastened. Then, you will have to drive around and you will be evaluated on your ability to manage the clutch. Finally, you will have to park your car correctly without stalling. You can make a maximum of three mistakes during the test but some mistakes will cause you to fail the exam, like stalling for example.


Additional information on the driving license's test


Once you have successfully passed all your exams, you will be given a provisory driver's license called DDP. When you have the DDP license, you are in a trial period for 12 months and during that period, you cannot have any gravissima (serious) infractions. You are allowed two leve (small) infractions or one media (medium) infraction and anything more than that and you will have to redo the entire process from the beginning.


If you succeed, you will receive your CNH, carteira nacional de habilitação, which will be your permanent driver's license. Every 4 years you have to pass a new medical exam to maintain your license.


It is extremely important to know that the Detran verifies every student's presence to the driving classes by scanning their fingerprints. You cannot arrive late or miss a class and the whole course must be completed to be able to pass the exams.


DDP is sufficient enough to transform into a national driver's license. For more information on how to complete the process, please refer to your national representation.