New traffic law to affect Portuguese drivers from June 1st 2016

New traffic law to affect Portuguese drivers from June 1st 2016

Summer brings changes in the driving regulations. The new traffic law to affect Portuguese drivers from June 1st 2016 aims to bring more order and safety on the streets of the country. Though more strict on the outside, the new traffic law just might be the return to a more fair and easily controllable system.

So what exactly does this new system entail? It is called “the licence for points” (carta por pontos) and basically means every driver’s license has 12 points starting from June 1st 2016. For every serious traffic offence, the driver loses points. If you lose too many, you’ll need to attend a traffic safety course or take the driving test once again.

Here are some other answers to common questions and additional useful information:

First, you don’t need to change your driver’s license. There is an online system in place recording the points. Also, you can review the status of your license points online, on the Portal de Contraordenacoes Rodoviarias.

So why does a driver lose points? Or rather, what is considered to be a serious traffic offence? Among the most serious such contraventions, there is driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. And in case you were wondering, a driver can lose a maximum of 6 points for one contravention.

The good news is you can also win points. After 3 “clean” years, with no serious or very serious traffic offences on the record, a driver gets 3 points. If you have never committed any traffic offences, you still get points, naturally, amounting to a maximum of 15 points.

How many points can I lose and what happens if I lose too many? If you are left with 5 or 4 points, you need to attend a traffic safety course. If you fail to attend this course, you risk losing your license and the right to take the driving test for 2 years. If you have 3 or less points left (minimum 1), you’ll have to take the driving test again. Once more, if you fail to take the test, you will lose the right to file for a new driving license for the next 2 years.

Just a couple of words of advice: drive safely!




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