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Driving in Brazil

Documentation and other information about driving in Brazil.

Last update in September/2017

Brazil has an extensive network of roads ranging from multi‑lane highways to small country roads. Driving is on the right side.

Driver’s license (CNH – Carteira de Habilitação, Carteira de Motorista)

A valid foreign driver‘s license can be used for up to six months, but must be accompanied by an official translation into Portuguese. If you are to stay in Brazil for more than 6 months, you have to apply for a Brazilian driver‘s license.

Important information: This law applies to all countries that are members of the Vienna Convention and countries with which Brazil has reciprocity agreements, including the US and Canada. See a full list on the following web site:

A foreigner from countries that are not members of the Vienna Convention will be allowed to drive in Brazil after they apply for a Brazilian license at the DETRAN of the State or Federal District, after passing the mental and physical aptitude tests, psychological evaluation and driving test, according to the driver’s license class.

Car Insurance

All cars are required to have a minimum level of insurance that covers third party. Comprehensive coverage – which covers collision, theft, vandalism, etc. and accident insurance for passengers is optional.

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