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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

me and my wife are moving to Central Portugal in July, we will start by renting a house while we get to know the area better and hopefully learn some Portugese. We will also start house-hunting, if we decide we want to stay in Portugal.
Since it is still early days, we tought we would keep our adress in Belgium for the time we rent, but now we have read that you have to get registered in the local câmara after 3 months. Our landlady said this will not be so strickt, since we will be in rural Portugal, does anyone have some advice on this.
We think we will need to get a tax number because we heard you need it for many things now, for example for opening a bank account, so is it possible if we aren't registered?
Also some advice for our car number plates, since we will be driving to Portugal with our Belgian car, and we will keep the Belgian plates at this moment, but if we decide to stay, we will have to change to Portugese plates, does anyone know how to do this and how much it would cost...
Thanks
 

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I think the correct thing to do would be to acquire your N.I.F. number first. This number is the corner stone of everything you do in Portugal, if you're not to be a 'tourist'. This number is required for purchasing a house and a car and many other things, including joining the health system, registering with the social security along with signing up for simple things such as internet packages, water + electric companies and so on.

There are clear rules about acquiring your 'residency' status which relate to the date you arrive and time you stay in Portugal. Your residency status is also an important subject and is probably the next corner stone to be laid. This status then links in with the above subjects and without which many of them are difficult if not impossible to obtain.

As for vehicle 'matriculation' , this subject also shakes hands firmly with the above two paragraphs. You need your NIF and residential status sorted before you can change your plates to PT ones. There are time limits for this too. The main reason for a time limit is to your benefit. If you change plates in time, you will not have to pay import tax on your car. If you do not change your plates in time you will be charged import tax when you do. If you fail / refuse to change your plates and attempt to use the excuse, "I'm on holiday / I don't live here / I'm only here for a few months of the year", you will find that one of the many Police road checks will unravel your exact period of stay and if you're over the time limits for completing admin, then your vehicle will be seized and you will have to pay the fines - and import tax.

There are many expats here who risk it and will say "I've not bothered" to many of these subjects, but the question is :- do you you want to do it right for you and your family or not?

The entire admin process is relatively easy to get done and done correctly. In relation to the cost for your car, I would seek out the local 'Alfandega' ( customs office ) for your intended area and visit them. Because next door to them are agents that handle vehicle registrations ( which is a nightmare to do yourself ). The cost is all relative to your vehicle and its age etc.

There are many, many threads here on each of the subjects you mention. One thing for sure is that Central Portugal does not have a sleepy, backwater attitude when it comes to policing. The G.N.R. are efficient as you'd expect from a military based police force.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey, thanks for your reply, we do want to do everything correct it is just that we are not 100% sure we will stay in Portugal yet. Do you have any idea on the time limits, you say you have to change your plates 'in time', but how long do you get?
Any idea where we have to file for the NIF number?
 
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