Registering An Imported Car in Brazil: Process & Tips
Brazil is one of the largest South American countries but also one of the strictest when it comes to importing vehicles. It’s difficult and against the law to import used vehicles save for ones 30 years or older. Vintage is your friend and foe here.
If that’s not a problem for you, here are the steps to register a car in Brazil.
The Registration Process
If you’ve already brought your car into the country, you’ve no doubt cleared all the high hurdles for importing a vehicle into the nation. Good job. So now for the registration process.
The first step is to take it to the state department of transportation, often shortened to DETRAN since the Portuguese name for the office is Departamento Estadual de Trânsito.
Here are a few other things that come along with registering a vehicle
- Vehicle inspections
- Annual road tax payments
- A CPF with a taxpayer identification number. It’s a form of identification in the country
- Proof of residency
- Chassis number decal
- Reseller invoice
- A Renavam form to submit to the National Registry of Motor Vehicles
- Proof of fee payments
Shipping a vehicle to Brazil? You can find more information about the process of shipping and what you can expect on our Brazil shipping page. If you have questions not addressed there, or would like a FREE price quote, contact us anytime!
The road tax payments is the tax you pay to own the vehicle and can sometimes be paid online, depending on which Brazilian state you’re in. The amount is based on the total value of the car.
Brazil also mandates insurance for all vehicles from third parties. Outside of having it cover vehicle damage, damage to other people, damage to you and damage people do unto you, it’s also recommended that theft be thrown on there. The nation is rife with car theft and it’s likely the vehicle will be stolen at one point.
Rules of the Road
As far as getting around Brazil, the country has more infrastructure than a lot of neighboring countries. Vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road with speed limits capped at 60 kmh/37 mph in the cities and 120 kmh/74 mph on major highways. But much like driving in any part of the road, the rules are largely ignored.
The roads are also largely two lanes only and heavy truck traffic is a regular occurrence. Road maintenance is spotty and at times, driving through the Amazon forest is impossible because of the inadequate road work.
Drivers have to yield to the cars on the right though compliance with stop signs is not heavily enforced. Another informal custom while driving is to use headlight flashes or hand signals to communicate with other cars to slow down.
Vehicular Resources For Brazil
Registration & License Plates - An in-depth look at what’s involved in registering and licensing an imported car in Brazil, as well as required documents and some helpful links.
Driving In Brazil - A guide to driving in Brazil, including information about permits, licenses, and what to expect of the road conditions.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.