Is it possible for a U.S. citizen to rent a car in Brazil? If so, what are the requirements, from the leasing companies, as well as the transit authority (to drive in Brazil)?


You need the drivers license from your home country an international drivers license that serves as a translation.

Even if there is no legal requirement for this (I found conflicting information on this), you cannot rely that the policeman who stops you in the road nor the clerk at the car rental knows English well enough to read your US license.

There are different ages required depending on the rental agency. Some require you to be 21, others 25.

  • Are you sure? An IDP is not required everywhere. Do you have a source for this information? And if that is required to drive in Brazil, is that the only documentation that a Brazilian rental agency will require?
    – Flimzy
    Apr 7 '13 at 7:50
  • @Flimzy added some more info above.
    – uncovery
    Apr 7 '13 at 8:06
  • @Flimzy if the question is answered, please feel free to accept it or comment on what is still missing.
    – uncovery
    Dec 28 '13 at 8:17

I am from Brazil and I will try to help you.

According to "Departamento Estadual de Trânsito de São Paulo" (Sao Paulo State Transit Department), here what they say about foreigner citizen driving in Brazil:

Portuguese: "Ao ingressar no país, o condutor estrangeiro poderá dirigir com a Carteira de Habilitação do país de origem (desde que dentro do seu prazo de validade), por até 180 dias. Para tanto, além da habilitação, o condutor deve portar o passaporte ou documento que comprove a data de entrada no país.

English: When entering in the country, the foreigner driver can drive with Driver's License from country of origin (since the license is not expired), for up to 180 days. For this, besides the driver's license, the driver should carry the passport or a document that proves the date when entering the country.

However, to drive in Brazil after 180 days, the foreigner must have the Brazilian license or a International license. This is based on reciprocity principle on Vienna Convention.

If you need more help about Brazil (and local laws), I can help.

Source: DETRAN


I am not Brazilian, and I successfully created a car rental reservation with Movida (http://www.movida.com.br/) to rent a car for 3 days during the World Cup. It was cheaper than going thru a service like Kayak or Priceline, etc. You pay in Brazilian Reales, it cost me about 220 BRL.

Brazilian company websites are kinda of mess in the UI/globalization area, but with a bit of help of google translate you can figure out all the fields and make a reservation.

The website forms often ask you for a CPF (Cadastro de Pessoas Fisicas - literally "Physical Persons Registry") which is like a SSN in the US. If you're a foreigner you can often leave it blank or there'll be check a box that says you're a foreigner. In the case that it still asks for something there, enter a passport number or something from your ID docs so they can pull it up.

Everything else is pretty similar to the US... you have to pay for insurance Loss Damage Waivers, etc, etc...

  • Making a reservation is easy... it's actually renting the car that always proves problematic :)
    – Flimzy
    Mar 11 '14 at 18:06
  • @Flimzy your evidence is, well... flimsy. ;) How so problematic? What kinda problems have you experienced? Mar 11 '14 at 21:16
  • It's at the rental counter that they check your driver's license, your age, your insurance, etc, etc. Many car rental web sites don't even charge a credit card, making it easy for any 10-year-old to make a reservation.
    – Flimzy
    Mar 11 '14 at 21:20
  • And btw, that "pun" was only half-funny the first time I heard it... in 1997.
    – Flimzy
    Mar 11 '14 at 21:23
  • @Flimzy 1997 huh? haha sorry couldn't resist mate ;) Ha! I just realized we live in the same city and have the same job! Small world... Mar 11 '14 at 21:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.