Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
No. São Paulo has a very efficient public transit network. There are buses and subway transportation for many places although it can be very crowded during rush hour. Some expatriates prefer to buy cars instead of using public transportation.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
When moving to Brazil, a home country driver's license will suffice for the first six months of an expatriate's stay. It is recommended that you bring your license (and, if possible, an international license) as the procedure to obtain a Brazilian driver’s license can take some time. To convert a non-Brazilian license, a driver will need to pass both a written and a practical test.
In order to drive in Brazil, expatriates will need to present their home driver's license as well as a sworn translation of it. Additionally, they will need to furnish the following documents:
- Passport - including number, personal information, visa and legible immigration stamp citing the date of entrance to Brazil
- Immigration card OR authenticated copy of the Foreigner National Register’s (RNE) protocol OR authenticated copy of RNE
- Signed Department of Transportation (DETRAN) declaration, original
These documents will allow expatriates to obtain a six-month provisional license that is available for renewal.
What side of the road do people drive on?
Brazilians drive on the right side of roads.
Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
Taxis and private drivers are widely used, as is the subway and bus system.
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
Within São Paulo, the subway is the safest and fastest transport option, though with only three lines it is fairly limited. The metro is open from 5 a.m. to midnight, including weekends, but ticket windows close at 10 p.m.
The country's coach service is fairly advanced with high-quality buses connecting most major cities.
In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
Traffic in São Paulo can be frustrating so always give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, especially if it's the airport.
There is a traffic-control program, or rodizio, in São Paulo, restricting car usage one day per week, depending on the last digit of your plate number. For example, on Mondays, plate numbers ending in 1 or 2 are prohibited from circulating in certain areas, at certain times. For more information, check the local news and newspapers.
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
You can buy tickets for the different forms of transit at their respective stations.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.