This document contains guidelines for safe driving in Mozambique, including fines for various traffic offenses, as well as information about various types of officials and their duties. We also include speed limits and penalties for exceeding them.
Before you embark on your journey, be sure to get your car checked or serviced. There are hundreds of cases every year of stranded motorists who thought their vehicle could make the trip without any problems. If you will be towing, get your trailer or caravan checked also. Pay particular attention to wheel bearings and leaf springs. Check your spare wheels and make sure that they are not flat. Be sure that you have correct wheel spanners, jacks and any other tools that you might need.
Some places in Mozambique are still very remote and may require a 4x4 or high clearance vehicle. If your Accommodation is listed on Mozambique.co.mz, this information is specified on their listing page. Be sure to check with the accommodation to get up-to-date information on road conditions. The raining season (from December to April) makes some places inaccessible, or accessible to 4x4 vehicles only. Many vehicles get stuck in loose sand or mud all over Mozambique.
In addition to this, be sure to comply with the Vehicle Requirements to travel to Mozambique. Your vehicle may be impounded if it does not meet all these Vehicle Requirements.
Mozambique.co.mz recommends that you comprehensively insure your vehicle, and make sure that your insurance covers you in Mozambique. Please also note that, regardless of your current insurance policy, you will be required to purchase Mozambican Third Party insurance when you enter Mozambique. This can be purchased online or at the border. We recommend that you purchase online so that you avoid one less queue at the borders and save time and hassles. Take a look at Vehicle Requirements for more information. Back To Top
• Vehicles drive on the left hand side of the road in Mozambique and as close as possible to the shoulder or sidewalks but at a safe distance from these to avoid an accident.
• All passengers (front and back) are required to wear seatbelts.
• Drivers from South Africa to Maputo will encounter two toll gates. The first one, Moamba Plaza, costs 190mt and the second one, Maputo Plaza, costs 35mt. Toll fees can be paid in United States Dollars, South African Rand, or Mozambican Meticais. Change will be issued in Mozambican Meticais. Payment is strictly in cash - credit or debit cards, including South African E-toll are not accepted.
• Mozambique.co.mz strongly advises against driving in Mozambique at night. So many people disregard this advice. In Mozambique driving during the day is treacherous enough - driving at night opens you up to addition risks: buses and trucks frequently break down either partly or completely in the middle of the road. Many of them have no working lights or reflectors. Vehicles in Mozambique also frequently overtake on curves or blind rises - some of these have one or both lights not working and are difficult to see. Goats, cows, and other livestock often lay on the warm road at night, or venture onto the road without any notice. Local farmers take advantage of the cool temperatures in the early mornings and at night to work in their fields. They often walk along the verge of the road, or cross the road without checking for traffic. Plan your trip ahead of time and rather spend the night at an overnight Accommodation.
• It is illegal to drive on the beach. If you absolutely have to, you need to get a permit. Vehicles may use a designated beach launching site without a permit to launch a boat into the sea. Vehicles may not park on the beach. Please see our Beach, Boat & Fishing Regulations for more information.
• Although the United Nations has declared Mozambique land mine free, Mozambique.co.mz recommends that you don’t drive in areas where there are no clearly demarcated roads. Also avoid wondering into the bush on the side of the road.
• Average speed for the duration of a trip in Mozambique is approximately 65km/hour (40 mph) due to frequent 40/60/80 speed limits. Please use this as a general rule of thumb when calculating travel time. See Speed Limits and Fines below.
• Always ensure that you carry your vehicle documents, passport, visa and third party insurance certificate.
• It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or other medication which affects your driving ability. (More information about this below)
• Vehicle occupants are not allowed to have any part of their body outside the vehicle. Back To Top
Various officials perform different functions and have jurisdiction in different areas. Use these guidelines to provide a more friendly and courteous interaction between officials and road users.
When an official flags you down, please indicate, stop as far off the road as you can and turn on your hazard lights. Kindly turn down the music and remove your sunglasses. The officer will appreciate this small token of respect. Treat traffic officers with respect and be polite. An aggressive attitude will make things worse. Remain calm and don’t panic.
• Officials in Blue Trousers and White Shirts: Traffic
Traffic Police are required to carry identification, with their name and number visible on their uniform. They are permitted to fine you for any traffic violations as listed below in Traffic Violations and Fines. Please insist on the written fine and do not initiate a bribe. This will prevent extortion and ensure that you pay the correct fine.
• Officials in Dark Blue Trousers and Light Blue Shirt: Police
Mozambique can recently changed the color of uniform for these officials. They used to wear dark grey trousers and light grey shirts. The new uniform (similar colors to the South African Police) is illustrated in this articles picture. These officers are NOT permitted to fine you for any violations. They are allowed to take you to the police station for arrest only if you are found carrying stolen goods or illegal substances or contraband, or for theft or assault. They normally work together with the traffic police. Similar rights as police everywhere else in the world.
• Officials in Dark Green: Rapid Intervention Police
Similar duties to Protection Police above. (Riot Police - Very aggressive, beware)
• Officials in Green Trousers and Light Green Shirt with Red Armband: Taxi Police
Are only permitted to check taxis and other public transport vehicles.
• Officials in Blue Trousers and Light Blue Shirt: Alfândega / Customs
Permitted to search vehicles for undeclared items.
• Officials in Camouflage: Military
Allowed to search vehicles at roadblocks or border posts.
In a recent video interview PRM announced that it is completely legal to photograph or video police officers if you feel like they are harassing you or failing to uphold the law. Despite this announcement, some officers have been known to become aggressive if you photograph or video record them. It remains illegal to photograph military officials.
If you find yourself in trouble and feel like you are being treated unfairly, please call the Anti-corruption hotline: +258 82 396 9890 Back To Top
Speed Limits and Fines
• Maximum speed in Mozambique is 120 km/h for light vehicles and motorcycles when driving outside towns.
• For vehicles towing, the limit is 100km/h outside towns.
• For heavy vehicles, including buses and trucks, the maximum speed limit is 80km/h outside towns.
• All vehicles have to adhere to the maximum speed limits indicated on sign boards when driving in towns or villages.
Before entering a town or village you will see signs of 80km/h followed by 60km/h and sometimes even 40km/h or 30km/h signs. These limits need to be strictly adhered to and it’s recommended that you drive about 5km/h below the limit. There will probably be a police vehicle with a speed gun in these zones.
Wait for a black board with diagonal white lines that indicate that the speed limit has been cancelled before speeding up again. Sometimes these signs are missing: keep to 60km/h until you are completely out of the village or town. Another way to tell if you can speed up yet is to look for the speed limit board aimed at oncoming traffic, after which you can accelerate.
Reduce speed if you encounter any of the following:
• A sign indicating a school or school children, or next to a hospital
• Steep descents or slopes
• Sharp bends or curves
• Intersections, junctions, traffic circles, bridges, tunnels, or railway crossings
• When visibility is reduced, either at night or in heavy rain or fog
• In towns or on roads that have buildings or are inhabited
• When approaching groups of people or animals
• Sections of road that are in a bad state, wet or muddied, or which may be slippery
• At pedestrian crossings
• Places that are signposted with danger signs (Perigo) or high accident areas
• When approaching toll gates
• If there are roadworks, stationary vehicles or other obstructions
The following fines are applied to Light Motor vehicles or Motorcycles for exceeding speed limits:
• Limit exceeded by 20km/h - Minor Offense - 1,000mt fine -
• Limit exceeded between 20km/h - 40km/h - Medium Offense - 2,000mt fine
• Limit exceeded between 40km/h - 60km/h - Serious Offense - 4,000mt fine
• Limit exceeded by more than 60km/h - Serious Offense - 8,000mt fine
• Limit exceeded by 30km/h - Minor Offense - 1,000mt fine -
• Limit exceeded between 30km/h - 60km/h - Medium Offense - 2,000mt fine
• Limit exceeded between 60km/h - 80km/h - Serious Offense - 4,000mt fine
• Limit exceeded by more than 80km/h - Serious Offense - 8,000mt fine
Note: Exceeding the maximum speed limit by more than double will result in a prison sentence: anything from 3 days to 3 months, plus a fine of 8,000mt. Speed cameras must show speed travelled and date and time of the offense. Back To Top
Traffic Violations and Fines
If you commit traffic violation accept the fine. According to the law, you have 15 days to pay from the date on which the decision became definitive. Fines can be paid at the Comando Geral da Policia or any Provincial Police Station. If you decide to pay a fine on the spot, ask for an official receipt. Don’t pay the fine unless they are able to issue an official receipt. If, for some reason, an official receipt cannot be issued, insist on being taken to the nearest police station to make payment and get an official receipt, stamped if possible.
Motorists may take the name and badge number of any officer who tries to solicit a bribe, as well as the registration number of the officer's vehicle. Also note the location and time of the road block/traffic stop.
The list below shows various traffic offenses including their respective fines.
• None compliance to permanent or temporary traffic road signs - 1,000mt
• Drivers shall not drive with any part of their body outisde the vehicle - 1,000mt
• Failure to reduce speed at: Hills, Bends, Intersections, Circles, Bridges, Tunnels, Villages, Buildings, Schools, People, Animals, places with low visibility, places that are signposted as danger/perigo - 1,000mt
• Exceeding seated passenger limit - 500mt
• Cargo reducing driver visibility or protruding the length or width of the vehicle - 1,000mt
• Not having correct or working illumination, light signals, reflectors, lights, blue and yellow towing sticker - 1,000mt - 2,000mt
• Failure to use emergency lights (hazards, park lights) with vehicle breakdown or when towing another vehicle - 750mt
• Ignoring traffic signals - 1,000mt
• Throwing objects from the vehicle - 500mt
• Storing alcohol inside the vehicle and not in the boot/trunk - 500mt
• Driving under the influence of narcotics or psychotropics - 2,000mt
• Failure to fasten seat belt while driving (front and back). Fine is per offense per person - 500mt
• Children under the age of 12 not transported on the back seat and secured with an appropriate system for their height and weight (fine is per child). Children under 3 years old may only travel in the front seat if using a back facing child retention system and provided an airbag will not cause interference with such a system - 300mt
• Drivers and passengers of motorcycles not wearing helmets - 300mt
• Driver using any audio headphone or radiotelephonic device (mobile phone) without hands free headset with microphone and loudspeaker - 2,000mt
• Use of equipment or devices that detect instruments for recording of offenses (speed radar detectors). Devices may be confiscated - 2,750mt
• Failure to have two safety triangles and reflector jacket - 1,000mt
• Driving an unregistered vehicle - 5,000mt
• Driving with an unregistered trailer - 2,500mt
• Driving with incorrect, invalid or unrecognized driver’s license. (All International and SADC driver’s licenses are accepted) - 1,000mt
• Having a driver’s license, but not carrying it with you - 200mt
• Driving without a driver’s license (i.e., never taken driving test and received license). Prison sentence of between 3 days – 6 months plus a fine - 5,000mt
• Driving with an expired license (more than 30 days expired) - 5,000mt
• Not complying with medical restrictions as set out in your driver’s license (i.e, the need to wear glasses) - 2,000mt
• Failure to stop after causing an accident or abandoning injured/deceased persons. Prison sentence of between 1 – 8 years - PRISON
• Failure to have 3rd Party Insurance. In case of an accident, the vehicle will be seized - 500mt
Drivers of public transport or dangerous cargo should not drink at all. An alcohol level over 0.0mg/l for these drivers will incur a prison sentence of up to 6 months plus a fine of 5,000mt. For light motor vehicles and motorcycles, the following alcohol penalties apply:
• Between 0.0mg/l - 0.29mg/l - ACCEPTABLE
• Between 0.3mg/l - 0.4mg/l - 2,500mt Fine
• Between 0.41mg/l - 0.7mg/l - 3,500mt Fine
• More than 0.7mg/l - 5,000mt Fine
• More than 1.2mg/l - Prison Sentence up to 1 month plus a fine of 5,000mt
• Public Transport or Dangerous Cargo driver - if over 0.0mg/l - Prison sentence up to 6 months plus a fine of 5,000mt.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There seems to be some confusion in the law (possibly because of a typing error that ended up becoming law) that drivers with a blood alcohol level of between 0.0mg/l - 0.3mg/l have to pay a fine of 1,500mt. Seek legal advice in this case.
In addition to these fines, please also note the following rules regarding alcohol:
• Alcoholic beverages and psychotropic substances shall not be transported in the area reserved for passengers, in vehicles. Please store alcohol in the boot
• A driver shall be deemed to be under the influence of psychotropic substances if he is deemed to be so in a medical or expert report, following an examination conducted on the terms set out in this Code and complementary legislation.
• A fine of 2,000.00 Mt, for any driver, found driving under the effect of substances legally deemed to be narcotic or psychotropic.
It is against the law for Policemen to keep your documents or refuse to give them back unless you have committed one of the violations below. This includes vehicle documents, identity documents, driver’s license or any other documents.
Your driver’s license may be seized if:
• It has expired
• It has previously been suspended or revoked
• The driver is under the influence
• The license is suspected to be falsified.
Your Vehicle Documents may be seized if:
• The vehicle has been seized or impounded
• The documents are illegible and unreadable
• The vehicle is unsafe or not roadworthy.
• Number plates do not comply with regulatory conditions
• When characteristics of the vehicle, such as engine number or chassis number (and including tyre measurements) do not match those on the documents.
• The documents are suspected to be falsified.
Your vehicle may be seized or impounded if:
• The vehicle does not conform to registration specifications
• The vehicle does not have any number plates
• An accident has been caused without third party insurance Back To Top