While former colonies usually tend to imitate their former power’s institutions when they become independent (v.d. the choice of electoral and judicial system by the newest decolonized countries in Africa and Asia in the last half of the 20th century), it’s normal that with time they’ll develop their own burocracies and specificities when it comes to specialized legal/administrative terminology.
Brazil, having being independent since 1822, has obviously had enough time to move away from Portugal’s influence (and, truth be told, Portugal’s administrative and judiciary system has changed quite a bit as well).
Then, It should come as no surprise that terms related to things that couldn’t possibly have existed in the third decade of the 19th century also have different names in each variant. For example, think of driver’s licenses – cars, trucks, motorcycles and even bicycles didn’t exist back then!
In Portugal, we know them as [a] carta de condução; in Brazil, it is known as [a] carteira de habilitação.
We use the verb tirar a carta [de condução] when someone is taking in the process of getting their license; in Portugal, you have to take a computer test with multiple choice questions (to test would-be drivers’ knowledge of road rules – [as] regras de condução or [as] regras da estrada) followed by an actual driving test. Students usually have classes ([as] aulas de condução) to prepare them for each test, taught in private driving schools ([as] escolas de condução).
- Quando é que tiraste a carta? Em setembro de 2009. When did you get your driver’s license? In September 2009.