The 40 teams are divided in ten groups of 4, playing within them in a double round-robin format. The two best ranked in each group at the end of 6 rounds will qualify to the Second Stage, which will be played in home-and-away system. Winners advance to Third Stage along with the three losers with best record in previous stages. The quarterfinal winners will be promoted to the Série C 2010. As there is no Série E, technically there will be no relegation. However, teams who were not promoted will have to re-qualify for Série D 2010 through their respective state leagues.