If you are considering moving to
Whether you are a full time resident in
There are different requirements in terms of licensing depending on a number of factors including whether you are resident, whether your current licence is an EU/EEC or non EU/EEC licence and how long you have been in the country.
Important: Please note that the section below on existing EU licences is now out of date. New legislation introduced in 2015 means that anyone from within the EU intending to live permanently in Spain must exchange their licence for a Spanish one within two years. More info can be found here http://www.healthplanspain.com/blog/spain-news/360-expats-in-spain-must-renew-driving-licences-after-two-years.html
Using An Existing EU Licence
If you are coming from another EU country, hold an official driving licence there and are over 18 years of age (legal driving age in
- All Spanish licence conditions will apply to your EU driving licence. This means that any requirements that normally apply to Spanish licence holders including medical tests, the period of validity of the licence, penalties and other restrictions and points also apply to you.
- If you commit any traffic offences, the Spanish authorities can request that you exchange your EU licence for a Spanish one so that points can be applied.
- Legally, you must register with the Spanish traffic authorities (Registro Central de Conductores e Infractores) within six months of moving to
even if you are not looking to exchange your EU licence for a Spanish one. Spain
Once you have registered, you will need to take a medical examination at one of the authorised drivers check centres (Centro de Reconocimiento de Conductores Autorizado) to show that you are both mentally and physically capable of driving a motor vehicle.
There have been a number of cases in the past where insurance companies will use the fact that you have not had an official medical check up to not pay out. So be warned!
Exchanging An EU Licence For A Spanish One
If you do decide to stay in
Although you are legally allowed to drive with a non Spanish licence, it is still a grey area even for the Spanish police. So to avoid any confusion it would be worth exchanging it within 6 months of moving to
Important: In 2015, new legislation was introduced which means that all European drivers living in Spain permanently must exchange their licenses for a Spanish one within two years. Read more here http://www.healthplanspain.com/blog/spain-news/360-expats-in-spain-must-renew-driving-licences-after-two-years.html
To apply to exchange your licence you need to complete your application at the provincial traffic headquarters. You will also need to make sure that you have the required documentation with you including:
- Proof of identity (original passport and a copy)
- Proof of residence (Empadronamiento or NIE)
- Valid current driving licence (original and a copy)
- 2 photographs 25mm x 32mm in size.
- Declaration from the D.V.L.A that the applicant has not been banned or suspended.
- Fee of €23.50
You can contact the D.V.L.A on 0300 790 6801 (Calling from the
It is also worth noting that your Spanish licence will need to be renewed like a U.K licence every 10 years up to the age of 45 and then every 5 years up to the age of 70. For any drivers over 70, the licence will need to be renewed every 2 years.
Using An Existing non EU Driving Licence
If you hold a current valid driving licence from any other country outside of the EU/EEC, you are legally ok to drive in
After the initial 6 months, you will need to exchange your licence for a Spanish one if you intend to remain in the country any longer.
This list does change from time to time so you are well advised to check with your countries consulate in
If your licence is from any other country, you will unfortunately need to take a full Spanish driving test.
Exchanging Your Non EU/EEC Driving Licence
If you are the holder of a non EU/EEC licence and need to exchange it for a Spanish licence you can do so by visiting your provincial tráfico headquarters Jefatura Provincial de Tráfic.
You will need to provide the following documentation
- Completed application form.
- Copy of your passport
- NIE documentation (Número de Identificación de Extranjero)
- Residence Card
- Certificate of psychological aptitude issued by the authorised drivers check centre (Centro de Reconocimiento de Conductores Autorizado)
- Two photographs of 32mm x 25mm in size.
- Current licence and copy. (You may need a translation of the licence also)
Countries Not Permitted To Exchange Licences
There are a few countries where there is no agreement with the Spanish authorities to change their licences. These countries are
This means after 6 months of being resident in
How Long Does It Take To Get A New Licence?
Are you driving a UK registered vehicle in Spain? Understand your legal requirements. - http://www.healthplanspain.com/blog/expat-tips/350-driving-your-uk-registered-car-in-spain.html - Expats In Spain Must Renew Driving Licences After 2 Years - http://www.healthplanspain.com/blog/spain-news/360-expats-in-spain-must-renew-driving-licences-after-two-years.html