European citizens who have been resident in Spain for two years or more have been warned that they must now renew their existing driving licences under new EU regulations.
The requirements were set out in a recent meeting between the Spanish DGT traffic authority and representatives from the consulates of the 28 European member states and published in an online press release.
The new obligations apply only to EU citizens who have been officially resident in Spain for more than two years with the clock beginning from the 19th of January 2013.
For those who become resident after this date, driving licences must be renewed two years after first becoming resident. So if you become resident in Spain from 1st of February 2015, you have to renew your driving licence with the Spanish authorities by 1st of February 2017.
The new rules only apply to those with 15 year or more licences for cars and motorcycles Group 1 categories (AM, A1, A2, A, B and BE) and 5 year licences Group 2 larger vehicle categories (BTP , C1, C1E, C, CE D1, D1E, D, DE).
The changes are a part of the 2006/126 / EC directive and aim at increasing road safety/security and to make sure that all citizens are using the same EU style driving licence. There were previously around 110 different styles of driving licence held by EU citizens, but these were scrapped in 2013 with the introduction of the new EU style licences.
How to Apply to Renew Your Licence
To renew your licence you will initially have to make contact with the DGT either at their local office, via their website http://www.dgt.es/ or by calling them on 060.
Once you make contact, a second appointment will be made to renew your licence at your local traffic authority office. Before attending the appointment, you will need to sit a basic aptitude and fitness test at one of the official driver medical centres (Centro de Reconocimiento de Conductores Autorizado).
The following documentation will be required at the second appointment to apply for the new licence.
- A recent 32mm by 26mm photograph
- Completed application form
- NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) or Passport
- Proof of address (Empadronamiento)
- Original driving licence plus a copy
- Proof of payment of the renewal fee of €23.50
It's unclear as to the penalties for not adhering to the new requirements, but we think it's safe to say that fines will most likely be the result if you are stopped by the authorities and have not exchanged your existing drivers licence.
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