One of the most important requirements for British Nationals living in Spain is to exchange their UK driving licences to a Spanish version before the transition period ends at the end of the year.
Due to the COVID pandemic, many Brits have found it difficult to make an appointment with the DGT traffic authorities.
In October, the British Embassy in Spain reported that they were in discussion with the Spanish authorities and that the system would be revised to facilitate the exchange.
The DGT has now confirmed that the new system is now live and will allow British nationals living in Spain to make the application which will need to be done BEFORE December 30.
The new two-step process was launched on Monday, November 16 and enables UK nationals to carry out stage one of the process which is to register their intent to exchange their licence.
To do so you must:-
STEP 1 - Make the Application
Step one means you will need to register your intention to exchange your licence with Spain’s traffic authorities (DGT) before December 30.
This can be done via the DGT website here.
Please note that you can change the language on the page to English by using the language option dropdown menu in the top right-hand corner.
You can also apply by calling the DGT directly on 060.
We understand that there will be an English speaking operator in attendance between 9 am and 3 pm for those who are not up to speed with their Spanish.
In order to make the application via the website, you will need a CLAVE/PIN digital certificate. More on that and how to get one at the web address below.
In some regions, it may be possible to download the form and take it to your local office although this will not be the case for the majority of people. A copy of the form can be found at the web address below.
You may also ask a Gestor to carry out the process for you.
For this part of the process, you won’t need to have your residency certificate or the new TIE, but you will need to have an NIE number.
If you have not heard anything from the DGT within three days of submitting your application, you can request an appointment to do the exchange.
Once on the page, you will need to click on the first link, top left that says "Solicitud de cita previa".
On the next page you will have two dropdown boxes. In the first dropdown, select your region.
Then, on the next dropdown, you will need to select "Tramites de Oficina".
Now click "Continuar".
Don't worry if there are no appointments available in your area at this time. As long as you have completed the initial application as outline above, you will legally still be able to drive in Spain using your existing licence.
You may need to revisit the page at a later time and try again if there are no appointments available.
STEP 2 - Visit the DGT Offices
Once you have completed step 1, you will then have six months in which to complete step 2, which is to visit your local DGT office.
As long as your application has been submitted by December 30, and the UK authorities have verified your licence by the end of the year, you can make your appointment any time from January 1, 2021.
Your UK licence will be valid for six months, regardless as to whether you have completed stage two and visited the DGT office or not.
To complete the final exchange at the DGT office, you WILL need to have your TIE residency card or older style residency certificate.
If you are still waiting for your residency application to be completed, you may want to consider waiting until this has been finalised and you have your official residency documents.
Please note that if you do not make the application by December 30 and/or your licence is not verified by the UK’s DVLA (this is done between the DGT and DVLA), the process will be considered complete.
This will mean that you may still use your licence for six months from January 1, 2021, but after this period you will need to arrange to take driving lessons and sit a Spanish driving exam and theory test. More details on that can be found at the address below.