British nationals living in Spain have been given a further six months to exchange their driving licences, it has been announced.
The update which came courtesy of the British Embassy in Spain’s Facebook page was aimed at those who had previously registered to exchange their licence before December 30, 2020.
For those who had registered their intention to make the change, the previous deadline of June 30, 2021, has now been extended to December 31, 2021, giving drivers extra time to complete the process.
According to the British Embassy, Spain’s traffic authority, the DGT has also confirmed that both the green A4 residence certificate and the new TIE remain valid proof of residence when completing the process.
The Spanish government posted information about the 'nota aclaratoria', which confirms the ongoing validity of the green residency certificate.
However, despite the good news, there has been much confusion on both sides with many expats claiming that their applications were rejected by the Spanish authorities on the grounds that their TIE cards were dated 2021 and hence they had not been registered in 2020.
The British Embassy acknowledged the issue saying: “If you have attempted to complete the exchange of your licence since 1 January but your application was rejected due to your TIE being dated to 2021, the DGT office will get in touch with you directly to arrange for the completion of the exchange. If this is your situation, and you do not hear anything after a few weeks, you should request an appointment with the DGT.”
“The current date for recognition of UK licences for driving in Spain for those who are resident in Spain remains the 30 June 2021, however. This applies whether you registered before 30 December 2020 or have not yet started the process to exchange your UK licence for a Spanish licence.”
Note that the announced extension only applies to those who registered their intention to make the exchange prior to the end of December 2020. Anyone who requests to exchange their licence from 2021 onwards, will currently need to sit a Spanish driving test.
The official DGT page says: “For holders of a British driving license who have requested the exchange, replacement or renewal before December 31, 2020, it is recalled that they will be processed provided they have been verified by the United Kingdom authorities before January 1, 2021.
“Applications submitted after December 30, 2020, will not be processed.
“If you did not request the exchange before December 31, 2020, you will have to obtain a new Spanish driving license.”
However, the British Embassy confirmed that the UK is currently in negotiations with the Spanish authorities and is looking to come to an arrangement so that British nationals will no longer be required to take a practical driving test when exchanging their licences.
This would be welcome news for anyone who didn’t register to make the exchange in 2020.
Further information can be found via the Citizens Advice In Spain here.
The official process and information can be found via the official DGT website here.