IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since the publishing of this article, the date to exchange licences by has now been extended to 31 December, 2020, the end of the transition period. The previous deadline of 31 January, 2020 was only in the event of the UK leaving without a deal.
Spain’s traffic authorities, the DGT have issued a warning to British residents in Spain who drive, that they need to exchange their driving licence (or at least apply to exchange them) by 31 January, 2020.
Once Brexit takes place, the UK will no longer be a member of the EU and will mean that any traffic agreements and data exchange will no longer be valid for UK citizens. This will mean that anyone living in Spain and driving on a UK licence, will need to exchange them for a Spanish equivalent. Any UK licences will only be valid for the first 9 months after Brexit.
With the Brexit deadline looming ever closer, now is the time British expats MUST replace their UK licences or face the prospect of having to study for and sit a Spanish driving test. This will not only be stressful, but will also cost hundreds if not thousands of Euros for lessons and exam fees.
In order to exchange or replace your licence you will need to hold a UK driving licence, be a permanent resident in spain and submit your application by 31 January, 2020. This date corresponds to the current departure date of the UK leaving the EU.
Before you can submit your application, you will have to undertake a simple medical test to ascertain whether you a fit and healthy enough to drive on Spanish roads. The medical tests, which are very straight foward will need to be done by an approved driver recognition center. A full list of centers can be found at the link below from the DGT.
The video in the following link from the N332.es website, gives you an idea of the simple procedure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh4EZP92znY&t=31s
Once you have submitted your application, your UK licence will be withdrawn and your new Spanish driving licence delivered to you by post in around 6 weeks. You will receive a provisional permit while you wait for your new licence so you may continue to drive. The provisional permit will be valid for 3 months.
Once you have your Spanish licence, you will be able to use this in the UK while on short visits.
Applications can be done online via the link below, which contains all the information and guidance you will need. You may also apply by phone or in person at your local traffic office.
The fee to exchange your licence is 28.30 Euros.
Full official information in English can be found here https://sede.dgt.gob.es/es/permisos-de-conducir/canje-permisos/canje-permisos-extranjeros/canjes-inscripcion-renovacion-sustitucion-permisos/index.shtml