IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since the publishing of this article, the date to exchange licences by has now been extended to December 30, 2020.
There is now a two-step process to exchange licences. Step 1 will need to be completed by December 30. You can find out more about the new two-step process at our page below.
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 forward will need to be done by an approved driver recognition centre. A full list of centres 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Once you have submitted your application, your UK licence will be withdrawn and your new Spanish driving licence delivered to you by post in around 6 weeks.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.
[Update 10/06/2020] - UK driving licence holders in Spain have now been granted a 7-month extension to renew their licence photocards by the DVLA.
If you are resident in Spain and your photocard expires between February 1, 2020, and August 31, 2020, it will now be automatically extended for 7-months.
See the following article for further details.
January 14, 2021