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Driving Licence Exchange and Validity

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2023 11:47am
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Posts: 26

13 helpful points

Location: Punta Mujeres

Joined: 25 Feb 2019

Driving in Spain

Hi all this is a full copy of the latest update on the Gov.UK website. 

Read the guidance on:

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man driving licence if you live in Spain.

If you have one of these licences, you can use it to drive for up to 6 months after becoming resident in Spain. To continue driving after this, you must apply for a Spanish driving licence.

The process for obtaining a Spanish licence depends on whether you have a UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence.

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of a Spanish licence.

From 16 March 2023 you can drive using your valid UK or Gibraltar licence for 6 months. This is a temporary measure that the UK and Spanish governments have agreed.

If you have a valid UK or Gibraltar driving licence

If you were living in Spain before 16 March 2023, you can use your valid UK or Gibraltar driving licence to drive in Spain for 6 months from this date.

If you move to Spain after 16 March 2023, your valid UK or Gibraltar licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence.

If you have a UK or Gibraltar licence, you can exchange your driving licence for a Spanish one without taking a practical or theory test. You should do this within 6 months from 16 March or within 6 months of the date you obtain your residence, whichever is later. After this your UK or Gibraltar driving licence will no longer be valid for driving in Spain. However, you will be able to exchange it for a Spanish one.

Read the Spanish Traffic Authority (DGT) information on how to exchange your UK and Gibraltar licence for a Spanish one.

You will need to present a ‘check code’ from the DVLA, along with other documentation, at your appointment. If you have problems obtaining a check code, contact the DVLA on +44 300 083 0013 to ask for a Certificate of Entitlement.

If your licence was issued in Northern Ireland, read Northern Ireland government guidance to obtain the check code. If you have problems obtaining a check code, contact the DVA.

If your licence was issued in Gibraltar you do not need a check code.

Expired UK or Gibraltar licences

Spanish authorities will exchange your expired UK or Gibraltar licence for a Spanish one if it was valid when you entered Spain. You cannot drive on an expired UK licence.

If your licence was issued by Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man

You cannot currently exchange your Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence for a Spanish one. You must apply for a Spanish licence as a non-EU national. This includes taking both a theory and practical driving test.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Spain, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Spanish disabled parking card. The process is different in each region of Spain. Contact your local town hall or social services department for further information.

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Spain

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

If you register as a resident or spend longer than 6 months of the year in Spain, you must register your vehicle with the Spanish authorities and you may need to pay some taxes. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so you will need certificates of exemption.

Read the Spanish Traffic Authority’s guidance on registering a foreign vehicle in Spain.

Driving outside Spain with a Spanish licence

You can use your Spanish licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you return to live in the UK, you can exchange your Spanish licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Spanish licence, you may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (in Spanish with English translation).

Read the EU guidance on:

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